Tech Nation has officially relaunched with a £10 billion funding pledge and new focus on startups.

It plans to work with the government as an ‘independent voice for founders’ to provide tech entrepreneurs with access to knowledge and communities.

Carolyn Dawson OBE, CEO of Founders Forum Group – which acquired the organisation earlier this year when government funding was instead handed to Barclays Eagle Labs, forcing its closure – told Birmingham Tech Week that it was committed to ensuring half of its network is based outside the capital.

Dawson said it would “facilitate £10 billion of private investment into startups in the next five years”.

She added: “We will help startups from Inverness to Eastbourne to develop global reach, finding opportunities, investment and advice across Europe, North America and Asia.”

Operating as part of Founders Forum Group, it will carry over four of its predecessor’s startup growth programmes including one for ethnic minority founders, a competition for early-stage startups, a climate programme and a programme for late-stage businesses.

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Tech Nation will continue to be the endorsing body for digital technology applications under the Global Talent visa.

It also plans to launch a community for disabled founders and those building technologies for the disabled community, with backing from Motability Operations.

“The new Tech Nation will champion the startup scene – advocating for its needs, supporting international reach and fuelling the investment that will create the next generation of unicorns,” said Dawson.

“Tech Nation 2.0 will champion all kinds of tech founders, highlighting their needs and fighting for our incredible industry from seed stage to success story.” 

Key objectives include producing data-driven reports on the tech-ecosystem which can be used to equip founders with the knowledge they need to drive the growth of innovative, game-changing businesses.

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Wayne Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Encompass Corporation, commented: “The relaunch of Tech Nation is a positive step for the UK’s technology industry as it collectively goes after ambitious growth goals. 

“This will be particularly encouraging for the entrepreneurs and business owners who will benefit from the support, collaboration, and spotlight that such a network brings.

“This collaboration must be fostered and promoted, and Tech Nation will act as an example, helping to drive the development of the solutions that are imperative to key industries today, such as financial services.

“London recently being highlighted as a global technology investment powerhouse underlines the UK’s potential, and having a hub to access knowledge and resources is vital to maximising this and supporting businesses at the forefront of critical innovation.

“With technology development and adoption at the top of the agenda across industries, we must come together to create a marketplace that breeds innovation. Founders and business leaders have a vital role to play as the UK works to cement its position as a science and technology superpower, and they must be encouraged and supported in order to thrive.”

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