Startup competition launches to find next West Midlands tech stars

Date posted: June 21, 2021
A view of birmingham city at twilight

A new competition aimed at finding the tech stars of the future in the West Midlands has been launched.

Funding worth £1.2 million is available to support software development at six start-up companies with the aim of turning ideas into commercial reality.

The scheme will see six business ideas taken from conception through to development and launch.

Called ‘SuperTech Seeds’, it is open to both individuals aged 16 or above and companies.

It is being run by business group SuperTech which was launched earlier this year to bring together professional services firms with digital companies across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands to see how technology can be integrated into everyday business activities.

Investment in the Seeds programme is being provided by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Birmingham-based technology partner Million Labs which is match funding three of the six spaces on the programme.

David Hardman, a board director with the local enterprise partnership, said:

For any new business developing technology comes at a cost and a risk, both of which are known barriers to success.

It usually takes time to grow and test the quality of business ideas but thanks to new innovations such as no-code and low-code, work can now progress at speed.

One of the consequences of lockdown has been the increase in technology adoption, with relatively unknown companies like Zoom becoming household names.

Former AECOM director and SuperTech executive lead, Hilary-Smyth- Allen added:

Global research firm Gartner has already predicted that low-code technologies will be worth $13.8 billion by the end of 2021, a 22.6% on its $11.2 billion valuation in 2020.

As the UK’s largest tech and digital cluster outside of London, as well as the leading regional location for start-ups, the West Midlands is well-placed to become the UK’s new centre of no-code and low-code development.

Testament to the potential of the region’s entreprenurial landscape are companies like Gymshark, a Solihull-based ecommerce platform and gym clothing brand that achieved unicorn status in 2020, after raising more than £200 million in growth equity funding, taking its value above $1 billion. Through this latest initiative we’re hoping to encourage a lot more.

Ideas submitted to SuperTech Seeds by 19 July will be assessed by a panel of experts with successful applicants being notified no later than the end of July.

To learn more visit the SuperTech Seeds Competition website.

For the latest on our region, subscribe to Midlands Matters, the official newsletter of the Midlands Engine.


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