Manchester Digital has been awarded funding for the Barclays Eagle Labs Ecosystem Partnership Programme across Greater Manchester. 

The programme offers support for 200 startups and founders, 20 in each of the 10 boroughs, over an initial period of 12 months. 

This programme will sit under Manchester Digital’s existing Startup Activator programme, which was launched last year. 

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“Our Startup Activator programme offers a bold vision of a hyperlocal, inclusive, and thriving startup ecosystem across Greater Manchester,” said Katie Gallagher OBE, MD of the industry body for tech and digital.

“Our plan is to catalyse the creation of exceptional, startup tech businesses across each of the 10 boroughs in the Greater Manchester region by giving networks of diverse founders the help and support they need to build their own tech business. 

“Diversity is the cornerstone of developing innovative products and services and by connecting people from diverse backgrounds to the assets and support to grow and scale a tech business we will create high quality jobs right across the region.”

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Amanda Allan, director of Barclays Eagle Labs, said: “We are excited to be facilitating this funding to help Manchester Digital support its Startup Activator programme and we are very much looking forward to seeing this support reach 200 tech businesses in the region. 

“Using our Ecosystem Partnership Programme, we are allocating funding to organisations like Manchester Digital which are already plugged into their regional ecosystems. We are proud to be able to support such projects, which are designed to help early-stage tech entrepreneurs. 

“Our support for Manchester Digital and similar organisations highlights our ongoing commitment to support the tech sector, which is vital to the continued growth of local economies across the whole of the UK.” 

Manchester Digital says it will run roadshows and workshops for startups, founders and entrepreneurs across the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester, creating opportunities for investable, scalable businesses.

Phase One of the programme will see a series of roadshows across the region that will deliver activity to 20 startups in each of the 10 boroughs. During Phase Two, 100 startups with the most high growth potential will be onboarded onto a more intensive programme where they will have the opportunity to receive mentoring and a series of webinars, as well as attend a full day of workshops and masterclasses to accelerate their growth.  

Manchester Digital says it will work closely with local authorities to identify where the entrepreneurs are within those communities and offer them the chance to join our programme and further enrich the entrepreneurial makeup of the UK.

Regional companies also face challenges in raising capital and accessing talent and this becomes more acute the further away the business is from connected ecosystems and networks. The cohorts will be connected to each other, creating hyperlocal networks but also connect them into the wider tech community ensuring they are aware of assets such as DiSH and the Turing AI Catalyst. 

Manchester Digital launched its wider Startup Activator programme in December 2023, a support programme for early-stage startups and founders across the Greater Manchester region, as well as its Startup Review report.

This programme is supported by the Barclays Eagle Labs Ecosystem Partnership Programme.

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