• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub


Chantelle Young, Rising Stars Programme Lead at Tech Nation

Tech Nation’s Rising Stars competition is back and bigger than ever for 2024. Aimed at early-stage tech start-ups, it offers UK innovators the opportunity to showcase their business ideas on stage at London Tech Week, pitching to over 45,000 participants and 1,000 investors.

In addition to national exposure, the competition offers £170k of prizes including £80k for brand development and a go-to-market campaign from Founders Makers plus a £30k out-of-home advertising package from JCDecaux.

With six heats spanning Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, North England, the Midlands, and South England, the door is wide open for aspiring tech innovators.

Applications are now open and will be accepted until Monday, 25th March.

The competition’s northern heat reaches from the Scottish Borders down to Manchester, with the regional judging event taking place at The Common Room, Newcastle, on Wednesday, 17th April.

Two businesses will then be selected to travel to the national final at London Tech Week, where they will present on the founder’s stage to a panel including guest judge BBC Dragon’s Den star, Tej Lalvani (CEO of Vitabiotics).

Tech Nation is encouraging eligible businesses to submit their virtual pitch and written submission online via the website and on Instagram tagging @technationhq and using #WeAreTNRisingStars

Chantelle Young, Rising Stars Programme Lead at Tech Nation, explained: “Rising Stars is one of our flagship programmes and aims to provide a valuable platform from which tech startups can showcase their innovations locally, regionally and nationally.

“This year’s competition is bigger and better than ever, with finalists receiving a share of prizes specially selected to increase their exposure and raise their business profile. This really is a life-changing opportunity.

“The northern heat spans a huge geographical area from Berwick to Liverpool. We hope to receive lots of quality entries from startup businesses, enabling them to represent their region at a national level.

“The event in Newcastle involves more than judging northern entries; it also provides an excellent opportunity for businesses from across the region’s tech sector to get together and celebrate.”

Previous northern finalists of the nation’s only tech scaleup competition include Zoa, a rental-as-a-service platform model created by fashion rental company, Hirestreet, Settld, a SaaS product that simplifies end-of-life admin for bereaved individuals and professionals, and onHand, a location-based app for corporate volunteering and climate impact.

Business support organisation, Sunderland Software City is the host of the competition’s northern heats. CEO, David Dunn, said: “The return of the Rising Stars competition is truly fantastic news. The exposure this competition offers remains unparalleled, and I urge all eligible businesses to seize this opportunity.”

To be eligible for entry, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Headquartered in the UK
  • A digital tech business with a product or service to sell
  • At Seed to pre-Series A funding stage. If the company is bootstrapped, maximum annual revenues are below £1.5 million
  • Able to demonstrate market traction
  • At least one active client or pilot
  • Ambition to scale
  • Able to commit to Rising Stars dates

Free tickets for the northern heat can now be secured on Eventbrite.

To find out more about Tech Nation’s Rising Stars competition, visit: https://technation.io/programmes/rising-stars/