UK Tech Nation start-up organisation to close after British Government pulls funding

Tech Nation, the UK organisation that supports tech start-ups, has announced it will cease operations at the end of March after the Government withdrew its core grant funding.

Founded in 2010, the organisation has supported the rise of some of the biggest names in UK tech, including Monzo, Revolut, Ocado, Skyscanner, and Deliveroo.

Tech Nation relied on the grant to carry out its work, which included running support programmes for start-ups and tech talent visa processing for the Home Office, and said in a statement that without this funding it has now concluded that it can not continue to operate.

As a result, the organisation confirmed it would shut down on March 31.

The £12 million grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is being awarded to Barclays Bank and their Eagle Labs programme, which also looks to support startups, and a two-year contract will begin in April.

“Tech Nation is a purpose-led organisation, with a mission to serve the UK’s tech ecosystem,” Tech Nation founding chief executive Gerard Grech said.

“By delivering services and insights impartially across Britain, Tech Nation has made a huge and positive impact on the UK’s digital economy.

“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.

“I want to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to the Tech Nation team, to our ecosystem partners and all the inspirational innovators and entrepreneurs we have worked with along the way.

“I am grateful to the Government’s support over nine years, and feel proud of all we achieved.

“It has been an incredible journey.

“Together we have made the UK tech economy a global powerhouse for tech talent and now third in the world for tech investment, after the US and China.”

Tech Nation said it was commencing a redundancy consultation process for all of its permanent employees, and it said it had notified the Home Office of its plans to cease operations, though its visa programme would continue in the immediate term.

A DCMS spokesperson said: “We have supported Tech Nation since 2017 to accelerate the growth of start-ups and scale-ups across the UK.

“Our decision to make the Digital Growth Grant competitive brings the funding into line with the majority of government grants.

“Barclays Eagle Labs was successful because their application represented the best value for taxpayers’ money, will benefit the most start-ups and scale-ups over the next two years, and was scored highest by an independent panel.

“We are committed to supporting Tech Nation until March 2023.”

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