SuperTech, the UK’s only professional and business services technology partnership, has secured £480,000 from the Government’s £220 million UK Community Renewal Fund.
The scheme was awarded last November by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove.
The successful bid, which was led by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), will see SuperTech launch 20 new businesses in the next six – 12 months using new no-code technology, at no cost to founders.
The new pre-accelerator programme will launch on 8 February. The opportunity is open to current and aspiring entrepreneurs within the West Midlands Combined Authority area, with a particular focus on those from in and around Birmingham, Dudley and Walsall.
In June 2021 the West Midlands became the first region globally to invest in no-code, which has dramatically reduced the costs of creating new technology solutions, developing five new businesses, as part of a jointly funded programme with GBSLEP and delivery partner Million Labs.
Successful applicants to SuperTech Seeds included Birmingham-based Nick Winder who aims to solve the recruitment crisis in logistics; fintech product manager Julia Druck from Warwick who is creating a new way to manage and repay the UK’s £54 billion credit card debt and sisters Sharon Byatt and Mandy Colledge from Halesowen, who lost their jobs during the pandemic and are revolutionising the way businesses recruit IT professionals.
Aspiring and current business owners and entrepreneurs can apply to take part from 8 February using the application form.
With 20 places available, applicants are being advised to get involved sooner rather than later to avoid missing out.
Hilary-Smyth-Allen, SuperTech executive lead and lead for Business Professional & Financial Services (BPFS) in the West Midlands, said: “Too many good ideas don’t progress because the costs, risks and speed to market of traditional technology builds make the barriers too high. Harnessing the power of no-code development, Minimum Viable Products, which are needed to prove concepts and raise finance are now within reach for more people than ever before.
“We’re keen to hear from founders with an idea, ideally related to the professional and business services sector, whether FinTech, ProfTech, PropTech, LegalTech, or any other business facing sector that would like to receive fully funded tech builds to enable them to launch. With only 20 places available, however, we’d encourage applicants to get in touch sooner rather than later.”
Jof Walters, founder of technology partner Million Labs, said: “No-code and low-code have been hugely democratising, opening up new product and service development to more people than ever before, no matter their economic background or connections.
“Of the hundreds of founders we’ve supported to date, we can see the impact of widening participation be that by age, race or gender.
“Through the SuperTech Seeds pre-accelerator and thanks to the foresight of SuperTech & GBSLEP we’re now able to give the West Midlands’ best and brightest new product and service ideas the opportunity to see the light of day at no cost to their founders.”
Nick Winder, Group Managing Director of Win Logistics – one of the original SuperTech Seeds winners, said: “SuperTech has been pivotal in supporting and nurturing our app, TalentX’s, development.
“From concept to delivery, I’ve found the process easy to navigate with expert advice and support at all junctions. As a ‘non tech’ individual, it can be really daunting to understand how to take a good idea and turn it into a technology platform. However, with the support and guidance from SuperTech and partners, we have been able to work at pace, with outstanding results.
I really enjoy working with the SuperTech team. They’ve really delivered for us and I’d encourage other aspiring and current business owners to get in touch and turn their innovative idea into a reality.
The SuperTech Seeds pre-accelerator is open to any UK national or British passport holder aged 16 and above within the West Midlands region. To find out more and get involved visit: www.supertechwm.com/seeds