An entrepreneur is targeting £100 million of funding for South Yorkshire’s tech startups after launching Venture.Community.

Peter Hopton, founder of data centre cooling company Iceotope, launched the project at UK Tech Week in Sheffield after developing the concept over the last two years.

In that period five startups received mentoring focused on strategy, fundraising and executive team building. Productive Machines, BOW and TUBR then managed to raise more than £5m in funding between them.

Hopton, who also founded VeryPC – which provides sustainable computers and IT systems to schools and businesses – has raised more than £58m in venture funding himself.

He aims to advance the development of hundreds of tech companies in South Yorkshire through resources and a rolling program of education and events plus mentoring.

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He says traditional accelerators “limit both the duration of support and the number of participants supported”.

“This is a new approach to tech acceleration that is scalable, sustainable and open to all ventures and venturers,” he said. “Sheffield and South Yorkshire is the UK’s secret startup capital and probably the most collaborative tech ecosystem on the planet. 

“This is the perfect place to pilot Venture.Community.”

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He added: “Tech founders frequently swim in a sea of sharks, so we are providing safe harbour – an inclusive community where founders support founders and entrepreneurs can connect with trusted experts that provide genuine, meaningful support.”

Venture.Community has curated a roster of venture capital and service provider partners, including Squire Patton Boggs, Fuel Ventures, SFC Capital, EHE, Finance Yorkshire, Anticus Partners, AngelGroups, Medici Global Ventures, UK Business Angels Association, Sedulo, Creative Space Management, Roaring Mouse Public Relations, British Blockchain & Frontier Technologies Association, Pinpoint Ventures and Mantra Media.

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