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Rackspace announces programme to help UK tech startups

Cloud hosting firm Rackspace is to offer £12,000 of hosting and mentoring for UK tech start-ups in a programme due to be launched next year.

The programme is hoping to boost the UK's tech industry, with London currently ranked as the seventh best city to launch a start-up by telecoms firm Telefonica. The Spanish company's report found that a lack of investment and a risk-averse investment culture are reasons why tech ventures have not flourished here.

Rackspace is one of the world's largest cloud hosting firms – just behind Amazon. Its start-up programme has helped more than 850 US start-ups in their early stages by providing low cost cloud hosting as opposed to the more expensive dedicated servers startups would usually have to pay for.

"We are thrilled to launch the UK startup programme," said Taylor Rhodes, Managing Director at Rackspace.

The tech firm unveiled its new initiative at a networking event in Google's Campus Building amongst London's Tech City in East London. Robert Scoble, a tech blogger present at the event, believes a successful British venture would be seen as a major success for the government's Tech City initiative - an organisation designed to promote the interests of UK-based start-ups globally but urged against chasing the "next Facebook".

"Some of it is luck. Some of it is about being at the right market window at the right time. Right now it's a really tough market window," Scoble told the BBC.

Rackspace is also running a competition offering one start-up a chance to win a trip to Texas and a mentoring session with the company's founder Graham Weston, as well as £3,000 worth of cloud hosting.

Image Credit: Flickr (Robert Scoble)