Chance for Bath’s tech-for-good companies to take their offering onto the global stage

October 4, 2020

Tech businesses from Swindon are being invited to apply to join Tech 4 Good South West, a new initiative designed to stimulate international growth and expansion into the US, India and Singapore.

The free programme will launch next month and applicants are invited to submit a pitch by next Wednesday, October 7. 

With the Global Innovation Index 2019 making the UK as the fifth-most innovative place in the world, the Department for International Trade (DIT) is taking advantage of the South West’s tech talent by connecting businesses with potential customers and partners in the growth markets of the US, India and Singapore.

Through the Tech 4 Good South West initiative, selected companies will be able to take part in a series of virtual masterclasses, commercial meetings and networking events, culminating in an opportunity to showcase their technology to key players in the three territories, selected by DIT specialists for the breadth of opportunity each can offer and their marked interest in ‘tech for good’ products.

DIT market specialists Ameeta Virk and Sarah Hildersley will help the businesses understand the tech landscape, develop their export strategy and participate in virtual sales meetings in these fast-growing markets. 

The programme, delivered by Business West on behalf the DIT, is the first of its kind and will be offered to 15 companies per market.

The US is one of the most important trading partners for the UK, boasting the largest tech market globally and presenting opportunities for companies across all areas including healthcare, environment and social tech solutions.

Exports to India have been growing exponentially and between 2017 and 2018 UK trade with the huge country increased by 39.2%.

Tech has played a significant part in this growth – India was the first country in the world with a corporate social responsibility (CSR) requirement, so creating a welcome environment for tech fir good companies.

Meanwhile, Singapore is a strong advocate of ‘tech for good’ and, after China and India, start-ups in the region have attracted more venture capital than any other Asian market.

DIT market specialist for the US and India and programme creator Ameeta Virk, pictured, said: “There has never been a better time to drive the growth of South West tech companies who are developing solutions for the environmental, health and social challenges we all face.

“The South West is known for its burgeoning tech scene and I am delighted to be championing such inspirational businesses.”

Firms are being urged to take part in the programme by Jack Churchill, export champion and founder and CEO of Westbury, Wiltshire-based Scanning Pens, the world’s leading supplier of pen scanners and winner of BETT Exporter of the Year in 2019.

Jack said: “Exporting is more important than ever during this pandemic. If you have an export presence in other countries, you are effectively balancing your sales as a business. More than 50% of Scanning Pens’ sales comes from overseas markets. 

“With a business established in both the US & India and the recent opening of a warehouse in Singapore, we’re already starting to connect our reader pens with the education communities in these exciting markets. Our technology is even more relevant now due to people not being able to have human readers or teaching aids.  

“I would always encourage businesses big or small to look at exporting as an opportunity and if you’re unsure of how to start, get in contact with The Department for International Trade.”

The firms pen-shaped scanners have small built-in LCD screens with headphones and speakers for hearing words. The pens assist those who struggle with reading difficulties such as dyslexia, and people can read and learn independently using the technology. 

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