Tech Nation UK to cease operations by March 31st following the termination of government funding

Eberechukwu Etike
Tech Nation UK to cease all operations following the termination of its government grant funding

After 13 years of transforming the UK tech ecosystem, Tech Nation, an accelerator organization for ambitious tech entrepreneurs, has announced it will cease all operations from 31st March 2023 and transfer all its assets following the termination of its core government grant funding.

This decision comes after the network’s core grant funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport of the United Kingdom (DCMS) was awarded to Barclays Bank. The networking organization seeks interested parties to acquire its portfolio of assets following its closure.

Without the funding, Tech Nation is not certain its activities can be carried out on a standalone basis, hence the decision to cease operations after its DCMS contract ends in March. This also includes all of its services, including its accelerator programs, growth platform, and visa processing program for the Head Office.

We have exhaustively explored whether Tech Nation could continue without core government grant funding, but have concluded after extensive consultation that this is not an option… With this foundation removed, Tech Nation’s remaining activities are not viable on a standalone basis and the unique Tech Nation model that we have built upon this foundation can no longer be supported.

The network blogpost in an announcement

“Furthermore, continuing without core funding would compromise our status as a Public Interest company. We are a non-profit, with an obligation to act in the best interest of the public and the scaleup community we serve. We cannot continue to deliver for scaleups impactfully and impartially without core public funding underpinning everything we do, and with commercial funding alone”, it added.

Read Also: A complete guide to getting a Tech nation visa (UK Global Talent visa)

Tech Nation’s contribution to the UK tech ecosystem

Tech Nation UK to cease operations by March 31st following the termination of government funding

Founded in 2010 by the coalition government, Tech Nation was focused on accelerating scaleup growth for startups and tech entrepreneurs.

According to a blog post by Tech Nation, the organisation has claimed to have influenced the development and success of the UK tech ecosystem, which is now valued at over $1 trillion, a significant rise in the last 10 years.

Also, scaleups account for over 90% of all UK IT jobs, which stimulates regional success, investment, productivity gains, and exports. The market for startup support has grown, but Tech nation stands out as the group that has focused most of its attention on the UK ecosystem’s tech scaleups.

The success rate of startups in Tech Nation’s accelerator programmes is around 95%. With over £28 billion in venture capital and capital markets raised so far, more than one-third of all tech unicorns and decacorns formed in the UK have graduated from a Tech Nation program.

As a government-backed national asset, Tech Nation has produced one of the finest returns on taxpayer investment (ROI), generating a £15 profit for every £1 of UK government funding.

Tech Nation’s visa program

A complete guide to get a Tech nation visa (UK Global Talent visa)

The race for global tech talent has been fierce, as many countries seek to expand their technology sectors with the brightest minds in the industry. The tech nation visa program is one of the organization’s most popular initiatives. It gives tech talent from all over the world the chance to work in the UK tech ecosystem.

With over 6000 Global Talent Visa applications processed and over 3000 visas endorsed, the closure of this service will be a significant blow to interested talents in core and adjacent tech roles vying for this flexible work option in the UK’s tech space.

The Tech Nation Visa Alumni now has over 94 countries represented, including African nations like Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt. Nigeria is the African nation with the highest number of applicants for the UK Global Tech Talent Visa, coming in third globally with 11.3% of applications, according to The Tech Nation Visa Report 2021.

Speaking on the impact for black founders, Tom Adeyoola, co-founder of Capital Angel Network and Metail, said,

Tech Nation’s Libra programme was established to help drive Black and multiracial founders into the virtuous cycle of visibility, connections, and success that we have seen in the rest of the startup ecosystem. Having had the honour of taking part in the judging for the Libra programme, it is clear that there is a healthy and competitive pipeline of Black and multiracial founders that just need fair access to financial and social capital to succeed… It is saddening and a real loss for the UK, that Tech Nation and these important programs will no longer be continuing.

However, with the organization ceasing operations, this reduction will not only have an impact on tech talent looking to move to the nation, but it also has the potential to impact the UK tech economy negatively and deter investors from funding new products and startups that are trying to break into the global market.

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