Libra 2.0 programme aims to help unrepresented founders get investment

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Tech Nation has announced 35 new startups to join its Libra programme which aims to highlight companies and founders from unrepresented backgrounds.

It is the second iteration of the programme, with black, Arab and South and East Asian founders making up the 35 companies.

The newest members of the Libra programme work across multiple sectors, including financial tech, healthcare, and HR. Some companies create technology to help growing diverse communities save money for the future, such as Bloom Money, and companies that use tech to end period pain for women (Hormonious Flo).

What's more, around 40% of the new companies are based outside of London, with Scottish firm Cyberdane and Manchester-based Dicey Tech. On top of that regional diversity, around 63% of the companies have female founders, and collectively the startups have operations in more than 17 different countries.

The Libra programme is a six-month incubator that is backed by the government and aims to tackle racial inequality within the UK's technology sector. Between 2009 and 2019, three-quarters of VC investment went to companies with largely white founders and teams, according to research from Extend Ventures.

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The inaugural Libra programme focussed on improving the startup experience for Black founders, whereas Libra 2.0 will focus on companies with at least one ethnic minority founder with lived experience of little or no access to capital, networking and commercial opportunities. The aim is to help them access equal opportunities and accelerate their scaling journey.

"After the success of the inaugural Libra programme last year, I'm delighted to welcome a new cohort of inspiring companies to the table," said Abi Mohamed, Libra programme lead at Tech Nation.

"These companies are working across a wide range of sectors - from finance and e-commerce to education and healthcare - but what they have in common is enormous potential and drive, and the right to be given equal opportunities to grow and scale. I can't wait to help another pool of inspiring underrepresented founders break through the glass ceiling and achieve the success they deserve."

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognise him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.