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Tech Trailblazers lends a hand to non-VC funded startups through Firestarter programme

Tech Trailblazers has launched a new bursary geared towards helping early-stage startups struggling to gain funding from venture capitalists as well as two new categories for its annual awards.

The Firestarter programme gives early-stage startups that are less than two years old or don’t have venture capital [VC] backing free access to its annual awards ceremony as well as a new award specifically for those that take part in the programme.

“A comment from one of last year's contestants has echoed in my ears. ‘How can an early stage startup compete with someone with major VC backing?’ Yes they can and we have seen early stage startups like SaaSID, Ventisys and Iceotope crowned as Tech Trailblazers in their field,” explained Rose Ross, founder of the Tech Trailblazers, when describing the reasons behind the new programme. “However, it feels that the time is right to give more of the newest kids on the tech startup block more help and greater opportunity for hard earned reward and recognition. That's what the Firestarter bursary program is all about.”

All of those entrants will be entered into the Regional Trailblazers Cups free of charge that sits alongside the Trailblazer Cup as an additional chance for early stage startups to win a prize.

Another reason for the new programme is its Tech Trailblazers Tech Startup Index that looked at the funding environment for almost 200 enterprise tech startups. It reported that 35 per cent found it took longer than expected to raise funds and 31 per cent found it harder than they first thought.

Tech Trailblazers has also added a further two categories to its offering in the shape of FinTech and Internet of Things [IoT] meaning that the deadline for entries has been extended until 19 September.