Government grant competition to boost growth of innovative start-ups

The £12.09 million Digital Growth Grant will help tech start-ups and scale-ups tackle the challenges facing small firms and open up access to skills training and advice.

The grant will focus on growing regional support networks to level up investment and innovations around the country and help start-ups and scale-ups create UK-based tech hubs.

Support will be provided to the sector over two years.

Digital Minister Chris Philp said: “Start-ups 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 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 start-ups 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 start-ups and scale ups to the digital skills initiatives in 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
  • And 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

The government has said it will consult the market in order to refine the specifications above, before applications open later this year.

The competition will be run this summer by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the successful organisation will receive the funding from 1st April 2023. Further details on the eligibility criteria and application process will be published in due course.

The funding for this grant has previously been awarded to Tech Nation Group Limited. DCMS will continue to provide direct grant funding to Tech Nation until March 2023.

Further details about this grant.