Funding boost to scale support for Norfolk's digital tech startups


We are delighted to announce that we have secured funding as part of the Ecosystem Partnership Programme, a joint initiative between Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, Connected Innovation and Barclays Eagle Labs to boost support for the region’s digital technology sector. 

The investment marks a significant milestone for the team, and will be used to scale the services we offer. We can provide support to a greater number and range of businesses, investors, entrepreneurs and those starting a business for the first time. We are focussed on supporting high potential, tech enabled organisations access the skills and services to help them get to market faster – and with more confidence. If that’s you – get in touch to find out more!

Since its launch in September 2021, we have focussed on becoming the go-to industry agnostic incubator. Supporting a number of emerging businesses in Norwich such as coding bootcamp Tech Educators, Games company Newfangle Games – creators of multi award winning Paper Trail and SaaS organisations such HR tool CleverGoose and customer service ticketing platform GoDesk

As an organisation, we are eager to work with partners to change the pace of high opportunity startups in the region, generating high value jobs, businesses that give back to the community and create an ecosystem that promotes the region as an incredible place for startups to start, grow, thrive and contribute. The East of England has relatively few startup incubators, most of which have a London-centric or Cambridge focus, which is why the latest funding is a huge confidence boost, not only for Akcela, but also for Norfolk-based founders. 

As our managing partner, James Adams, explains: “The latest funding is a huge vote of confidence in Akcela and its mission to create an environment that allows more Norfolk-based founders to start businesses that grow and thrive in this region, creating more jobs and attracting more talent to our region.”

The funding will be used to deliver ‘The Future’, which aims to support and scale digital technology innovation across Suffolk and Norfolk in three critical ways:

  • Developing a local ecosystem with stronger connections between experienced entrepreneurs and the next generation of regional startups
  • Developing a process for identifying, engaging and supporting early-stage startups and integrating them into the local community
  • Creating more opportunities for founders from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who would not otherwise be able to commit to their venture full-time. 

Barclays Eagle Labs Director, Amanda Allan, adds: “We are excited to be facilitating this funding to help Connected Innovation, alongside both Suffolk Council and Norfolk County Council, launch ‘The Future’ project. We are proud to be able to support such projects, which are designed to help early-stage tech entrepreneurs. Our support for Connected Innovation and similar organisations highlights our ongoing commitment to support tech start-ups and scale-ups, which are vital to growing local economies throughout the UK.”

The founding Akcela team includes a number of prolific local entrepreneurs who have all built, grown and exited their own businesses such as Tom Wood, Martin Yapp and Peter Ballard and Kate Yarbo. And is supported by a number of local partners including: Ashtons Legal, Triple Bottom Line Accounting, Adaptavist and Luminous PR.  

James Allen, Connected Innovation Programme Manager, concludes: “We are delighted to be working with Akcela on this important programme for early stage tech founders. Akcela is an important member of the Connected Innovation network with a great track record of supporting startups and scaleups across multiple tech sub sectors on their growth journey and to secure investment.”