ConnectTVT has unveiled its latest cohort of 50 Game Changers in the Thames Valley. For the second year, the platform joining the tech and digital dots across the region, has brought together the tech and powerhouses of tomorrow.
The 50 Game Changers seeks to consolidate the pipeline for tech and digital economy in the region. Earlier this year, the Tech Nation Report showed that, outside of London, Reading has the UK’s highest digital turnover, at £12.5 billion.
New pillar of tech business
Working with EY and Oracle, ConnectTVT collaborated with regional incubators and accelerators, universities and investors to collate this year’s 50 Game Changers. The cohort includes early-stage start-ups such as Fungry, the take-away food ratings platform and Primal Pantry, the disruptive clean-eating snack brand, through to established, fast-growing scale-ups such as Artesian.
50 Game Changer alumni
This year saw the 50 Game Changers’ first alumni in the shape of Sage People. Previously Fairsail, the fastest-growing B2B tech business in the UK was acquired by Sage in March 2017 for £115 million. The scale-up moves to the new Thames Valley Science Park later this year, pledging its long-term commitment to the region.
ConnectTVT founder Louize Clarke commented: “People always ask me what makes a Game Changer –it’s not about highest turnover companies but those championing change. We need to encourage a diverse mix of businesses across our innovation layers. There’s so much more work to do, starting with more affordable incubation space. That’s how we’ll continue to create the next Fairsails here.”
Next-gen Game Changers
EY’s regional and city economic forecast highlights that the Thames Valley is expected to grow ahead of the UK average in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) until 2019. Reading is set to be the UK’s fastest growing city in this period.
Richard Baker, managing partner at EY in the Thames Valley, commented: “Although the Thames Valley may have a long-term track record of doing well in terms of its competitiveness as a UK region, it has done so without having a conscious plan. Now is the time for government, third parties and the local business community to collaborate to create that unified strategy, to retain this position as well as foster and attract the next generation of Game Changers.”
Oracle’s John Abel, head of technology and cloud, added: “We want to support the creation of a nationwide community that builds connections and bridges between every organisation that helping to drive innovation in the UK, and our partnership with ConnectTVT is one of the cornerstones that will help us show this commitment to UK growth.”