The only tech business support programme for the whole of the South West of England is launching for its second year, after helping companies secure £1m.

Tech South West StartUp Studio 2021 saw the likes of Paranimo, Eate, Groundwaves, Milbotix  and a number of other early stage pre-seed companies go on to raise £1m of grants and investment since completing the programme.

Now StartUp Studio is back and open to new entrants. Companies must have been trading for less than two years to qualify.

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And alongside StartUp Studio, Tech South West is also launching ScaleUp Studio for growing tech firms.

The Tech South West Growth Programme is supported by Growth Partners Bishop Fleming, British Business Bank, King Recruit, Skowt Consulting and Astley Media.

Ben Cooper, funding and support lead at Tech South West, said: “We’re really pleased with the outcome of the first two cohorts of StartUp Studio, and the success the founders have had in raising both investment and grant funding. As a result we’ve expanded the capacity of the programme going forward, and are delighted to be launching ScaleUp Studio to run in parallel. We’re hopeful of supporting more amazing tech startups and scaleups from across the region over the coming months and years.”

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Both programmes are open to tech companies based anywhere in the South West. Firms can apply via techsouthwest.co.uk.

Pippa Clarke, Head of Technology Innovation & Growth at Bishop Fleming, said: “The tech sector has one of the highest rates of startups of any sector, and it’s from these startups that great businesses are born.  Working with so many tech businesses, it’s important to us to contribute to the overall health of the tech community.  We do this by providing support to start up tech businesses through incubators and accelerators and working with those who need our support.”

StartUp and ScaleUp Studios provide business support, 1-1 mentoring, workshops, funding guidance and introductions, brand, marketing, talent acquisition, financial management, product development and pitch expertise.

Companies that completed StartUp Studio last year include mental health matching service Paranimo, which has gone on to raise c£100k of SEIS thus far, including investment from Worth Capital, and is looking to raise further to £300k.

Healthtech company Milbotix has raised £165k since taking part in the programme, and is now raising £500k from investors to commercialise their product.

Dr Zeke Steer, founder of Milbotix, said: “I greatly benefited from joining the StartUp Studio 2021. I enjoyed the cohort-based approach and opportunity to meet founders working on a range of exciting start-ups. The pitch practice and mentoring elements of the programme were valuable in developing my confidence to approach investors.”