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Regional tech report: West Midlands

May 2023

Regional tech report:
West Midlands

part of the West Midlands Tech Review 2023

Sponsored by

Produced in partnership with City Road Communications

May 2023

Regional tech report:
West Midlands

part of the West Midlands Tech Review 2023

Sponsored by

Produced in partnership with City Road Communications

Martin Ward

West Midlands Tech Commissioner

FOREWORD

The West Midlands tech sector is thriving, reflecting the powerful entrepreneurial spirit in the region. Our tech ecosystem is worth over £15bn to the economy, demand for tech jobs has surged by over one-third in the last year and new tech ventures are being minted at a blistering pace.


The last few months alone have seen a host of positive developments that reflect our growing confidence as a tech powerhouse: examples include the £250m Mindforge fund for early-stage IP-rich ventures, the £50m West Midlands Co-invest fund that brings together public and private money to boost high-potential ventures, and the £33m Innovation Accelerator program to help the region become a global centre for research and development.


Add to this the continued success of local ventures to attract significant funding, the numerous awards that have been won and the host of innovative and creative businesses coming into the region, and we have unstoppable momentum.

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Introduction from our sponsors

Invoice financing
BGF
BGF

The West Midlands is home to an array of impressive technology businesses that are driving innovation and positioning the region as one of the fastest-growing tech and digital economies outside of London. At BGF we have invested over £600m in the region since we launched in 2011 and a significant portion of this capital has gone to supporting technology businesses.

Our team is always on the lookout to partner with ambitious businesses, providing them with the strategic support and capital to compete on a global stage. BGF is now one of the largest and most experienced investors on a national scale. However, we're also hyper-local with a network of 15 regional offices, including our West Midlands team office in Birmingham. This approach provides local businesses with access to a powerful BGF ecosystem, supporting national and international expansion through our relationships, collaborative culture and proven experience.

We're committed to driving growth and value creation in our portfolio and we look forward to backing many more exciting tech companies now and in the future.

Aaron Baker
Investor, BGF Midlands

BGF
Gowling WLG

Many businesses are facing challenging operational and funding conditions that can inhibit growth. We believe that in the West Midlands, collaboration and building a culture of togetherness and providing an infrastructure that supports entrepreneurship is vital. As a firm, we have been committed to supporting dynamic, fast-growing businesses in the West Midlands for nearly 190 years - helping our clients to navigate choppy waters and ensure their continued success.

The West Midlands has an impressive track record of leading and driving growth, whether it be its role in an industrial revolution or the recent success of delivering the successful B2022 Commonwealth Games during a pandemic. The region has grit, resilience and shed loads of talent, and with some of the world's leading higher education facilities based in the West Midlands and its reputation for innovation and leadership, we are well placed for this next phase and driving growth in the West Midlands' tech sector.

This report and its findings can help identify the challenges and opportunities and bring together the region's tech sector to problem-solve and overcome the tough economic environment most businesses are facing. The diversity of the West Midlands is an asset for us to explore and probe further to capitalize on that diversity of thought and its significant value.

The West Midlands Tech Review is an excellent prospectus for the region's tech market and we are delighted to put our support behind the report. We look forward to working with each of the Review's sponsors to help cement the West Midlands as the UK's fastest-growing tech market.

Elizabeth Williams
Partner, Gowling WLG

Business loans
In collaboration with TechWM

With so many amazing things happening across our region's tech sector, we felt it was important to highlight and acknowledge some of them. That's why we've partnered with UKTN on this year's West Midlands Tech Review Report. It's amazing to see our tech sector go from strength to strength and this is a testament to the incredible people and organisations that make up our wonderfully diverse, vibrant and innovative region.

The fourth industrial revolution is now well and truly underway and is transforming how we see and interact with the world. Our region was at the heart of the first industrial revolution, and whilst the world may have changed remarkably, our ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit remain the same. Combine this with our burgeoning tech and innovation sector, and we once again have an opportunity to lead the way.

Together, we've already built a solid foundation and we now have the momentum to a become globally recognised tech hub. Tech companies from around the world are already choosing our region because of our amazing pool of talent and dynamic ecosystem. However, to truly achieve our full potential we must continue to work together to create more opportunities for everyone. Our commitment to you is to invest more in our region's tech sector, providing businesses with world-class support, funding and talent. Our ask of you is to join us on the journey and help make the region a global tech superpower.

