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Digital Startup Activator launched at “pivotal time” for sector

Manchester Digital has launched a new support programme for early-stage startups and founders across Greater Manchester.

Startup Activator has been set up by the trade body at the same time as it published its Startup Review, focussing on the state of play for the region’s startups.

“This is a pivotal time for startups and founders in this post-pandemic uncertain economy,” explained Katie Gallagher, Managing Director of Manchester Digital.

“During the Covid pandemic we saw the end of lots of networking and meetups for the startup and tech sector. Not all of these have come back so we could see a gap in the market to create a startup community, with a full programme of independent advice from experts in the field as well as networking events.

“Greater Manchester is a thriving region for the tech industry, but our report found that startups need more joined-up support from the sector, as well as a sense of community.”

The Startup Review report found that Greater Manchester tech businesses raised £680m of investment in 2022 (Beauhurst). That compared to London with £17.7bn and Cambridge with £910m. Edinburgh had £511m, Bristol £496m, Leeds £323m and Liverpool £99.2m.

The review recommended that the region needed: 

  • a stronger sense of community; 
  • a “neutral place” for founders to get advice; 
  • a clearer oversight of the current landscape;
  • more transparency from university spinout set up;
  • more diversity and inclusion within startups
  • better connections between startup up stages
  • to build on monthly successes to encourage more success;
  • and to build better connections with European tech hubs.

The Startup Activator programme will bring together expertise from experienced founders, informative sessions, networking events, as well as the chance to work as a community to influence upcoming governmental policy. 

It will also showcase the support that’s available to start ups and the regional incubators and accelerators.

The Startup Activator is sponsored by Kao Data.

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