Innovate Lancashire, Lancashire County Council’s innovation-led economic growth programme, has announced that Lancashire will be taking part in the inaugural UK Tech Week.

UK Tech Week is a new initiative which aims to shine a spotlight on the tech innovation, expertise and talent that exists in every part of the UK.

It will commence with a national launch event on Monday April 22nd, followed by a three-day collaborative celebration of tech – featuring special events and festivals hosted across the country until April 25th

Lancashire’s involvement will be centred on a special Tech Talk on Thursday April 25th.

Being held at the Fraser House tech co-working space in Lancaster, the free lunchtime masterclass will focus on the significant role that ‘sweat equity’ can play to help grow a fledging technology business.

Sweat equity is generally defined as a contribution toward a commercial venture or project which is not financial. Instead, value is derived from the expertise, advice and time which founders, other individuals, or other companies, invest in the business at the pre-finance stage in return for some form of future equity.

The Fraser House event – entitled Exploring sweat equity routes to market’  – will be hosted by Lancaster-based tech startup Adirani Digital Solutions.

‘The 10 things I learned at 25, that are still true at 35’

Speakers will include Judy Leung, founder of the sweat equity connector platform Sweqlink.

Sweqlink is a talent matchmaking service which helps founders and early-stage companies wanting to build an expert team connect with individuals who have complementary skills, similar interests, or shared goals.

She’ll be joined by James Brookes, head of Projects at (TSF). Based in Manchester, TSF helps early-stage tech businesses make their service or product proposition more commercially viable.

As part of this process, TSF utilises a sweat equity model which can help progress interesting and disruptive ideas which might otherwise struggle to get off the ground.

Aditya Kadam, co-founder of Adirani Digital Solutions, said: “When people talk about growing a business, the term sweat equity is often used to describe the time that the founder has personally committed to the project for no return.

“This Tech Talk will look to explore other aspects of the sweat equity model, including both the benefits and barriers it can present to founders and investors alike. Judy and James will also be sharing specific insights and advice linked to how sweat equity can help you to build a strong and committed team, and significantly improve your commercial proposition.”

Rory Southworth, innovation ecosystem manager at Innovate Lancashire, said: “I’m proud that the Fraser House Hub will be hosting an event as part of the inaugural UK Tech Week on behalf of Lancashire.

“As well as exploring the challenges and opportunities offered by sweat equity through our expert session at Fraser House on April 25th, we will be using our participation in this week-long initiative to highlight the thriving tech and innovation ecosystem which is helping to drive economic growth across the whole of Lancashire.”

Tickets to the ‘Exploring sweat equity routes to market’ event are free but limited, and registration is essential.

Innovate Lancashire will be one of over 15 digital and tech communities taking part in UK Tech Week. Others include Birmingham Tech Week, Leeds Digital Festival, Bristol Tech Festival, Tech Week Humber, Halifax Digital Festival, Sheffield Digital, TechNExt in the North East, Cambridge Tech Week, Belfast Tech Week, Tech South West, and more.

Do perfect investors really exist?

In addition, several national organisations including Global Tech Advocates, the UK Tech Cluster Group, and techUK, have signed up to be UK Tech Week founding partners.