Founders Forum Group Acquires Tech Nation
The transfer will see FF Group continue to execute against Tech Nation’s mission to empower tech entrepreneurs, scale innovative startups, and provide a united platform for UK tech founders.
FF Group will relaunch a number of Tech Nation programmes and reports on the UK tech sector as part of its existing portfolio of events and services tailored to entrepreneurs, continuing to build on the organisation’s activities to date.
Having invited expressions of interest from organisations across the UK, and completed a process of due diligence, Tech Nation chose FF Group to usher the growth platform into a new chapter, given its existing impact in the UK tech ecosystem, and focus on supercharging entrepreneurial growth both in the UK and globally.
Tech Nation, under the FF Group umbrella, will continue to process the Global Talent Visa for the Home Office and applicants can continue to apply as normal with applications in process unaffected, while the Home Office identifies a new endorsing body to take over from Tech Nation.
Tech Nation’s outgoing founding CEO, Gerard Grech and Board Director Sarah Wood will help steer the transition as part of FF Group’s Tech Nation Advisory Board.
In the last decade, Tech Nation has helped shape the trajectory and success of UK tech to be the number one digital economy in Europe and number three globally, valued at $1tn (16x growth in 10 years) with over 20 places in the UK home to one tech unicorn or more. Additionally, a third of tech unicorns ever created in UK history have passed through one of its growth programmes.
Gerard Grech, Founding CEO and Tech Nation Advisory Board member, said: “Founders Forum Group is the ideal custodian to lead Tech Nation into its next chapter. I am confident FF Group will continue the vital work of Tech Nation, leveraging its influential network to evolve Tech Nation’s existing programmes, foster entrepreneurship nationwide, and supercharge scaleups and high-growth businesses across the UK. It’s been a privilege to have worked with so many fantastic people during Tech Nation’s journey to date, and I want to thank the Tech Nation team for all their hard work in making it happen with the ecosystem.”
Carolyn Dawson OBE, FF Group CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be carrying the Tech Nation brand forward and building on the remarkable decade of growth which has resulted in the UK now being third in the world for tech investment. Programmes like Future Fifty, Net Zero, and Rising Stars align succinctly with many of our existing initiatives at Founders Forum Group, as well as our overarching mission to bolster entrepreneurial innovation and support founders at every stage.”
Brent Hoberman CBE, FF Group Co-Founder & Chair, said: “By recognising and fostering remarkable digital talent and accelerating startup success nation-wide, Tech Nation has positioned the UK as a world-class innovation hub. We’re honoured to be inheriting this important mission and marrying our objectives with those of Tech Nation to preserve and expand the UK tech ecosystem.”
Stephen Kelly, Tech Nation Chair, said: “Since I returned from building global market leaders in Silicon Valley in 2006, we have witnessed an incredible transformation in UK Tech. In the last decade alone, UK tech jobs have grown from 2 million to 5 million with tech sector growth of 5% CAGR contributing half of the overall UK economic growth. Tech Nation has been a foundation for Britain’s 6000 tech scale-ups which powered more than 90% of the job creation in this golden decade. I am thrilled with FF taking ownership of Tech Nation to extend the golden era of UK Tech. Carolyn and Brent have created the vital platform for growth and the cornerstone of the Government’s ambition for the UK to become a ‘Science & Technology superpower’”.
UK Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, Paul Scully, said: “Startups are at the heart of what makes the UK’s tech sector a success – creating opportunities, innovation, and growth across the UK. We have invested millions over the years to help early-stage and scaling tech businesses go from strength to strength. Founders Forum Group will build on this by continuing the work of Tech Nation, which will complement our ongoing support for the sector.”
Thought Machine Founder & CEO, Paul Taylor, said: “This acquisition is great news for the nation’s technology industry. Founders Forum Group, under the stewardship of Carolyn and Brent, has created a winning formula for supporting entrepreneurs at all stages. Tech Nation has been a pivotal partner for the UK tech industry, and we look forward to seeing its legacy live on under the FF Group brand.”
Busuu Founder, Bernhard Niesner, said: “Tech Nation was fundamental in creating the UK’s tech ecosystem and allowed us to learn from fellow entrepreneurs. The tech community has much to gain now that Founders Forum Group can pick up that mantle.”
Wayve Co-Founder, Alex Kendall, said: “I feel fortunate to have been part of both Tech Nation and Founders Forum Group’s communities which have been pivotal in supporting the growth of technology entrepreneurship in the UK. I’m delighted to see that Tech Nation’s important work will be able to continue to champion our tech sector by supporting entrepreneurs and founders internationally.”
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