Tech Nation, a non-profit organisation that has been providing support to the UK’s tech industry for the past 10 years, is shutting down due to a lack of funding. The organisation was previously backed by the UK government, but the funding has now been directed towards another program run by Barclays Bank.
The shutdown of Tech Nation is set to take place on March 31, 2023, while it searches for new funding channels. In the meantime, the organisation is open to anyone interested in acquiring its assets.
The organisation’s most popular initiative, the Tech Nation Visa is also affected by this development. Tech Nation Visa enables tech talent worldwide to work in the UK with their families. Although the official statement revealed that the visa program would continue in the immediate term, the continuation might be contingent upon a prompt acquisition. Unfortunately, the possibility of Barclays Bank absorbing the Visa initiative looks bleak since there might be a conflict of interest with it supporting fintech startups.
This development will affect talent in core and adjacent tech roles aspiring for flexible work options in the UK’s tech space. Currently, 94 countries are represented on the Tech Nation Visa Alumni, including African countries like Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt. In fact, Nigeria is one of the countries that have contributed largely to the number of alumni, alongside India and Russia.
According to Tom Adeyoola, Co-Founder of Capital Angel Network and Metail, the Tech Nation has given Black and multiracial founders a fair chance to compete.
Despite being yet to be self-sufficient, the Tech Nation claims that it has been delivering a sufficient return on investment, particularly in terms of the UK economy. According to a statement released by the company, more than a third of all tech unicorns and decacorns created in the UK have graduated from a Tech Nation program, collectively raising over £28 billion in venture capital and capital markets. These companies are also said to be responsible for creating over 90% of all UK tech jobs.
The shutdown of Tech Nation puts the UK in a negative light when it comes to encouraging innovation, especially after the government recently cut back on the R&D tax credit scheme for startups. The shutdown of Tech Nation will likely have a significant impact on the UK’s tech industry and its ability to attract talent from abroad.
Tech Nation offers a range of services, including growth programs, a digital academy, networking conferences, international expansion programs, sandboxes, panels, and in-depth sector research, analysis, and reports.