This week it was announced that a new government grant competition will be launched to boost the growth of innovative tech start-ups and scale-ups in all corners of the UK.

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The £12.09 million Digital Growth Grant will focus on providing access to skills training and advice, as well as providing support services to the digital and tech sector for the next two years.

The main focus of the funding is to improve regional support networks for startups and scale-ups, in order to help spread the benefits of our world-leading tech industry across the UK.

The grant will help to develop the next generation of success stories, after the UK tech sector came third globally, valued at $1 trillion.

There are now more than 40 unicorns, which are those companies valued at $1 billion, outside London and 100 regional futurecorns, which are those businesses on track to gaining unicorn status, that are paving the way for future success across the country.

This funding will help cutting edge startups and scale-ups like these to create booming tech hubs throughout the UK and level up growth in these job and wealth-generating businesses. 

Digital Minister Chris Philp said, “Startups and scale-ups are hugely important to our thriving tech sector. This funding is dedicated to growing these innovative businesses wherever they are in the country, providing the support and skills they need to succeed and create good jobs and generate wealth.

“The successful applicant will play a vital role in making the UK the best place in the world to start and scale a tech business.”

The competition will be run this summer by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the winner will receive funding from 1st April 2023. Those interested in receiving the grant can register to join an upcoming webinar run by gov.uk, which will provide more information. Register here to be in with the chance of winning.

The successful recipient will; 

  • Deliver support services to the digital sector, particularly in transformative/emerging technologies These services should address key challenges faced by a wide range of companies from the seed funding stage to series A/B, their first or second round of financing;

  • Grow regional support networks for tech startups and scale-ups. Activities should deliver concrete improvements in three or more areas identified in DCMS’ Regional Ecosystems report as crucial to the success of the digital economy: investment, skills, innovation, infrastructure and business growth. Support should be tailored to local needs and tech specialisms, developed in partnership with local bodies.

  • Ensure founders and firms can access digital entrepreneurship and investment readiness training with tailored advice to help develop their skills to start and grow a tech business. The winner will need to clearly signpost startups and scale-ups to the digital skills initiatives in the private and the public sector (DCMS’ local digital skills partnerships) and share information on the types of roles available in tech companies, the skills required to access these roles, and direction to low/no-cost skills provisions to acquire those skills.

  • Promote and raise awareness of the strength and competitiveness of the UK tech sector with the aim of boosting investor confidence and inspiring the next generation of tech workers and entrepreneurs.

Find out more here.