UK Government - £1 Million Funding Competition To Support Creative And Digital Businesses

written by: Richard Kastelein

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It's a simple a start as you can get... two minutes of your time, a video clip from the webcam and a great idea. That's it to get to the finals with 20 candidates to submit a written proposal. And the new twist on this one is the fact that the UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will fund up to 50 per cent to £100,000 first, then help the startups find money rather than the other way around where the external, private funding has had to be in place first. 

Tech City Launchpad: a funding competition that will see the  TSB invest £1 million to support the growth of creative and digital businesses in the Tech City area around Old Street and Shoreditch in east London and businesses outside the area willing to run their project in Tech City or partner with a company in the Tech City area. Competition is now open and runs until May 26, 2011. Apply now or Download the competition brief for more details.

Win £100,000. Join the Tech City online community and stay up to date  and apply. Stimulating innovation through Collaboration - Looking for partners? The TSB wants to draw investment and people into the Tech City area, and to encourage networking and collaboration to strengthen the digital and creative cluster.

Who can apply:

    Companies in the digital and creative industries sector
    Companies with and maximum of 250 employees (SMEs)
    Companies based in the Tech City area - We are focusing on the existing technology and media cluster in East London
    Companies across the UK, if they wish to carry out a project in the Tech City area or partner with an SME in the Tech City area of London.

"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," said Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at the Technology Strategy Board.

Tech City Launchpad, a funding competition that will see the TSB 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, opened May 6, 2011 and closes on . 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 recently, 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."

Further explaining exactly how the funding will work, Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at the Technology Strategy Board, added:

"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 TSB  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."

Click here for more information.


 

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