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Barclays launches Silicon Valley programme to supercharge growth and innovation for UK start-ups

18 July 2019

Up to 20 entrepreneurs from across the UK will be flying to Silicon Valley to gain access to the talent, expertise and funding opportunities to grow their business, under a new drive by Barclays.

The new ‘Global Connect’ programme – tailored three-day events in San Francisco to help UK start-ups tap into one of the world’s leading innovation ecosystems – is being launched today to help spur the creation of new jobs, boost UK competitiveness and accelerate the growth of burgeoning UK firms.

During the programme, designed by Barclays in conjunction with Commonwealth Ventures, entrepreneurs will gain insight into how to run a successful funding round in the Bay Area, as well as access to local networks and business contacts.

Each Global Connect programme will focus on a key industrial sector or region of the UK. Barclays aims to deliver up to three by the end of this year, with up to 20 UK entrepreneurs taking part in each. Places are open to any high-growth UK start-up, whether they bank with Barclays or not.

The first Global Connect programme will take place in September, made up of leading agritech businesses that aim to boost productivity in food production and farming. Agritech is an area of competitive strength for the UK, and an industry where California already captures nearly a third of all global investment capital1.

The second cohort will be comprised of entrepreneurs based in the Manchester area, identified by local marketing agency MC2 to showcase the talent of one of the UK’s regional economies.

If successful, Barclays will also consider Global Connect programmes in other parts of the world in the future.

Barclays Group CEO, Jes Staley, said: “Across the UK I meet lots of entrepreneurs who are building fascinating new businesses and opportunities. It is thanks to their combined efforts that the UK can potentially lead the way in all kinds of industries – from healthtech to agritech to lawtech.

“But today it’s often too hard for a small UK scale-up to gain access to Silicon Valley alone. We want to change that by connecting these people with the world’s most sophisticated market for venture capital and innovative thinking, through our US presence in the Valley.

“Our new Global Connect programme will provide UK entrepreneurs with unrivalled access to networks and finance. As a connecting force, Barclays can help them to unlock new productivity, jobs and growth in the UK.”

Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, said: “Barclays’s Global Connect programme will showcase the brilliant talent and innovation the UK has to offer, supporting our start-ups and scale-ups to expand on the global stage and to compete with some of the biggest players in industry.

“Already more than 200,000 UK businesses are taking advantage of export opportunities overseas. However, there is still more to do, and this new programme will help support our ambition to get more businesses exporting and to increase exports to 35 per cent of GDP, as outlined in the government’s export strategy.”


Notes to Editors

[1] https://agfunder.com/research/agrifood-tech-investing-report-2018/

About Barclays Labs
The Global Connect programme is part of a wider ‘Barclays Labs’ offering. Barclays Labs creates bespoke programmes to provide high-growth businesses and large corporates in the UK with access and exposure to international markets. In addition to the Global Connect programme, Barclays Labs includes Transform, a bespoke programme to help corporates address their innovation challenges, which also includes access and exposure to the world’s heart of innovation and start-up expertise in San Francisco.

Barclays Labs complements the Barclays Eagle Labs programme in the UK, a network of co-working and innovation spaces run by Barclays Ventures supporting more than 450 start-ups and scale-ups across the country.

Barclays Labs San Francisco (including the Global Connect: San Francisco and Transform: San Francisco programmes) is delivered by Barclays Capital Inc., the United States investment bank of Barclays Bank PLC. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 122702). Registered in England. Registered No. 1026167. Registered office: 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. Barclays Capital Inc. is a US registered broker/dealer and a member of SIPC, FINRA and NFA, which operates out of 745 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019.

For further information about Barclays Eagle Labs, please visit our website labs.uk.barclays

About Barclays
Barclays is a transatlantic consumer and wholesale bank with global reach, offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 82,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website https://home.barclays/

About Commonwealth Ventures
The mission of Commonwealth Ventures is to share Silicon Valley’s unique knowledge and experience with the world. Commonwealth Ventures partners with global investors, governments and corporates to narrow the expertise gap between international ecosystems and the Silicon Valley. Its bespoke solutions match Silicon Valley founders, investors and subject-matter experts with international start-ups through immersive programming, one-on-one mentorship and remote education. Commonwealth Ventures empowers high-growth start-ups, scale-ups and corporates around the world.


About MC2
MC2 is a strategic marketing agency, driven by a purpose to ‘make a difference’ to its clients, communities and people.

MC2’s marketing strategists, data analysts, digital marketing and development experts collaborate with its design team, media relations consultants and video production teams to help ambitious cities, businesses and organisations differentiate and scale at pace.

MC2 specialises in high-growth businesses, the technology sector and placemaking.


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