Tech Nation in talks with Brent Hoberman’s Founders Forum as wind-down date looms
Start-up quango Tech Nation said it is in talks to sell its brand to Brent Hoberman’s Founders Forum today as it prepares to wind down at the end of this month.
The start-up network, which was launched in 2011 under David Cameron’s coalition government, announced in January that it would shut its doors after ministers controversially pulled its funding and handed it to high street lender Barclays.
Tech Nation has been courting potential buyers of its brand since then and said today it had now entered formal talks with Founders Forum, a start-up group set up by Lastminute.com founder and serial entrepreneur Brent Hoberman.
A deal would see Hoberman’s start-up group take on the brand of Tech Nation but City A.M. understands that there will be no transfer of staff as part of the current deal terms. The two sides are understood to be confident of striking a deal on the brand.
“We are very excited to be in discussions with Founders Forum Group, which we think is well placed to build on the legacy that Tech Nation has created over the last 10 years, given their ethos and approach to supporting entrepreneurs at every stage,” said Tech Nation chief Gerard Grech.
Tech Nation declined to say how much it was looking to sell its brand for. A spokesperson for the firm added that Founders Forum are planning on “building on the Tech Nation brand”.
A deal will bring to an end a controversial episode which has drawn the ire of many tech figures. Programmes run by Tech Nation have been a starting point for around a third of so-called tech unicorns created in the UK – firms worth more than $1bn.
Founder Forum’s Hoberman said Tech Nation had played an “instrumental role accelerating startup growth”.
“We’re keen to continue this legacy and help more UK founders scale more groundbreaking ideas, keeping the UK at the centre of tech innovation,” Hoberman added.