The Founders Forum Group, a global entrepreneurial network, announced on Tuesday that it has acquired London-based Tech Nation, a startup support ecosystem.
The acquisition follows Tech Nation’s plans to cease operations after losing £12M grant funding from the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) to Barclays Bank.
Consequently, Tech Nation actively sought interested parties to acquire its portfolio of assets to take it forward in a new guise.
On March 29, Tech Nation announced that it was in discussions with Founders Forum Group.
This acquisition is a significant milestone for FF Group as it continues to expand its offerings and cement its position as a leading provider of services to entrepreneurs in the UK and beyond.
This move will see FF Group take over Tech Nation’s mission to empower tech entrepreneurs, scale innovative startups, and provide a united platform for UK tech founders.
As part of the acquisition, FF Group will relaunch a number of Tech Nation programmes and reports on the UK tech sector.
Under the FF Group umbrella, Tech Nation will continue to process the Global Talent Visa for the Home Office, and applicants can continue to apply as normal with applications in process unaffected.
Meanwhile, the Home Office will identify a new endorsing body to take over from Tech Nation.
To ensure a smooth transition, Tech Nation’s outgoing founding CEO Gerard Grech and Board Director Sarah Wood will help steer the process as part of FF Group’s Tech Nation Advisory Board.
Tech Nation: Shaping the success of UK tech
In the last decade, Tech Nation has helped shape the trajectory and success of UK tech to be the number one digital economy in Europe and number three globally, valued at $1T (16x growth in 10 years) with over 20 places in the UK home to one tech unicorn or more.
Additionally, a third of tech unicorns ever created in UK history have passed through one of its growth programmes.
Gerard Grech, Founding CEO and Tech Nation Advisory Board member, says, “Founders Forum Group is the ideal custodian to lead Tech Nation into its next chapter. I am confident FF Group will continue the vital work of Tech Nation, leveraging its influential network to evolve Tech Nation’s existing programmes, foster entrepreneurship nationwide, and supercharge scaleups and high-growth businesses across the UK.”
“It’s been a privilege to have worked with so many fantastic people during Tech Nation’s journey to date, and I want to thank the Tech Nation team for all their hard work in making it happen with the ecosystem,” adds Grech.
Carolyn Dawson OBE, FF Group CEO, says, “We’re delighted to be carrying the Tech Nation brand forward and building on the remarkable decade of growth which has resulted in the UK now being third in the world for tech investment. Programmes like Future Fifty, Net Zero, and Rising Stars align succinctly with many of our existing initiatives at Founders Forum Group, as well as our overarching mission to bolster entrepreneurial innovation and support founders at every stage.”
UK Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, Paul Scully, says,“Startups are at the heart of what makes the UK’s tech sector a success – creating opportunities, innovation, and growth across the UK. We have invested millions over the years to help early-stage and scaling tech businesses go from strength to strength. Founders Forum Group will build on this by continuing the work of Tech Nation, which will complement our ongoing support for the sector.”