Entrepreneurs and digital businesses require different types of help at different stages of their growth. We offer programmes aimed at driving growth across the lifecycle of a digital business.

As examples, the Tech City UK Cluster Alliance connects digital businesses across the UK, whilst the Future Fifty programme offers concierge style support to high growth businesses.

Introducing our latest programme, Digital Business Academy – an online learning platform. We provide you with the skills needed to start, run, or join a digital business. 8 Courses. From the Experts. For Free.

Tech City UK has joined forces with world-class business experts from UCL, Cambridge University Judge Business School and Founder Centric to offer eight specialist online courses. Covering essential digital business skills, from sizing up your idea to developing digital products, running online marketing campaigns to raising money for your business, Digital Business Academy allows you to learn at your own time, from your own place, online. For free.

Don’t just dream it. Do it.

When you finish the courses you can apply for exclusive rewards and opportunities to get ahead in digital business. Whether you dream of being your own boss or want to get hired by a digital business, rewards come from our leading partners including Microsoft Ventures, O2 Think Big, Ogilvy Labs and Smarta. Rewards can include startup loans, free co-working space, paid internships and more.

Here are the friends we've collaborated with to make Digital Business Academy happen

The courses:

  1. Size up your idea – UCL
  2. Turn your idea into a digital business – UCL
  3. Develop and manage a digital product – Founder Centric
  4. Make a marketing plan – Cambridge University Judge Business School
  5. Build the brand - Cambridge University Judge Business School
  6. Understand digital marketing channels – Founder Centric
  7. Run a digital marketing campaign – Founder Centric
  8. Master finance for your business - Cambridge University Judge Business School

Watch the video

We're on the lookout for new collaborators for content and rewards, so please info@digitalbusinessacademyuk.com if you'd like to get on board!

We like to think of the UK as one big brain, with tech clusters across the country - like different parts of the brain—talking to each other and sparking innovation.

That is why we’ve created the Tech City UK Cluster Alliance. It’s aim is to accelerate the growth of digital businesses in cities around the UK, share best practices, drive opportunities and link up groups across the UK engaged in digital innovation.

There is a huge opportunity to make the most of our cities’ respective digital strengths. Every city is a tech city, with its own unique DNA. Cities need to build up their local tech skills and infrastructure, while forging deep links with other tech clusters across the country.

The current clusters in the Alliance are Scotland, Northern Ireland, Manchester, Newcastle, Sunderland, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol/Bath, Cardiff, Sussex, Cambridge and Sheffield/Leeds.

If you would like to find out more about the Tech City UK Cluster Alliance feel free to contact us

Our Tech City UK Cluster Alliance partners

The Future Fifty programme helps to accelerate the growth of a selected group of exciting, growth-stage UK-based digital companies.

We’re delighted to announce that we are opening up applications from companies wishing to join the list of successful businesses already on the programme.

The Future Fifty assists growth-stage digital companies:

  • We facilitate access to Government and its support mechanisms
  • We foster an environment in which companies can continue their growth in the UK, building links to London’s institutional investor base and capital markets

We deliver this through a curated suite of private sector expertise, equipping the companies with the knowledge and skills that help them effectively navigate the next steps in their growth journey. So far on the programme we have delivered:

  • Over 240 distinct 1-1 actions: providing a wide range of support, from practical assistance through to advising management on funding options
  • Numerous strategic introductions to key stakeholders, both in the UK and overseas
  • An additional neutral perspective on key strategic decisions for many companies
  • Access to a network of private sector support from partners with expertise across a diverse range of business areas
  • Creation of a range of 12 partner supported events: from roundtables to one day educational programmes on accounting, legal, HR, marketing and capital markets, as well as facilitating participation in numerous other events
  • Profile raising of companies on multiple levels to various audiences: via press, online and directly to institutional investors

A dedicated team at Tech City UK delivers the Future Fifty programme. For more information and to apply for the programme visit the Future Fifty website.

