FAST widens membership scheme to reach out to SMEs

FAST has widened its membership scheme in recognition of the growing number of smaller developers in the UK market

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has changed its membership to try and reach out to more SME sized software developers that are not only looking for an IP champion but can also provide them with support.

The software lobby group has been around for 30 years and has taken the decision to take the wraps off a fresh membership scheme in recognition that the landscape has changed and not only are there more smaller developers but they require different things from a body like FAST.

Quoting research from IDC the industry organisation claimed that there could be as many as 8,000 software and application development businesses in the UK and the majority employed less than 50 people.

As a result FAST will now offer five membership categories, ranging from the sub £250,000 turnover level up to £25m plus, which should provide the chance to deliver more tailored content.

Membership also provides access to legal advice, IP valuations, networking opportunities and event support at different levels depending on the specific membership category.

“The growth of the start-up community in the UK has bought with it a host of challenges that membership of FAST can now address. Legal guidance to members, IP valuation, discounted banking and access to our Knowledgebase resource on the FAST membership website, all adds up to help growing businessesm" said Alex Hilton, CEO of FAST.

“We have carefully considered how we can add value to the UK software developer, ensuring we are relevant to them.  We are therefore now offering support, networking, advisory services and resources to help British born businesses, from startups to established companies,” he added.

Last week, FAST set out its manifesto hoping to get the backing of the major political parties ahead of the election, urging more support for the creative industries sector and greater penalities for those that used unlicensed software.

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