Boost for tech startups as competition to run new support program opens

  • The successful vendor will receive a £12m digital growth grant to implement the scheme, which will help address the challenges faced by growing small tech companies

  • The program will tackle challenges faced by small, growing tech companies, including improving investor relations and increasing diversity through skills training

Organizations can now apply to offer a UK-wide business program supporting UK digital and technology start-ups and scale-ups.

The successful provider will offer a program starting in April 2023 to open access to professional training and consulting across the country, and improve regional support networks for startups and scaling businesses in the digital and technology sector. This will help create more regional hubs with wealth-generating tech companies offering high-skilled jobs, to benefit startups outside of major cities.

Recent figures show the UK has overtaken China on secured investment from tech start-ups, raising more than £12bn in venture capital funding in the first five months of 2022.

The successful vendor will receive a £12.09m digital growth grant from the government to run the scheme, which will help start-up UK tech companies build on their success. Organizations can apply individually or join together to bid to become the supplier.

The program will tackle some of the biggest challenges facing small, growing tech companies, such as improving connections between startups and investors with better access to mentorship and one-on-one advice for founders. There will also be support to increase diversity and representation in the tech workforce through skills training and industry networks.

Applicants should have a strong UK presence and in-depth knowledge of the national digital sector to provide support to small businesses.

Digital Minister Chris Philp said:

The success of our startups and scale-ups has pushed the UK ahead of Europe and China to rank second in the world for technology investments this year. We want every corner of the country to feel the benefits of technology success and are looking for an industry partner to help make this possible through the Digital Growth Grant.

The Digital Growth Grant will fund a national program to:

  • Provide support services to the digital sector, with a focus on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced computing and quantum. These services should address key challenges faced by a wide range of businesses, from the seed funding stage to their first or second round of funding.
  • Develop regional support networks. Activities should enhance local investment, innovation and business growth; be adapted to the needs and technological specialties of the different fields; and be developed in partnership with local organizations and existing technology groups.
  • Ensure that founders and companies can access digital entrepreneurship training with personalized advice to help them start and grow a technology business.
  • Clearly point startups and scale-ups to existing initiatives in the private and public sectors across the UK that can help them access funding, talent and markets.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Department welcomes applications until August 15, 2022 at noon.

Notes to Editors

More details on this grant are available here. Interested organizations can attend one of our upcoming webinars on this grant by registering here.

The funding will be granted from April 1, 2023 for two years, until 2025.

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