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Startup Weekly: Travis Perkins’ cohort, Global Tech Advocates launches in Shanghai and more

Startup weekly

Welcome to Startup Weekly, our new roundup of the week’s top tech news for startups in the UK.

Every week, we will bring you the latest from the country’s startup accelerators, incubators, competitions and awards.

UK startups join Travis Perkins’ accelerator

Two UK tech startups have joined Travis Perkins’ accelerator programme, run in association with innovation partner L Marks.

The finalists will spend 11 weeks working with the company, developing their ideas, gaining access to Travis Perkins’ resources and mentors.

At the end of the programme, each startup will be given the opportunity to strike a commercial agreement and potentially receive investment.

The startups are:

Edinburgh-founded SpecifiedBy, which provides an online marketplace for construction products and materials.

CarTap, founded in London, is on a mission to make last mile delivery more convenient and less polluting – by delivering goods and services direct to vehicles.

Cheryl Millington, chief digital officer of Travis Perkins plc, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with L Marks on our BreakThru startup programme. After a global search we have chosen three exciting startup finalists which we believe have the potential to significantly improve the lives of our customers and colleagues. Each startup now has 11 weeks of access to industry specialist mentoring and expertise, guidance on how to develop their solutions and pilot opportunities.”

Global Tech Advocates launches in Shanghai

Global Tech Advocates (GTA), the international private sector network connecting emerging tech hubs around the world, has launched Tech Shanghai Advocates.

Tech Shanghai Advocates will seek to build on the strong connections between tech entrepreneurs and investors in the UK and China.

The network – credited with being the first of its kind in China – will encourage a spirit of volunteerism to support the growth of tech startups and scaleups in Shanghai and across the country.

Russ Shaw, the founder of Global Tech Advocates, said:

“China is set to overtake Silicon Valley and become the world’s leading tech superpower in the next five years. But in order for the ecosystem to make the most of its investment, talent and market size, it will require support networks for the entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale-ups driving growth.

“Whether it’s London, Stockholm or Shanghai, we are all experiencing challenges accessing talent and innovation, as well as entering new markets. By sharing ideas, knowledge and passion, we can create a sense of community in the tech sector that goes beyond geographical borders.”

Makers Academy announces programme

Coding school Makers Academy has announced the launch of its new fellowship programme, which will be awarded to four students enrolled in their 12 week – software engineering course in 2018.

The school is launching the programme in a bid to remove the financial barriers to entering the UK’s digital industry.

Makers Fellows will learn to code for free and be guaranteed a job as a junior software developer at the end of term.

“Maker’s Academy is on a mission to find tomorrow’s tech talent and we are casting a wide net in our search for the best candidates – and opening this competition to anyone who is interested in a career in tech,” said Evgeny Shadchnev, CEO of Makers Academy. “We believe that talent is everywhere, but opportunity isn’t, so we are aiming to level the playing field by sponsoring four students from different backgrounds to do the course. This initiative will not only help to close the fundamental digital skills divide that still plagues this country, but the diversity gap as well.”

Applications are open from October 23rd to November 1st 2017 and can be accessed on

That’s all for today … See you next Friday!