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Tech Nation relaunches Future Fifty programme

Tech Nation’s Future Fifty accelerator programme has relaunched under the ownership of Founders Forum and unveiled the 25 companies in the cohort.

The accelerator, designed to support late-stage companies, was first launched in 2014. Its alumni include Monzo, Revolut, Starling Bank, Skyscanner and Deliveroo. Tech Nation said a third of UK unicorns – startups valued at $1bn or more – have come through the programme since its launch.

The 2024 edition of the four-month programme features 25 companies across 17 different verticals. This year marks the first inclusion of a quantum computing startup and a biotech startup.

The future of the programme was put into doubt after the winding down of Tech Nation last year after its government funding was reallocated to Barclays Eagle Labs.

Now owned and relaunched by Founders Forum, Tech Nation has announced the 2024 cohort for Future Fifty, shared exclusively with UKTN.

Participants include quantum startup Riverlane, generative AI firm Metaphysic and edtech platform Zen Educate.

Other selected companies include Cardiff-based aerospace manufacturing firm Space Forge and Cambridge-based life sciences company Nuclera.

“The UK is home to some of the world’s most promising tech businesses, many of which are poised to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges,” said Founders Forum CEO Carolyn Dawson.

“Tech Nation recognises this and is delighted to welcome these 25 exceptional ventures on board our programme to help foster their continued growth and global expansion.”

Tech Nation relaunched the programme on Tuesday morning at a tech department event in 10 Downing Street.

“Accelerators like the Future Fifty programme are key to helping us achieve our ambition for the UK to house half of Europe’s unicorns by 2030,” said Michelle Donelan, the secretary of state for science and technology.

“By backing our scaleups we’re helping businesses to thrive, creating high-skilled, high-paid jobs, and driving economic growth across the country.”

Future Fifty graduate and Zilch co-founder Philip Belamant said: “Together, we must ensure our generation of high-growth businesses can confidently scale up in the UK and attract the right investors.

“Dedicated ecosystem initiatives like Tech Nation’s Future Fifty and the Unicorn Council for UK Fintech are essential to driving the growth of the UK’s future economy, encouraging businesses like Zilch to accelerate, scale, and become world-leading.”