Join us – you’ll be in great company

Some of the Future Fifty companies have reached significant milestones in 2014:

  • Since joining the programme in 2013, four of the companies have listed on the public markets – JustEat, Zoopla, AO.com and Horizon Discovery
  • One company has been acquired – Masternaut
  • 13 of the companies have raised a total of £260M investment between them
  • Together the current member companies employ around 15,000 people in the UK and overseas.

Given their increasing maturity, a selection of the companies will graduate from the programme in 2014, creating places for new companies. And further places will become available in 2015.

As in 2013, these places will be filled through an open competition. Applicant companies will need to meet initial criteria and complete an online application form. The Future Fifty Advisory Panel makes the final selection.

Discover the current Future Fifty Companies

Partners of the Future Fifty Programme include:

Future Fifty Report

The member companies are the stars of the Future Fifty programme. To celebrate their success and to highlight what it takes to build a successful, international digital business from the UK, we have produced a report that shines a spotlight on the current member companies.

The Future Fifty report features profiles of all the current Future Fifty companies and tells the stories of a how a number of them have mastered the key building blocks needed to go big from the UK including:

  • Internationalising from the UK
  • Finance across the lifecycle of a digital business
  • Acquiring and retaining the best talent
  • Navigating the regulatory and policy environment
  • Building a scalable business structure

Apply Now

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Tech City UK, the Technology Strategy Board and Cambridge Wireless announce new £1M Launchpad competition

Aimed at startups and SMEs in London and Cambridge working on the Internet of Things

First announced by David Cameron at the CEBIT conference earlier this year, the competition will support Internet of Things early stage startups or SMEs centred in or working within London and Cambridge. £1M in grant funding to be shared between multiple winners.

Companies can apply for anything from £50K to £150K.

The Technology Strategy Board is looking for projects that may be risky for companies to take forward without any support, or that may take them into new innovative areas. Companies collaborating across the tech clusters of London and Cambridge are particularly encouraged to enter.

Our Partners

The competition has established relationships with EE, John Lewis, Unilever, Seedcamp, and Red Gate.

These partners will offer suitable successful applicants anything from investment to a route to market, mentorship and retail space to showcase their products to consumers.

Is this for you?

  • Your company is UK-registered and based in London or Cambridge, or;
  • You are collaborating with a company based in London or Cambridge

What is match funding?

Funding of up to 60% of eligible costs (refunded on a monthly basis) with individual grants of up to £150k and estimated project sizes ranging between £50k and £250k will be available. We will look at applications for projects larger than £250k, but the grant funding will be capped at £150k. Projects can last up to 12 months and should be led by micro, small or medium-sized companies that we anticipate are likely to be in the early stages of their development. This will all be monitored by the Technology Strategy Board’s Monitoring Officers.

What is the deadline?

You have until midday on September 3rd 2014 to apply.

What are the Timescales?

Winners will have up to 6 months to start their projects once they have been given a conditional offer letter and will have up to 24 months to complete the work they’ve set out to do. This will all be monitored by the Technology Strategy Board’s Monitoring Officers.

Apply Now

Why the internet of things?

The Internet of Things refers to that magical point where the physical and digital connect. It’s about using the latest digital technology to allow physical objects to “talk” to each other.

The whole purpose is to improve our lives, to allow us to do things that once seemed impossible. On a consumer level, this might mean electricity meters that talk to the grid to get you the best deals. Or health monitors to keep an eye on your heart rate. On a macro level, it could result in new flood warning systems that use sensors and the Internet to predict problems ahead of time. Water pipes that warn of a fall in pressure. Or a more efficient bus transport system.

Research analysts Gartner predict by 2020, nearly 26 billion physical devices will be transmitting data to each other via the Internet. For innovators and tech engineers, the opportunity is staggering.

It’s a transformative development, and we want Britain to be a major player in this space. If you'd like more information on the IOT Launchpad competition you can find our press release here.

We believe the UK can be the best place to build a digital business. But only if we are agile and responsive to the needs of entrepreneurs.

One of the ways we shape our goals and inform Government is via the Tech City UK Pulse, designed to collate feedback from the digital business community. Regular feedback from the community is key to shape our priorities and to inform Government on an ongoing basis.

Here are some of the results from our latest Tech City UK Pulse survey.


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