Tech Nation is exploring bids to buy up its remaining assets amid reports that it is in a dispute with successor Barclays Eagle Labs over the number of staff it will take on from the startup growth network ahead of its closure in March.
The UK startup support network, founded under David Cameron’s premiership to boost the country’s tech industry standing, is in talks with more than 30 organisations interested in buying up its available intellectual property, according to the Financial Times.
Among those organisations is reportedly Founders Forum, an entrepreneur group founded by Brent Hoberman, known for creating lastminute.com and Made.com.
Interested parties have until Tuesday 14 February to make bids on assets held by Tech Nation.
Tech Nation announced in January that it would shut down operations after it lost out on £12m of government funding in an open tender process that was won by Barclay’s Eagle Labs, a startup accelerator run by the banking giant.
Sky News has reported that Barclays is fighting against TUPE regulations, which could see around 50 Tech Nation staff being taken on by the bank.
TUPE regulation is designed to protect employees after takeovers. Barclays is reportedly arguing against the suggestion that it is responsible for onboarding Tech Nation staff, having sought legal advice.
A spokesperson for Barclays told Sky: “Discussions with Tech Nation are still ongoing, so it would not be appropriate for us to comment in detail at this time.
“However, we are keen to work with Tech Nation to explore any suitable opportunities for their employees within the Barclays family.”
A spokesperson for Barclays Eagle Labs referred UKTN to the above statement.
UKTN has reached out to Tech Nation and Founders Forum.