On 5th Feb, we launched Techcelerate with partners, SeedLegals (Anthony Rose, CEO) and RDVault (Shoayb Patel, CEO) supported by Barclays (Matthew Priestly and Michael Holligan). It was co-hosted by Alexandra Morris, CEO of MakeUrMove and Head of Techcelerate Network and Manoj Ranaweera, Founder of Techcelerate.


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Alexandra Morris kickstarted the event by introducing the programme.  Matthew Priestly, Ecosystem Manager of Barclays Eagle Labs Manchester where Techcelerate is based and the event was held, started the event by introducing the concept behind Barclays Eagle Labs and how they work with startups to help them grow.


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Matthew Priestly


Manoj then explained how Techcelerate helped built the tech ecosystem of Manchester from 2006 to 2013 and the origins of the second coming.  A conversation with Mujibur Choudhury, CEO of VoiceIQ on Facebook sparked the birth of the new Techcelerate. Further encouragement from Keith Teare, Chairman of Accelerate Digital Ventures and support from Phil Brown, CEO of Causeway cemented the second coming.


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Michael Holligan then presented how Barclays operates in the Venture Debt markets.


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Slides below (powered by Manoj’s previous tech startup, edocr.com) from Mike shows some of the tech companies Barclays have helped funded including AccessPay from Manchester.



Manoj then returned to present the investment data (559 venture capital investment rounds raising a total of £5.24bn, all by the UK headquartered technology companies) collected during the second half of 2018. Manchester and the North West based tech companies raised over £300 million investment in 2018.



Our partner, Anthony Rose, CEO of SeedLegals then introduced his awesome software which has become an integral part of any fundraising in the UK. Techcelerate Members can now benefit from an extended trial period up to 90 days. Reach out to Manoj to secure the special deal.


SeedLegals Offer


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Shoayb Patel, CEO of RDVault then introduced do-it-yourself R&D Tax Credit Claim software, which Manoj used successfully for his mothballed tech company, UnifiedVU. Techcelerate Members can now benefit from discounted pricing of £35/month or £375/year to RDVault. Reach out to Manoj to secure the special deal.


RDVault Offer



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Then followed a lively discussion on investment where Marc Shirman of Beringea joined Shoayb, Anthony and Matthew chaired by Alex. Beringea led the recent £9m Series B investment into Manchester’s AccessPay.



Once the event ended at 9 pm, conversations continued at multiple venues until 4 am.


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Summarising the event, Alex commented,

The Deal Insights event helped to promote the talent we have in the North and highlight the significant investments that have been made into the tech businesses across the region.  It was great to hear from founders directly on their fundraising journeys at various stages and the room received some excellent insight into the path to VC funding directly from investors.

Personally, I was delighted to open up the conversation and develop our very own eco-system here in Manchester. I am passionate about helping businesses at all stages and think the best way for that to happen is to talk and share. Events like these help to break down the walls and open up the dialogue, which could help you make that decision or encourage you to take a leap of faith and, in some cases, change direction completely.

I am looking forward to launching our first Techclerate Pitches event on Wednesday 13th February as part of our support programme and putting together the annual calendar of events for the remainder of the year”

Thanks, everyone for helping to make the event a success. Do reach out to Alex to secure your pitching slots.

PS: Image credits to Matthew and the second Anthony Rose (the chap from Manchester and not the CEO of SeedLegals).