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Ministers back new govtech accelerator programme



Three members of the Cabinet express support for GovStart as second cohort of companies are announced

A trio of senior Government ministers have got behind a new programme to promote the growth of technology start-ups contributing to new public services.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Hancock and Secretary of State for Business Greg Clark have all expressed their support for the launch of the second round of the GovStart accelerator.

Run by incubator Public, it involves support for 12 companies working on solutions in several areas, including health and social care, traffic management and smart places.

Marking the announcement at 10 Downing Street, Hammond commented: “New technologies can help our public services to innovate effectively, and support the staff working in these areas - by improving communication in hospitals, creating smarter roads, better healthcare, and finding new ways to connect isolated elderly people.

“The GovStart programme is an excellent way for government to gain access to the best that new technology can offer.”

Hancock complimented the GovStart programme as providing new solutions to public policy problems, and Clark described it “one of the world’s leading accelerators, helping to position the UK as the global hub of the govtech industry”.

Meetings and mentoring

Support for the chosen companies involves a series of round tables, meetings and pitch events with public sector officials, mentoring in public sector sales and procurement and in business development.

Among the companies to receive support in the new round are GoodBox, a social impact start-up with contactless payment devices, and Valerann, which has developed a wireless, sensory internet of things system that provides real time, high resolution information on everything that takes place on the road.

The other companies are Accelerated Dynamics, Forward Health, Futr.Ai, Kraydel, LocumTap, Headlight AI, Sentient Machines, Strawberry Energy, FreeUP and Yo-Da.

Public said the first round of the programme led to the companies receiving support raising £31 million in investment, taking part in seven public sector pilots, developing four new products and signing contracts worth a total of £8.1 million.

Image: Outside 10 Downing Street at the GovStart launch

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