Regional Tech Start-ups Thrive on Barclays Eagle Labs Accelerator Scheme

Barclays Eagle Labs’ accelerator scheme is catalysing a tech revolution beyond London’s borders, with a surge in support for start-ups led by women or ethnic minority entrepreneurs under its revamped £12 million government-backed initiative.

In its inaugural year, the programme showcased impressive statistics: 74% of the 1,681 tech start-ups enrolled hailed from regions outside the capital, while approximately 65% were founded by women or ethnic minority entrepreneurs. This marked a notable departure from previous initiatives, underscoring the programme’s commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity in the tech sector.

Director of Barclays Eagle Labs, Amanda Allan, highlighted the program’s emphasis on regional engagement as a key differentiator. She stated, “One of the differences between what we are doing and what Tech Nation did previously is this activity outside of London. We know that national programmes can’t touch all the communities that need help, so we have set up our ecosystem partnership programme [to do that].”

The programme’s impact extends beyond mere numbers, with tangible support reaching 600 companies through 18 diverse programmes, ranging from investment readiness to cutting-edge focuses such as climate tech and AI. Local delivery partners, including esteemed names like Tramshed Tech in Cardiff and Bayspace St Ives, have played a pivotal role in amplifying the program’s reach.

Barclays’ commitment to nurturing talent is evident in its expanded mentorship pool, now boasting 1,500 experienced advisors, including those from prestigious institutions like Cambridge Judge Business School. Additionally, the program’s budgetary flexibility has allowed for unexpected expansions, such as the addition of a 13th company growth programme and increased funding for local schemes.

However, challenges remain, notably in the delayed launch of the online academy. Despite initial setbacks, Allan remains optimistic about the program’s trajectory, emphasising its pivotal role in fostering economic growth and technological innovation.

Barclays Eagle Labs’ commitment to the tech ecosystem is unwavering, evidenced by its thriving network of 37 locations nationwide, offering not just hotdesking facilities but also comprehensive support, training, and networking opportunities. Since its inception in 2015, the programme has been instrumental in supporting 13,000 businesses, collectively raising an impressive £3.7 billion in funding, underscoring its vital role in driving the UK’s tech evolution.

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