Glasgow City Council has established a fund to help increase tech ecosystem "market square" activity in Glasgow by supporting providers in delivering conference and tech ecosystem events in the city.
The Council will provide a grant allocation for organisers that can be used to subsidise the costs of hosting and delivering events that attract both UK & international tech businesses and employers, talent, investors and the tech diaspora to Glasgow.
A grant up to a maximum value of £15K per annum is available to support eligible organisers with the costs of delivering a tech ecosystem-focused event against set criteria with a view to showcasing the indigenous tech ecosystem to a wider audience.
This subsidy focuses specifically on activity and events physically located within the Glasgow City boundary. As such, it is designed to support professional projects and applications will not be considered for purely social events.
The grant is now open for applications. The Grant will close to new applications on 20 December 2024 or when budget is fully allocated (whichever is earlier).
To draw down your grant, you must provide copies of all invoices and proof of payment in the form of a bank statement relating to eligible costs.
What constitutes a Tech Ecosystem / Market Square event?
At a broad level, meets the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review (STER) definition, as published in August 2020, and is aligned to the associated recommendations with respect to scaling Ecosystem Infrastructure, specifically the creation of temporary market squares in the form of conferences and meetups:
"These market squares can be small to large in size, are typically temporary in nature (comprising a single or multi-day event occurring on a one-off or semi-regular basis) and have a tech content, networking, business development and education component in their makeup."
While not definitive, examples of eligible projects may include:
Specifically, Tech Ecosystem Events and/or Conferences are larger in scale and tend to be more professional/formal in setup than Tech Meetups being mostly led by speakers who are expert in their fields and who present ideas based on the topics to be discussed. They often (though not exclusively) share some of the following characteristics:
1. Large open sessions in halls
2. Small meeting rooms for private discussions
3. Technical help during the conference
4. Host, sponsors and organisers presentations
5. Rooms have to be equipped with sound and projection facilities
6. Bigger budget fund to maintain financial risk, organisational issues and retention of profits for special members
7. A website with several social media accounts connected
8. A promotional element or marketing campaign incorporating an element of planned media coverage and lead generation.
Tech Meetups, by comparison, are events where like-minded people in tech can connect, learn new skills, and hear from experts and speakers. A Tech Meetup could be geared around a variety of topics, including software development, programming languages, blockchain, VR, or AI.
Tech Meetups exist worldwide and can take place online or in-person. Depending on the group dynamic, expected attendance, and community activity, tech meetups typically organise an event once a month or every couple of months.
Tech meetups tend to be locally hosted and attended.
If your event criteria more aligns to the definition above then please note GCC has also introduced a Tech Smart Meetup Subsidy, please click here for more information.
Note criteria is not definitive and should be used as a baseline. Fresh and innovative ideas are welcomed. All projects and events must be of a professional standard, purely social events will not be considered. If you have any queries about your eligibility, please email: email@example.com.
The following are not eligible for funding:
The final grant will be subject to specific Terms and Conditions set out in an individual grant award letter.
Eligible businesses must complete the application form [78kb], including:
A 500-word (max) description of your proposal for a one-off or series of events which will support the Scottish tech ecosystem
A 500-word (max) description of your organisation/individual responsible for managing the event and experience in the Scottish tech ecosystem
A 500-word (max) breakdown of costs, e.g. venue hire, speaker costs, hospitality, etc.
A 250-word (max) description of expected key outcomes of the event
A 250-word (max) summary of how your event will be promoted to the wider tech ecosystem
Details of additional funding - either applied for or secured - for event, namely, sponsorship, grants, additional public sector support, etc.
The subsidy will pay up to a maximum of £15k in a single financial year to offset the overall costs of hosting and delivering the event
Details must be provided of how the subsidy will directly contribute towards increasing the profile of the Glasgow City Region tech ecosystem in particular
The grant will be paid as follows:
An advance payment of 50%, on acceptance of the conditions of grant and evidence of a signed event lease or, alternatively, production of invoices for a minimum 50% of overall event costs.
Balance of payment made available on successful completion of event and production of invoice(s) from event with business bank statement showing previous payment(s) being made.
Please note that a contribution will only be made towards actual costs incurred and VAT costs are not eligible.
Applicants may not claim cash payments; handwritten invoices and receipts will not be accepted.