Tech City Launchpad, a funding competition that will see the Technology Strategy Board (www.innovateuk.org) invest £1 million to support the growth of creative and digital businesses working in the Tech City area around Old Street and Shoreditch in east London, opens today (6 May 2011).
Companies have the opportunity to apply for funding of up to £100,000 for their projects through a competition designed to support and extend the existing east London tech community. The Technology Strategy Board will help the companies find the match funding they need to deliver their ideas.
Businesses entering the Tech City Launchpad will also be introduced to the IC tomorrow digital test bed programme that will be relocating to Shoreditch during the summer. IC tomorrow removes barriers to innovation and provides a trial management system for application providers, service providers and rights owners.
Opening the Tech City Launchpad competition at the Digital Shoreditch festival today, David Bott, the Technology Strategy Board’s Director of Innovation Programmes, said:
“This unique competition is designed to promote the community dynamic within the Tech City area, encourage cooperation and grow business in the area. We want to support this hotspot of digital and creative industries by enabling companies to go further and faster towards commercial success. We are looking for projects that may be too risky for companies to go for alone, or that may take them into new areas.”
Explaining how the funding will work, Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at the Technology Strategy Board, said:
“We will provide the base funding for the projects and this will then act as a catalyst to attract more investment. Projects will be up to 50% funded by the Technology Strategy Board, up to a maximum grant of £100,000. We will then help approved projects gain the remaining 50% funding through a funding workshop involving key investors such as business angels, venture capitalists and other larger companies in these industries, who will then invest in the companies. By showing our financial support, we hope to make it much easier for the business to secure co-funding.”
The three-stage application process starts with an open invitation to submit ideas through a two-minute video. Using both community and expert assessment to prioritise the proposals, about 20 project applications will then be invited to submit written proposals. Some of these will then be selected and offered up to £100,000 funding each from the total £1m budget. It is hoped that businesses from outside the area will also participate in this competition, by basing their projects in the area or partnering with businesses established in the cluster. The Technology Strategy Board will work closely with UK Trade & Investment, the government department tasked with bringing new talent, entrepreneurs and investment to east London.
David Bott concluded:
“This is a pilot competition. There are a number of such clusters of excellence across the UK. If successful, we may run further localised competitions to build on them.”
For further details about the competition, including how to apply, please follow this link.
For full press release including notes to editors, please follow this link