Tech City UK Programmes

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.

Future Fifty powers 50 of the UK’s fastest growing and most disruptive digital technology companies through a curated set of private partners, networking opportunities and direct links to the UK government.

Upscale is a network of Series A UK digital technology companies scaling together with mentoring and support from some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world – our Scale Coaches.

Digital Business Academy is a set of 56 free expert courses designed to teach you everything you need to know to start, grow or join a digital business. Course content is created by UCL, Cambridge University JBS, Founder Centric and Valuable Content.


Tech Nation is the most comprehensive analysis of the clusters powering the UK’s digital economy, which is growing 32% faster than the wider economy (turnover) and employs over 1.56m people.

The Tech Nation Visa Scheme makes it possible for tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector. If you receive an endorsement from Tech City UK, then you will be eligible to be to submit your Visa application to the Home Office.

You can find out more about each of our programmes below.

Future Fifty from Tech City UK

26 companies joined the Future Fifty programme in 2017


The New Companies

FinTech: Azimo, ClearScore, Ebury, Onfido, Receipt Bank
Data, Analytics & Cybersecurity: Blis, Track Global, Ve Interactive
eCommerce & Marketplace: Bloom & Wild, carwow, Festicket, Gousto, LoveCrafts, Swoon Editions,, Thread, Threads
Digital Advertising & Marketing: UNiDAYS, SuperAwesome
Digital Entertainment: Spitfire Audio
EdTech: Kano
Enterprise Software & Cloud Computing: Condeco
Hardware & Devices: Epos Now, ROLI
SaaS: Fairsail, Interact

History of the Programme


Discover the current Future Fifty Companies:

Learn More

Future Fifty Supporters:


Future Fifty Alumni:



Upscale 3.0 open for applications


Upscale is our six-month programme to help the most promising mid-stage UK tech startups on their scaling journey, under the mentorship of some of the UK’s most successful tech entrepreneurs. Previous Scale Coaches have included Niklas Zennström (Skype)Saul Klein (LocalGlobe); Jess Butcher (Blippar); Tracy Doree (Kindred Capital); and David Buttress (Just Eat founder, 83North).

Applications are now open for Upscale 3.0 – apply before 3 November for the programme workshops running February to July 2018.


Upscale Alumni – Class of 2017



Read all about the 2017 cohort!



Highlights from Upscale 2016


Upscale Alumni

56 free expert courses to teach you everything you need to start, grow or join a digital business!


About the Digital Business Academy

The Digital Business Academy is at the core of our strategy to build a pipeline of homegrown digital talent. We developed it to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn the skills they need to turn their dreams into real products and real companies. It is working. Almost 20% of our graduates report that they are starting digital companies after finishing at least one skill.

Hear from our users:














Tech Nation Visa

Tech Nation Visa

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa for Digital Technology


What is the Tech Nation Visa Scheme?

The Tech Nation Visa Scheme makes it possible for tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector, and is part of Tech City UK’s mission to ensure that the UK continues to maintain its position as a globally competitive digital economy.

Tech City UK is the designated competent body for digital technology and has the ability to endorse applications for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. If you receive an endorsement from Tech City UK, then you will be eligible to be to submit your Visa application to the Home Office.


Tech North

Empowering Digital Entrepreneurs in the North of England

Why the North?

The digital technology sector employs around 1.56M people across the UK and is predicted to outperform all other occupation categories by 2020. 75% of the digital companies driving the growth of the digital economy exist outside of the capital.

Today, the Northern Powerhouse is establishing itself as a centre for global excellence in digital innovation. The UK’s only FTSE 100 Technology company, Sage, was founded and is headquartered in the North East. Two of the biggest tech IPOs of 2014 were Manchester-based and – founded companies – and Boohoo. It is home to the UK’s fastest supercomputer at Tech Daresbury in Cheshire and its universities are undertaking groundbreaking R&D in areas from health to data and cloud computing. From global excellence in health tech, media tech, data analytics, gaming and ecommerce, the North’s digital economy is driving real change and growth.


Why we exist

At the heart of our mission is the desire to create prosperity and opportunity for the next generation, ensuring the North is and continues to be part of the UK’s ongoing journey to becoming the world’s leading digital economy.


Who we are

Established in 2015, Tech North is a government-funded initiative delivered through Tech City UK. The specific goal of Tech North is to accelerate the development of the North’s digital economy through the promotion and support of digital entrepreneurship. Our remit is to attract talent, entrepreneurs and investment to the North of England specifically the seven cities of Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sunderland.


What we do

Working in collaboration and partnership with stakeholders across the North we aim to  address the challenges tech entrepreneurs face in accessing finance, support, mentorship and talent. We champion initiatives that support the development of the North’s digital economy working with local and central government to inform policies that help accelerate growth. Working with Tech City UK, we’ll give digital entrepreneurs in the region a national and international voice.


Visit Tech North

Whilst it’s very un-British to brag, we believe the UK is the number one international hub for your digital business. Choose a UK international HQ. Here’s why.


Tech City UK Cluster Alliance


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, made up of representatives across the country supporting their local ecosystem. 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 Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, Hull, North East (Newcastle and Sunderland), Birmingham, Bristol & Bath, Oxford, Cardiff, Cambridge, Norwich, Brighton and Bournemouth.


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:


Tech City UK Internet of Things Launchpad

 Winners of Internet of Things Launchpad Unveiled

Along with our partners, Innovate UK and Cambridge Wireless, we recently announced the seven winners of the Internet of Things Launchpad competition. The winners represent some of the most exciting early stage companies in the IoT space. Based in London and Cambridge, the companies will share grant funding of up to £1m.

During the selection process the panel looked for pioneering projects taking Internet of Things activity into innovative new areas. The winning projects are:


  • Digital Shadows LimitedA project to identify, enumerate and attempt to mitigate some of the IoT-related security risks facing businesses, cities and individuals


  • Product Health Limited – A new service for connected batteries, representing a step change in the way batteries are managed in the off-grid energy sector


  • ThinkInnovate Limited – An IoT defence scanner, consisting of a portable scanning device, a mobile app and a web app and designed to increase confidence in IoT



  • 1248 Limited – A project to encourage and improve cycle journeys in London and Cambridge, by discovering, processing and providing relevant sensor data


  • OpenTRV Limited – A venture to work out the optimum combination of sensors to use inside buildings and outdoors to detect environmental information, such as the presence of people and the weather


  • Superflux LimitedA compact air quality monitoring and GPS tracking sensor that can be easily fitted to child’s pushchair


In addition to the funding grant, the winners will benefit from access to expertise and business support from the programme’s private sector partners: EE, John Lewis, Unilever, Bosch, Seedcamp, Red Gate, Cisco, Hive by British Gas, RPD and Fab Lab London. These partners will offer the winning companies the opportunity to access a range of support, from investment, and access to markets and mentorship, to retail for showcasing products to consumers.


IoT describes automatic ‘smart’ communications between objects – rather than between computers and mobiles – through the internet without human intervention. Through embedded sensors and other devices, such objects allow a wide variety of industrial and domestic activities to become fully automated, while also maximising efficiency and sustainability.


Market projections suggest an IoT industry comprising of 26bn devices by 2020, rising to a trillion by 2025. It is predicted to become a $500bn global technology market by 2019, supporting an even more extensive market for products and services.


Winners will have up to six months to start their projects and up to 24 months to complete the work they’ve set out to do. Innovate UK’s Monitoring Officers will observe the process.

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 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.

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.

Tech City UK Pulse

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:

Tech City UK Pulse stats