Tech Nation enters talks with Founders Forum
In January, Tech Nation announced it would cease operations in its current form, following the award of its core government grant funding to Barclays Bank, ending a decade of work as the UK’s growth platform for tech startups and founders. At that time, Tech Nation invited expressions of interest from organisations that would be interested in its internationally acclaimed brand.
Having received and carefully evaluated dozens of expressions of interest, Tech Nation can confirm it has entered into discussions with Founders Forum Group (FF Group), a global community and group of businesses supporting entrepreneurs at every stage of their journeys.
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), employing 5m people (up from 2m in 2013), 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.
Assuming both parties agree, FF Group would seek to continue Tech Nation’s legacy and plans to adopt the internationally renowned brand lineup into its existing portfolio of events and services tailored to entrepreneurs.
As a further update, Tech Nation continues to be in talks with the Home Office about the future of the Global Talent Visa route. In the meantime Tech Nation will continue to accept new Global Talent endorsement applications for the foreseeable future, until a new endorsing body is in place.
Tech Nation Founding CEO, Gerard Grech, said: “We have been delighted by the dozens of expressions of interest that we received and want to thank all those that have engaged with us during this process. We are very excited to be in discussions with Founders Forum Group, which we think is well placed to build on the legacy that Tech Nation has created over the last 10 years, given their ethos and approach to supporting entrepreneurs at every stage.
The last decade has been an incredible success story. One in which the UK is now third in the world for tech investment. The team and I are fortunate enough to have seen a third of all tech unicorns and decacorns ever created in UK history graduate from a Tech Nation programme. We look forward to these continued discussions.”
FF Group CEO, Carolyn Dawson said: “We’re delighted to be in discussions with Tech Nation around the future evolution of this impactful brand. Our hope is to build on the great work of Tech Nation and continue to serve as the collective voice of founders and investors across the UK, collaborating with media, government, and industry to entrench the UK as a world-renowned startup hub and leading innovation economy”.
Tech Nation Chair, Stephen Kelly said: “It’s been a golden decade of growth of prosperity for UK tech. The tech ecosystem has gained so much from Tech Nation as the natural platform for UK scaleups which have been the jewel in the crown. It is immensely positive news for the UK that FF Group is excited to explore what more can be done to create another golden decade.”
FF Group Co-Founder and Executive Chair, Brent Hoberman said: “Over the last decade, Tech Nation has played an instrumental role accelerating startup growth and making the UK Europe’s top digital economy. We’re keen to continue this legacy and help more UK founders scale more groundbreaking ideas, keeping the UK at the centre of tech innovation.”
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