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Tech Nation reveals final winners of Rising Stars startup competition

Tech Nation final competition Image credit: VidiVet

Tech Nation has revealed the winners of its final Rising Stars startup competition ahead of its impending closure after more than a decade of operations.

Rising Stars winners will receive a support package that includes the chance to “showcase ” their businesses to the UK tech investors and accelerators.

Winners of the Rising Stars competition include Cambridge IoT startup Purrmetrix, Welsh HR tech startup Stratigens and Northern Ireland clean tech startup BioLedger.

Tech Nation will stop operations on 31 March after losing out on a bid for £12m in government funding to Barclays Eagle Labs.

However, Tech Nation is currently in talks with Founders Forum Group over a possible acquisition of the Tech Nation brand.

Tech Nation, which was set up by then-Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011 to champion the country’s tech startups and scaleups, has been holding a series of wind-down events ahead of its closure.

It announced the Rising Stars winners on Tuesday evening in London. Last week, it held an event in Manchester to launch its final report, which found UK tech could quadruple in value to $4tn under the right conditions.

Meanwhile, Tech Nation said it will continue to accept applications for the Global Talent Visa “for the foreseeable future” and until the Home Office appoints a new endorsing body.

Ben Sweeney, founder of VidiVet, one of the Rising Stars winners, said: “Winston Churchill famously said ‘Never have so many owed so much to so few’. To me, the few in the tech sector are Tech Nation.

“You cannot go anywhere in the UK without speaking to anyone who hasn’t directly or indirectly been impacted by one of the amazing companies Tech Nation has helped, and for VidiVet to be counted amongst them is mind-blowing.”

Other winners of the final Tech Nation competition were digiLab, VidiVet, Trumpet, Augnet, IncluTech, OneShot AI and JUST: Access.

Seven of the growth network’s winners are based outside the South East, while female founders make up half of the competition’s winners.

“More than a third of all tech unicorns and decacorns created in the UK have graduated from a Tech Nation programme, and it is brilliant that we are a part of this supportive ecosystem,” said Alison Ettridge, from Stratigens.