Eight months into 2021, UK startups have raised a record €17.2bn from funding - more than the €14bn raised in the whole of 2020. This is an incredible feat - but one that is not always as simple as it appears. The second biggest reason why startups fail is because of a lack of fund/s/ing. The first is because a startup’s product or service is not wanted or needed enough. The question remains then: how do you fund a tech startup?
Tech startups are often funded by bootstrapping (where family and friends invest in the business), angel investors (where high-net-worth individuals invest in early stage companies) or series funding (venture capital firms which invest millions into companies). That being said, these aren’t the only options for entrepreneurs.
What is a Business Incubator?
A business incubator provides start-ups and early-stage businesses with the support and resources required to grow and succeed. Wales-based Tramshed Tech is a startup ecosystem - an incubator “formed by people, startups in their various stages and various types of organizations in a location, interacting as a system to create and support new companies.” A business incubator is often based in one location (physical or virtual) but this does not mean just one space or one kind of space - Tramshed Tech is based in Grangetown, Cardiff at their coworking space for example, but is soon to expand to other sites across South Wales, including Central Cardiff, Newport and Swansea.
At present, Tramshed Tech is home to 50+ companies ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to scaling businesses with 600+ registered members from the digital, creative and tech communities.
One of the programmes that Tramshed runs to help fund your tech startup is the Tramshed Tech Startup Academy that can see your business receiving a large investment from Google - more on that below.
What is a Business Accelerator?
A business accelerator supports startup and early-stage businesses through investment and short-term mentoring. The businesses that are eligible for an accelerator programme are often beyond the earliest stages of getting established, but still require funds and/or support.
For Tramshed Tech, this is where our partners come in. We partner with a wide-range of different companies, including Barclays Eagle Labs, Geovation, Fintech Wales, Tech Spark, Global Welsh, Tech Wales Advocates, Guinness Enterprise Centre to deliver accelerator programmes - but this list is by no means exhaustive!
A great example of an active accelerator is the Govation Accelerator Programme, designed to fund you, help you build your product, and provide you with 12 months dedicated space - as well as providing you with a wide range of other support services to aid your success. And there have been some amazing success stories as a result! Learn more about all of the Govation accelerator programme alumni who are making waves in the world on their website.
Applications for the Geovation Accelerator Programme close on the 30th August, 2021. We have also just hosted the first FinTech Wales Foundry’s in-person event to drive investment for startups. The event invited FinTech Wales Foundry start-ups – selected from over 150 applicants from 28 countries - to pitch to a select crowd of angel investors and venture capitalists.
What is The Tramshed Tech Startup Academy?
The Tramshed Tech Startup Academy is in its third year of execution, with the September 2021 iteration the largest yet. The academy will be delivered over 12-weeks, with the aim of supporting early stage startups through early product development and customer acquisition. It concludes with an investor event, where each company will have the opportunity to pitch to investors. The most innovative startup will be awarded £10,000 in equity-free cash directly from 'Google for Startups' during the pitch event.*
Jess Phillips, Enterprise Innovation Manager and Academy Founder at Tramshed Tech, wrote for Business News Wales that the Startup Academy is “an opportunity for like minded entrepreneurs to come together and grow. [It] is designed to support and nurture startups through the key challenges and growing pains faced at the outset of your entrepreneurship journey.”
The itinerary for the Tramshed Tech Startup Academy is as follows,
Week 1: Introduction Session and Business Planning
Week 2: Idea Generation and Product Development
Week 3: Storytelling for Startups
Week 4: Marketing and Sales Channels
Week 5: Digital Business Models
Week 6: Finance to start your business
Week 7: Finance to grow your business
Week 8: Protecting your business (IP, Data Protection and Cyber Security)
Week 9 (AM): Setting up as an international business
Week 9 (PM): How to build a successful leadership team
Week 10: High Productivity Business Operations
Week 11: Investing Pitching Panel
Week 12: Feedback and Outcomes Session
The best part is that the Startup Academy will be delivered virtually so, regardless of where you’re reading this from, you can get involved - with startups from all around the world also taking part. The start date for the Tramshed Tech Startup Academy is the 27th September 2021 and you can register your interest here.
*To qualify for this prize, startups would have to take part in and complete 70% of the programme as measured by the Academy platform.