Search for

Tech Nation – Three national growth programmes announced

Starting and growing a tech business is a hard job, but one that many entrepreneurs keenly attempt every year. To help businesses at every stage, Tech Nation has announced the callouts for three of its most successful programmes – Rising Stars, Upscale, and Future Fifty.  

If your business has just raised seed funding through to Series B, there’s a programme for you. 

Rising Stars 2.0

The first programme is Rising Stars. This is a pitch competition created for early-stage companies to raise the profile of their innovative products and services. Each region of the UK has three semi finalists who are invited to Manchester to pitch to a high profile panel of judges, and the final in London gives the companies a chance to do a final pitch in front of an audience of industry peers, investors and press.

Previous winners from Leeds include Vet-AI Leeds,  the vet tech startup based at Nexus, who recently launched their Joii app. Applications close on 3 November.


  • Seed to pre-Series A funding stage
  • OR If revenue focused, generating annual revenues below £1m
  • A digital tech business with a product or service to sell (no agencies or consultancies; sorry)
  • At least one active client or pilot
  • Able to demonstrate market traction
  • Company incorporated between 1-3 years
  • UK HQ

Another Leeds based semi-finalist is Carbon Performance. Revannth N Murugesan, CEO, said: “Tech Nation has been nothing short of a blessing, especially at a time when Carbon Performance was looking to expand its footprint, acquire strategic network and raise investments. We are very fortunate to have been on Tech Nation Rising Stars programme alongside some of the most disruptive start-ups in the UK and are proud to be one of the finalists as well.”

Apply now

Upscale 5.0

Now entering its 5th year, the programme for scaling tech companies is Upscale. This is for businesses at the point of inflection – those about to really take their company to the next level. The aim is to help the UK’s most promising tech companies to accelerate their growth and unlock some of the key scaling challenges, including culture and employing the right team. 

One of the key elements of Upscale is the peer-to-peer element. You’ll be working with  scale coaches who have been through it all, as well as alongside businesses who are facing the same challenges as you. Previous Upscale cohorts have included Monzo and Bloom & Wild. Applications close on 24 October.


  • VC-backed, having raised Series A round
  • OR if revenue focused, generating annual revenues between £1m – £5m
  • Achieving 20% month-on-month growth
  • UK HQ

Apply now

Programme partners for Upscale include CBRE, Cooley, RSM, Silicon Valley Bank and Talent Works International. Their expertise and access to their networks are an added benefit to be gained from the programme.

Future Fifty 8.0

Last but certainly not least is the late-stage programme, Future Fifty. Here you have the same peer-to-peer element which works so well across our suite of programmes. Tech Nation brings together the country’s most successful tech companies, building a network which offers advice and support for the businesses at the top of their games.

The Future Fifty alumni includes some of the most recognised tech companies, like Skyscanner and Deliveroo. Sheffield’s The Floow is also a Future Fifty Alumni.

Applications close on 5 November.


  • Series B+ funding stage
  • OR If revenue focused, generating annual revenues over £5m
  • Achieving 50% month-on-month growth
  • HQ’d in UK

Apply now

If you’d like to apply for any of our programmes, or if you’d like more information, I am happy to sit down and go through the whys and wherefores with you. You can get in touch via the page on the Tech Nation website.

Generously supported by

In partnership with