The government has hopes for the UK to be a ’science and technology superpower’ over the next decade taking on Silicon Valley 

Government-backed not-for-profit Tech Nation – which supports on the UK-based technology ecosystem – will be closing its doors on 31 March 2023 following its funding being pulled after a decade in business.

In an announcement posted yesterday (31 January 2023), it said: “Tech Nation ends this impactful chapter with pride in everything it has accomplished, in awe of the incredible individuals and businesses we have been privileged to champion and in gratitude to everyone who has been part of our journey.

“As a government-backed national asset, Tech Nation has delivered one of the best ROIs for the taxpayer, delivering £15 return on every £1 funded by the UK government.

”Most of all, we want to thank our people who have served the tech ecosystem with such commitment, enthusiasm and talent. The success we have achieved for UK tech is thanks to you all.

“Looking to the next decade of UK tech, the government has announced ambitions to be a science and technology superpower – it hopes to take on Silicon Valley and to become the most innovative country in the world.

“But, for the first time in decades, macroeconomic trends threaten Britain’s tech momentum – it is vital that government rhetoric is now paired with policies and support mechanisms to match.

“We hope that the incredible growth, progress and momentum we have driven over the past decade at the nexus of the UK scaleup ecosystem can be maintained and capitalised on.”

The closing down of Tech Nation follows the announcement that it was applying for new funding in April last year. 

Changing UK tech landscape

The statement went on to explain that Tech Nation was founded when “the UK’s tech economy was burgeoning”.

For example, it noted how Tech Nation’s growth programmes, digital academy, networking conferences, international expansion programs, sandboxes, panels and in-depth sector research, analysis and reports had helped to shape the trajectory and success of UK tech – the number one digital economy in Europe and third globally.

This has changed recently, with mass tech layoffs that have been mirrored in the insurtech sector.

The statement continued: “While 80% of start-ups fail within their first two to five years, over 95% of start-ups on Tech Nation’s accelerator programs have gone on to scale.

”More than a third of all tech unicorns and decacorns created in the UK have graduated from a Tech Nation program, collectively raising over £28bn so far in venture capital and capital markets.”

A decacorn is a private firm valued at more than $10bn (£8.11bn).

“Thank you to the thousands of tech founders who have been part of or who have supported our cohorts, to our sponsors for backing us and to the tech and scaleup ecosystem partners, regional players and industry bodies who we have worked alongside to fuel UK tech’s strength and resilience,” the statement concluded.

Some of Tech Nation’s alumni include Monzo Bank, Revolut, Depop and insurtech Marshmallow.