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The UK is looking for the next generation of inspiring tech companies

The UK is looking for the next generation of inspiring tech companies

By 2023, the UK's technology ecosystem will be the third largest in the world to reach a total valuation of $1 trillion, behind the US and China.

When we look at the number of British companies that exceed a billion dollar value, we see that the United Kingdom outnumbers all other European countries. This dynamism of British tech unicorns is one indicator among others of its unique status. Over the past few decades, the country has become a science and technology powerhouse with one of the world's most impressive startup ecosystems, and has managed to attract top entrepreneurial talent from all over. Proof: Among the fastest-growing tech companies in the country, approx Two out of five There should be at least one foreign founder. Likewise, A leg Business founders among international talent visa recipients.

The Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards (UKPA) It is the latest initiative by the UK government to identify the most promising technology companies abroad. Its aim is to support French companies wishing to establish themselves in the United Kingdom so that they benefit from support, investments and a network of innovators.

Here's everything you need to know about the unicorn kingdom of international tech companies: Pathfinder Awards or UKPA.

What are UKPAs?

UKPAs offer scale-ups an enviable opportunity to access a broad funding ecosystem and a rich technology landscape with quality talent.

To apply and qualify for the UKPA, businesses must meet the following criteria:
1. Be an established technology company operating in one of these four areas: Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) or e-commerce solutions.
2. Developing products or services that can be used internationally
3. Not yet in the United Kingdom, but planning to move there in the next couple of years

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The British Department of Business and Trade (DBT) offers winners access to a program designed in the United Kingdom that aims to give them access to a myriad of resources and contacts to help them establish themselves in the country. This includes direct support from the DBT Global Entrepreneurship Program (a type of accelerator managed by the British Government), through interactions with experts from the public and private sectors and invitations to exclusive events.

For ambitious tech companies, there's no better place than the UK's vibrant and growing $1 trillion tech ecosystem”British Trade Commissioner for Europe Chris Barton explains.

“UKPAs offer a direct route designed for financial institutions, incubators or tech-savvy clients, and provide them with the infrastructure they need to take their next big step: from scale-up, to becoming one of the 140 Unicorns in the UK. »

What the UK can offer disruptive science companies

In recent years, the UK has stepped up its efforts in a number of areas at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation, with the aim of becoming an international leader in a number of specific sectors.

The UKPA therefore defines the four main categories mentioned above in which scale-ups should operate.

Artificial intelligence is one of the fields in which Britain has quickly established itself as a leader. It is estimated that 1.3 million UK businesses will use some form of AI by 2040, with spending on AI development reaching £200 billion a year. Last year, the UK hosted the AI ​​Security Summit at Bletchley Park, a forty-minute train ride north of London. This is the first global summit to bring together policy makers, technology leaders and scientists to explore the opportunities and risks associated with these new technologies. The summit highlights the strong network the UK already relies on, from software company Stability AI (behind Stable Spread) to semiconductor manufacturer GraphCore.

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Cybersecurity is the second area where the UK leads in terms of innovation. The country already has nearly 300 international cyber security companies, not to mention British leaders like Darktrace or Sophos. This development was enabled by the Cyber ​​Security Strategy Plan launched by the UK Government in 2022, which outlined opportunities for public and private innovation in the sector.

As part of the transition to net zero emissions, the British government wants to invest in projects to help modernize its infrastructure, particularly in technologies linked to connected and automated driving. The issues surrounding the emergence of intelligent and sustainable mobility occupy the mind, and there is an obvious interest in supporting companies that take innovation in this direction.

Finally, when it comes to e-commerce solutions, the UK has always played an important role in global trade – one of the advantages of its insularity, which has historically pushed it to form long-lasting business partnerships. The UK is interested in the future of trade, including digital customs, digital identities, electronic trade documents and digital invoicing.

If you think you fall into the same category as these companies and are eligible for the UKPA, you can apply before 30 April Here.