Tech starts-ups offered place on business accelerator programme

West Midlands tech start-ups are being urged to apply for one of 10 places on a business accelerator programme to take their company to the next level.

Not-for-profit tech hub and think tank Birmingham Tech has partnered with West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to create ScaleUp Accelerator to help local businesses with high-growth potential and to boost WMCA’s WM2041 net zero ambitions for the region.

The six-month accelerator, starting in April, will support the 10 selected organisations on their journey from start-up to scale-up offering expert advice and mentoring. The free programme will be delivered by experts who have themselves successfully scaled-up tech and digital companies.

Yiannis Maos, CEO of Birmingham Tech, said: “We do an amazing job of creating innovative start-ups across our region and we should be proud that for the seventh year running data from the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CfE) shows the West Midlands is the UK’s start-up capital outside of London. However, with investment in tech companies in the City declining, we need to do a better job of supporting those start-ups to ensure they meet their potential – and that’s why we’ve invested in this new initiative.

“Our region has some exciting tech and digital businesses emerging, and we hope that with a bit of help these companies can go on to benefit the regional economy, create more jobs and become internationally recognised brands we are all proud of.”

All ten of the organisations will receive a coach, mentor and have access to exclusive content including workshops and events. Two of the companies will be chosen to work with the WMCA and appointed experts to focus on tech solutions to tackle the climate emergency.

Last month the WMCA launched its Digital Roadmap, its plan to give the region a digital reboot, with an aim to tackle digital exclusion, reach net zero carbon and support a post-Covid recovery – creating a fairer, greener, healthier region.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Technology will play a key role in our mission to create a zero carbon region by 2041 – including through better managing of our resources to cut down waste, helping people transition to green forms of transport, and moving away from carbon-heavy sources of energy such as gas boilers.

“On top of that, technology and the green economy is set to drive significant economic growth and create thousands of new jobs across the region. That is why it is so critical we support initiatives such as this one by Birmingham Tech, and why we have drawn up a Digital Roadmap for the West Midlands.”

The Scale-up Accelerator is run in collaboration with Purpose Led Performance.

The first cohort will be selected on March 23 with the programme officially starting on April 5, running for six months.