Startup support network Tech Nation will close

Tech startup support network Tech Nation will be ceasing operation after losing out on a government funding grant to Barclays Eagle Labs. 

The Quango was set up under David Cameron’s coalition government and created a variety of support avenues for startups including growth programs, a digital academy, conferences, and research and analysis reports. 

Founding CEO of Tech Nation, Gerard Grech, explained the impact that the organisation had had on the UK’s tech sector, he said: ‘The UK now boasts over 20 places with one tech unicorn or more, five times what it was in 2014. Many of Britain’s most successful tech companies, from Monzo to Deliveroo, and from Skyscanner to Darktrace, have passed through one or more of Tech Nation’s growth programs. 

‘We have helped champion and support innovators in everything from AI to FinTech to Climate tech and more. In doing so, we have helped spread digital growth and jobs nation-wide. For every pound invested in Tech Nation, we have returned £15.’

three men sitting on chair beside tables

The organisation lost out on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Digital Growth Grant to the Barclays initiative meaning Tech Nation will be closing on March 31st as the government support formed the large majority of its funding. 

Expressions of Interest are being invited surrounding the future of Tech Nation’s assets and brand though the Quango says discussions have already begun. 

Chair of the organisation, Stephen Kelly, said: ‘Having been at the controls in the cockpit growing startups and scaleups to multi-billion dollar, global market leaders from both Silicon Valley and the UK, I have personally witnessed the power of Tech Nation’s impact and community in shaping this golden decade for UK Tech. 

‘Tech Nation has become the masterclass and finishing school for UK scaleup founders to build future global market leaders and is the envy of governments around the world.’ 

Some of the UK’s largest tech companies received support from the network including Revolut, Depop, Just Eat, Ocado and Bloom & Wild, over 95% of startups that went through the accelerator programs went on to scale. 

Many of the country’s top tech industry leaders have expressed disappointment over the closure including Joanna Shields of BenevolentAI, Tessa Clarke of Olio, Anthony Rose of Seedlegals and Daniel Korski of Public who said it was ‘hard to imagine where we would be today had Tech Natino not existed.’ 

Eagle Labs’ successful bid was announced by the government last week.

Photo by Austin Distel


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top