Yiannis Maos
CEO & founder, TechWM

Invoice financing
BGF
BGF

The West Midlands is home to an array of impressive technology businesses that are driving innovation and positioning the region as one of the fastest-growing tech and digital economies outside of London. At BGF, we have invested over £600m in the region since we launched in 2011, and a significant portion of this capital has gone to supporting technology businesses.

Our team is always on the lookout to partner with ambitious businesses, providing them with the strategic support and capital to compete on a global stage. BGF is now one of the largest and most experienced investors on a national scale. However, we're also hyper-local with a network of 15 regional offices, including our West Midlands team office in Birmingham. This approach provides local businesses with access to a powerful BGF ecosystem, supporting national and international expansion through our relationships, collaborative culture, and proven experience.

We're committed to driving growth and value creation in our portfolio, and we look forward to backing many more exciting tech companies now and in the future.

Aaron Baker
Investor, BGF Midlands

BGF
Gowling WLG

Many businesses are facing challenging operational and funding conditions that can inhibit growth. We believe that in the West Midlands, collaboration and building a culture of togetherness and providing an infrastructure that supports entrepreneurship is vital. As a firm, we have been committed to supporting dynamic, fast-growing businesses in the West Midlands for nearly 190 years - helping our clients to navigate choppy waters and ensure their continued success.

The West Midlands has an impressive track record of leading and driving growth, whether it be its role in an industrial revolution or the recent success of delivering the successful B2022 Commonwealth Games during a pandemic. The region has grit, resilience and shed loads of talent, and with some of the world's leading higher education facilities based in the West Midlands and its reputation for innovation and leadership, we are well placed for this next phase and driving growth in the West Midlands' tech sector.

This report and its findings can help identify the challenges and opportunities and bring together the region's tech sector to problem-solve and overcome the tough economic environment most businesses are facing. The diversity of the West Midlands is an asset for us to explore and probe further to capitalize on that diversity of thought and its significant value.

The West Midlands Tech Review is an excellent prospectus for the region's tech market and we are delighted to put our support behind the report. We look forward to working with each of the Review's sponsors to help cement the West Midlands as the UK's fastest-growing tech market.

Elizabeth Williams
Partner, Gowling WLG

Business loans
In collaboration with TechWM

With so many amazing things happening across our region's tech sector, we felt it was important to highlight and acknowledge some of them. That's why we've partnered with UKTN on this year's West Midlands Tech Review Report. It's amazing to see our tech sector go from strength to strength, and this is a testament to the incredible people and organizations that make up our wonderfully diverse, vibrant, and innovative region.

The fourth industrial revolution is now well and truly underway and is transforming how we see and interact with the world. Our region was at the heart of the first industrial revolution, and whilst the world may have changed remarkably, our ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit remain the same. Combine this with our burgeoning tech and innovation sector, and we once again have an opportunity to lead the way.

Together, we've already built a solid foundation, and we now have the momentum to become a globally recognized tech hub. Tech companies from around the world are already choosing our region because of our amazing pool of talent and dynamic ecosystem. However, to truly achieve our full potential, we must continue to work together to create more opportunities for everyone. Our commitment to you is to invest more in our region's tech sector, providing businesses with world-class support, funding, and talent. Our ask of you is to join us on the journey and help make the region a global tech superpower.

Yiannis Maos
CEO & founder, TechWM

West Midlands tech in numbers​

The data shows that the West Midlands tech industry is being built on solid foundations, even if improvements are required to unlock its full potential. The West Midlands has been able to grow in many key areas, notably in the size and value of its tech sector, even overcoming macroeconomic challenges that have held back growth elsewhere in the UK.

Business loans
Startup Loans
R&D tax credit loans
Debt crowdfunding and peer-to-peer loans
Invoice financing
R&D tax credit loans
Asset financing
Recovery Loan Scheme

Ecosystem overview​

A tech hub is only as strong as its support networks. The West Midlands has them in abundance. Here’s a snapshot of the key accelerators, investors, meetups and higher education institutions that are supporting the West Midlands’ tech ecosystem. 

Key Sectors
Accelerators & Incubators
Support services & providers
Investors
Tech meetups & groups
College & universities