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Tech City targets companies outside of London for next cohort in accelerator programme

Tech City UK has placed more of an emphasis on companies outside of the capital for its next accelerator cohort

Digital business champion Tech City UK has ramped up the number of companies from outside the capital in its 2018 Future Fifty accelerator programme.

The organisation began the scheme in 2013 and aims to support late-stage technology firms in their efforts to scale. Tech City has selected the 26 firms to take part in this year’s programme, with almost a third (31%) based outside of London, which is up from 15% in 2016.

The cohort will get access to a network of contacts in the two-year programme, along with workshops and an overall boost in reputation in the technology industry.

The average age for the selected companies who made the cut this time around is eight years, with many employing around 140 employees, and – collectively – they have received $730m in funding.

The majority of them (69%) are business-to-business (B2B) firms, with 15% being consumer and 15% being both. Additionally, 15% of them have female founders or co-founders.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) organisations feature most predominantly in the group (27%), ahead of financial technology (15%) and e-commerce and marketplace (14%). Other sectors covered by the cohort include cyber security (8%), data and analytics (8%), and enterprise software and cloud computing (8%).

Five of the 26 companies have featured in other Tech City accelerators. Independent boutique retailer Trouva, analytics firm Edited, sales platform Paddle and school learning tool Firefly were involved in the six-month Upscale programme.

Mobile workforce service BigChange Apps was one of the 10 winners in the Northern Stars competition, which recognised the best startups in the North.

Parveen Dhanda, programme lead for Future Fifty, said this group includes “some of the UK’s fastest growing companies”.

Read more about Tech City UK

Julia Fowler, COO and co-founder of Edited, added that joining the programme will provide them with “both practical and creative inspiration”.

Alumni companies from Future Fifty have raised more than $5.5bn in investment, along with 23 mergers and acquisitions and five IPOs on the London Stock Exchange.

Poppy Gustaffson, co-founder of cyber security tool Darktrace, said: “We’ve admired the Future Fifty alumni over the recent years and are incredibly excited to be joining the 2018 cohort. The UK has an amazing tech community and talent and we’re delighted to be working with many of them over the next two years.”

Stan Laurent, partner at Highland Europe and Future Fifty judge, described this latest cohort as “a real testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and ecosystem in the UK”.

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