The ITPro Podcast: Startup succession: From Tech Nation to Eagle Labs

The words ‘Startup succession: From Tech Nation to Eagle Labs’ with ‘Tech Nation’ and ‘Eagle Labs’ in yellow and the rest in white against a blurry London skyline

HL: Startup succession: From Tech Nation to Eagle Labs

Tech Nation has ceased its operations, and like that a key player in the UK startup scene has shuttered its doors. But as of today, Barclays Eagle Labs will continue where its predecessor left off, with millions of promised funding in addition to the government’s £12 million digital growth grant hoped to spur investment

While questions around visa commitments have yet to be answered, firms outside of the Southeast could nevertheless be swayed by Barclays Eagle Labs’ nationwide reach and sector expertise.

In this episode, Jane and Rory speak to Ross Kelly, ITPro’s startups & small business specialist and staff writer to reveal the current state of UK startups and the mood following the cessation of Tech Nation’s activities.


“So, DCMS stated openly that Eagle Labs' proposition for the digital growth grant fund offered better value for taxpayer money than that currently being provided by Tech Nation. And it seems that they've pinned a lot of their hopes on the infrastructure, the broad footprint that Eagle Labs has based on its involvement with Barclays, a major banking institution in the UK.”

“Well, we spoke to founders in the wake of the Tech Nation closure announcement earlier this month, and a lot of them did seem very concerned. This was obviously rooted in the fact that Tech Nation has, like you said in the beginning, been a cornerstone of the UK tech sector for the best part of a decade now. So there is a degree of concern there.”

“I think we'd be wrong to count Eagle Labs out at this stage. There was obviously a lot of sadness, and a lot of emotion surrounding the Tech Nation closure, but I think they're very well placed to step into their shoes and really build on what they've done over the last 10 years essentially. They're going to create, I think, a more localised framework for regional business support and I think that can only be a good thing.”

Read the full transcript here.



Rory Bathgate
Features and Multimedia Editor

Rory Bathgate is Features and Multimedia Editor at ITPro, overseeing all in-depth content and case studies. He can also be found co-hosting the ITPro Podcast with Jane McCallion, swapping a keyboard for a microphone to discuss the latest learnings with thought leaders from across the tech sector.

In his free time, Rory enjoys photography, video editing, and good science fiction. After graduating from the University of Kent with a BA in English and American Literature, Rory undertook an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at King’s College London. He joined ITPro in 2022 as a graduate, following four years in student journalism. You can contact Rory at or on LinkedIn.