Worcestershire’s first tech accelerator, BetaDen, is celebrating after being named Best Tech Accelerator in the country at the UK Business Tech Awards.
The team, which is based at Malvern Hills Science Park and a creation of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), has supported six cohorts of technology entrepreneurs since its inception in 2018, received the award at a glamorous ceremony in London last night.
Kate Snell, programme manager at BetaDen, said: “This is fantastic news and invaluable, national recognition of the high-quality work that is going on here in Worcestershire to support the next generation of technology entrepreneurs.
“To date, BetaDen has supported 42 early-stage businesses to develop a wide range of technologies, from cyber security and blockchain-driven innovations to autonomous vehicles and industrial internet of things software, and workplace wellbeing apps.
“This diversity is one of the key strengths of the programme, with founders repeatedly highlighting the support and camaraderie provided by other cohort founders and the wider BetaDen network of alumni, mentors, and businesses, as one of its biggest benefits.
“With alumni not only delivering world first innovations but creating jobs in the region and securing contracts with the likes of HS2, United Utilities, Royal Mail and NHS, this award recognises the role BetaDen is playing building on the county’s technology and innovation heritage and demonstrating that great ideas can be developed anywhere in the country.”
The award judges described BetaDen as “a clearly impressive project” and praised it for “producing notable successes and developing a compelling support package, including free access to a shared workspace.”
BetaDen recently recruited its sixth cohort of businesses, including early stage companies developing technologies ranging from aerial intelligence, meters for hydrogen and future energy sources, anti-money-laundering compliance software and Environmental Social and Governance management for SMEs, to mental health and wellbeing platforms for young adults and schools and a site signposting people to local events, activities and social content in real time.
Cohort members receive a free, six-month programme of support worth £50,000 to accelerate their path to commercial success, including a £10,000 proof of concept grant, £2,000 marketing fund, access to Worcestershire’s 5G testbed, free office space in Malvern Hills Science Park and mentoring from a hand-picked team of commercial and technology experts.