‘HOST 50 is for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs with a diverse community at the heart of the programme’

L-r Gary Hilton Counting King, Claire Bennett HOST, Samuel Dallow Counting King & Bella Copland HOST smaller (1) (1)

L-r Gary Hilton Counting King, Claire Bennett HOST, Samuel Dallow Counting King & Bella Copland HOST smaller

Fifty tech companies will receive fully-funded support and mentoring based on the power of peer-to-peer growth from proven entrepreneurs to accelerate and scale their business ambitions.

Innovation hub HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology at MediaCityUK, has launched HOST 50, an exciting programme for 50 ambitious start-ups and SMEs from across sectors that are looking to become part of an inclusive business community, accelerating their growth, and innovating their digital and tech offerings.

HOST aims to break the barriers of entry to the tech sector faced by those from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds, disrupting the way entrepreneurs connect and learn from each other – sharing skills and experiences by building a sustainable, supportive community.

HOST 50 is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to network and develop alongside like-minded business owners, while also having direct access to highly skilled and diverse talent from HOST’s Skills City.

Research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has shown that 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs.

While there seems to be a range of business support available in the North West particularly due to the pandemic, HOST has recognised that there is a need for businesses to have access to a diverse entrepreneurial community that offers mentoring and peer-to-peer support.

Businesses from HOST 50 will be introduced to industry-leading partners including TiE UK North, Innovation Exchange and Counting King through round tables, workshops, seminars and meet the expert sessions. This will offer unrivalled access to specialists in all the areas they need to launch and grow sustainable businesses.

The programme is open to applications from UK-based digital or tech businesses with less than 250 full-time employees, a turnover of less than £43m or a balance sheet of less than £37m with the ambition to grow, innovate and scale-up.

Mo Isap, CEO of IN4.0 Group, operators of HOST, said: “HOST 50 is for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs with a diverse community at the heart of the programme. We are offering entrepreneurs an alternative option for business support, by building a collaborative and inclusive innovation community where they can share opportunities, learnings and network.

“From my personal experience, I know how crucial it is for start-ups and SMEs to have the support they need. Not only will they be able to grow their networks with each other, but also with world-class experts who will help their businesses to scale and thrive.”

Gary Hilton, Head of R&D Consultancy at Counting King, said: “The collaboration within the community is going to be immense and create opportunities to catapult your business to the next level. Our goal is to help nurture business ideas for start-ups and provide sound knowledge and proactive advice to growing companies by discussing funding opportunities.

“We can genuinely relate to the types of businesses that will benefit from HOST 50. We are a growing company ourselves and constantly look for ways to innovate and improve our service and processes. Being surrounded by like-minded businesses who can share hints, tips and expertise will enable all of the community to grow faster and further than traditionally possible.”

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