Techcelerate built the tech ecosystem of Manchester from 2006 to 2013 into a 2,300 strong tech community of entrepreneurs, investors and service providers. In 2013, GP Bullhound acquired our flagship event Northern Tech Awards, at which point, Techcelerate ceased its operations.
A series of discussions in second half of 2017 led to the re-incorporation of Techcelerate. Our focus is to help technology companies grow through access to investment, talent, know-how and markets through our large network. Techcelerate is lead by Manoj Ranaweera and supported by team members below on project-by-project basis through their own legal entities.
Manoj Ranaweera – Head of Investment and Growth
Techcelerate was originally founded by Manchester based Tech Entrepreneur, Manoj Ranaweera on 23rd November 2006 as Northern Startup 2.0, when his first Fintech Startup, ebdex ran into difficulty. From 2006 to 2013, Techcelerate took the initiative to build the tech entrepreneur ecosystem of Manchester single handedly with the support of the community.
The Second Coming of Techcelerate is Manoj’s 11th venture in 13 years. Previous ventures include, ebdex (Fintech – electronic invoicing), Techcelerate, Northern Tech Awards, edocr.com (acquired by Accusoft), Tech Centre Manchester (first co-working space in Manchester for tech startups, a joint venture with Bruntwood), CRMPlus, Foresight North (tech research and analyst firm), Venture 9 (strategic consultancy), Unified Health (HealthTech) and UnifiedVU (one UI for all your cloud apps).
Manoj also functions as Board Adviser at Cazoomi (San Francisco), SaaS Strategic Advisor at Cloud Software Association (San Francisco) and sought after by UK Government’s grant funding arm, InnovateUK in assessing technology grant competitions.
Alexandra Morris – Head of Techcelerate Network
She is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history of working in the property industry, bringing innovation with the introduction of useful technology. She joined Makeurmove in 2008 as Operations Director and steered the company for eventual exit working close with the Founder.
Alex has strong skills in negotiation, business planning, sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), law, technology and team building.
Alex will be responsible for the growth of Techcelerate Network from a mere seed (#TechcelerateCoffees) to a thriving network demonstrating unparalleled value to Techcelerate customers as well as Members of the Techcelerate Network.
Manoj has known Alex since the early days of MakeUrMove.
Stewart Townsend – Head of Techcelerate Talent
Stewart Townsend played a pivotal role in the development of the UK tech ecosystem, initially through the Sun Microsystem’s Startup Essentials Programme, before joining a number of technology scale ups from DataSift to Zendesk.
At DataSift, Stewart initially headed the presales and support team across Europe, and later focused on building a partner lead ecosystem.
At Zendesk, as the Director of Channel Development, Stewart focused on building a high performance partnership program across Europe driving the long term Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) growth.
More recently, as the CEO of Digital Lancashire, Stewart built a voice for digital and tech companies in Lancashire. Today, Stewart provides SaaS startups that generate above £500k ARR with consulting and advisory services to enable growth through go-to-market strategy, including channel development.
Manoj has been working with Stewart on and off since the day Stewart took charge of Sun Microsystems Startup Essentials Programme. Stewart also toured with David and Manoj as a Sponsor of Webmission08.
David Bailey – Finance Advisor
David Bailey is a Chartered Accountant with 13 years at Deloitte, then 17 years experience at Board Director level (CEO & CFO) with international experience in 12 countries. Oxford Educated, widely travelled, and a passionate supporter of start-up founders.
David has participated on the Boards of 6 startups, 2 turnarounds, 3 company purchases and 3 company sales. These experiences has made David a well-respected and sought after advisor for the UK technology sector.
David has extensive experience in UK and EU Angel investment, VC financing, PE backed exits, growth capital and business turnaround. David brings a powerful international network of experts in finance, project management, product development, marketing and technology for any business plan or M&A project.
Manoj has known David since taking part of Webmission08 where David’s and Manoj’s tech companies at the time were selected as two of the 20 hottest tech startups of 2008, which included UK government co-sponsored trade mission to San Francisco.
Stuart Scott-Goldstone – Legal Advisor
Cambridge educated, Stuart Scott-Goldstone is an experienced and commercially aware lawyer, advising on corporate finance transactions (including company acquisitions, disposals and venture capital investment), corporate reorganisations and restructuring.
Stuart also advises on commercial structures, intellectual property, share option and incentive schemes. Stuart also specialises in technology, healthcare and renewable energy sectors.
Currently Stuart is the Head of Corporate and Commercial Law at Aarons & Partners in Chester. Previously, Stuart co-founded Real Time Race with Chris Leigh with the intention of using technology for interactive television motor racing. Stuart is listed by the Legal 500 independent legal directory in their “leading individuals” list.
Manoj and Stuart continue to work together since becoming friends at Manchester Business School during their respective MBA studies in early ’00s.
Joan Lockwood – Marketing Advisor & London Lead
American born, Joan Lockwood is a super connector and well known Performance Growth Marketing executive in London that works with technology companies to help them gain traction and reach their milestones through user acquisition, retention and revenue growth.
Joan was part of the marketing team which grew user base of Stardoll from 30 million to 200 million over two years increasing advertising revenues by 30% and user sales by 10% year-on-year. She was also influential in launching Stardoll’s first wave of mobile Apps and co-developing Stardoll TV and bringing together celebrities, brands, entertainment companies and Stardoll members.
Joan also led the growth team at Babylon Health, the world’s first fully-integrated mobile health service with members gaining access to top quality UK doctors, who provide consultations via video and audio. Joan also functioned at Head of Marketing at Infinity Health.
Other companies benefited from Joan’s expertise include Rise & Fall, Social Circle, Marco Polo World, Fitswap, Global Call 247, 24hr London, Pepo, Better Ventures, Case Wise, Sport Buddy, Kiva Solutions, Simple Tax UK, Transfer Go, State, Entrago, Adsy Me, Tictail, Clectaverse, Gramble and Gramble Bingo. Joan is currently helping Swishd.
Whilst Manoj cannot quite track down when he came to know Joan, they have known each other for a long period of time and have moved in the same technology circles with large number of common friends.
Everyone other than Manoj undertake projects through their own legal entities and are not employees of Techcelerate Ltd. For all intent and purposes, Manoj is the only employee of Techcelerate Ltd from those highlighted above.