Posted on March 28, 2019 by staff

Tech Nation responds to ‘London-centric’ criticism


Tech Nation has responded to criticism that only one of the companies on its ‘Future Fifty’ programme is from the North.

On Wednesday the organisation revealed the identity of 24 new businesses who have been added to the UK-wide programme, which is designed to help tech organisations scale.

They joined 26 existing companies on the programme, with Leeds-based Big Change Apps being the only firm with its head office in the North included in the list.

Several prominent Northern tech leaders spoke of their ‘surprise’ at the make-up of the ‘Future Fifty’ cohort – prompting Tech Nation’s new head of entrepreneur engagement, Liz Scott, to set the record straight.

She said: “At Tech Nation we work closely with entrepreneurs and growing digital tech companies right across the whole UK. Future Fifty is our flagship programme for late-stage tech companies that have revenues of at least £5m or have received Series B investment.

“These companies must also have had 50 per cent year-on-year growth, and have global potential. Companies apply to be part of the programme and our independent judges scrutinise their applications and apply rigorous criteria.”

Tech Nation is a national network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs and Scott (pictured above) said they’ve ‘worked hard’ to encourage a good spread of applications from across the country.

However she added: “We have never and will never select companies simply because of where they are based.

“Future Fifty represents the cream of the UK’s late-stage digital tech companies and is not driven by quotas. I joined Tech Nation this week because I believe passionately in supporting the UK’s brilliant entrepreneurs, many of whom come from the North where I have been based for the last 17 years.

“Digital tech companies are making huge progress right across the country and it is my mission to make sure that the most promising and ambitious make it through to prestigious national programmes like this, wherever they are from.”

The UK-wide, 24-month ‘Future Fifty’ programme provides access to its peer network, access to senior decision makers in UK government, masterclasses and access to global talent through a visa team.

Of the new businesses announced in the latest cohort, five are based outside of London in Cambridge, Bristol, Glasgow, Nottingham and Watford.