BetaDen’s Linda Smith TechRound Interview

Based in Malvern Hills Science Park, BetaDen is the county’s first ever dedicated commercial tech accelerator for entrepreneurs and scale-up businesses.

Aimed at providing a revolutionary platform for businesses to develop next-generation technology, the tech accelerator has already made a significant impact on Worcestershire’s thriving technology skyline.

Now with BetaDen’s Cohort 2.0 programme well underway, the government has backed the next generation of communication in Worcester, with a £5 million, 5G boost. Lead by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, new concepts and product solutions by entrepreneurs and technology businesses will now be co-located with the region’s 5G testbed project team. 

BetaDen’s CEO and founder, Linda Smith, discusses her vision for BetaDen, the benefits of tech accelerator programmes in more detail and how they offer essential support needed for businesses of the future. 

What was the vision behind creating BetaDen in Worcestershire?

We wanted to create a tech accelerator for its future economic success, and to enable more locally available technology skilled roles to be generated in Worcestershire. 

There was a need to drive new and scale-up technology business numbers. BetaDen was made to provide a rapid route to the commercial technology supply chain for new and emerging technology products and solutions – across many disciplines such as cyber, AI, Blockchain IoT and VR.

Talk us through the Cohort programme, how are these unique?

We believe the tech acceleration programme is unique because it is about driving the tech start-up company to market or investment readiness. The nine-month schedule includes active connection with relevant commercial industries as user groups, leading subject experts as mentors and coaches and funding for Proof of Concept to a value of £15,000.

You’ve just started your second Cohort programme. Are you in the position you were aiming to be in, this time a year ago?

Yes definitely, we are right on track. Each week we’re attracting more and more interest due to the nature of the programme, with its huge appeal being its content and dynamic drivers to transform to real market opportunities.

Where do you see BetaDen in five years?

The Betaden brand will be synonymous with developing and activating new technology creation, ready for route to market engagement to a multi cohort location delivery network.

We are and will continue to be key in specialising the speeding up of the growth of start-up companies, through shared resources, professional expertise, and advice on-site. 

Why, and when, did Worcestershire become a crucial area for tech innovation?

Worcestershire has held a long reputation and legacy in technology and manufacturing since the post war times. The government site that has since become the global technology business, QinetiQ, based in Malvern, has been a major catalyst in developing the cyber cluster and spin out technology businesses in and around the county. 

More recently, the success of the Worcestershire 5G test Bed investment, and with it being only one of the UK’s six centres, will support the opportunity in creating new solutions for productivity, data and security by design. 

BetaDen is co-located in this tech community and positioned across the future network. 

If you’re a technology business interested in becoming part of Worcestershire’s thriving technology community, or for details about how you can apply to join BetaDen’s next cohort programme, visit – https://www.beta-den.com/contact/