Creative and digital businesses in east London’s Tech City have the opportunity to bid for £100,000 in matched funding from the Technology Strategy Board, by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts announced yesterday.
Up to £1m is available through the Tech City Launchpad competition which is designed to increase the capabilities currently prevalent in the technological community around the Old Street and Shoreditch area. The ten successful bidders will have one year to source the other £100,000 from the private sector and The Technology strategy Board will help them in this endeavour.
Mr Willets unveiled the competition during a visit to TechHub in the Old Street are yesterday. Tech Hub is a shared space including desks, co-working space, events facilities and meeting rooms for start-up technology firms and entrepreneurs.
The Minister: “It is important that we nurture clusters such as the one that has grown up in this area. They are the crucibles where new industries are born, where communities support one another and where companies grow to become globally competitive. This initiative, with strong community involvement and including coordinated help to enable the companies to move fast towards commercialisation, is exactly what clusters need.”
Elizabeth Varley, Co-founder and CEO of TechHub, added:“This initiative is ideal for small and micro companies and start-ups in the Tech City cluster, which often struggle for capital or easy access to finance. That successful applicants will be supported in attracting match funding is an important part of this project.”
The Technology Strategy Board will work closely with UK Trade & Investment, the government department tasked with bringing new talent, entrepreneurs and investment to east London.
The competition opens on 6 May 2011 and will be open both to companies in the east London Tech City and to companies outside the area, though the goal is that the work should take place predominantly in the cluster area.
If successful the initiative may be rolled out to clusters in other parts of the UK, and to other sectors.