Introducing the scaleups on International Growth Programme 2.0 for Northeast Asia

Carly Minsky, May 27, 2022 4 min read

We are excited to announce the second cohort of companies on the International Growth Programme for Northeast Asia.

The 12-week government-backed programme supports fast-scaling UK tech companies derisk and accelerate their growth into Japan and South Korean markets and was designed to reflect a scaleup’s journey in these markets. Delivered in collaboration with Intralink, scaleups explore fundamental international growth challenges and benefit from expert advice on in-market business development, hiring processes and go-to-market strategy. 

“We are delighted to be part of Tech Nation International Growth Programme cohort 2.0 for Northeast Asia,” said Tatiana Escobar-Peake, head of international expansion at femtech Elvie. “Tech Nation’s team, advisors and affiliated organisations provide tailored, fully customisable support that will be crucial in helping us unlock the potential of new international markets in Asia. As a proud alumnus of their Upscale programme, we are thrilled to count on Tech Nation’s network for the next stage of our international growth.” 

Another cohort participant, Anthony Peake, CEO of location intelligence company Intelligent AI, said: “Intelligent AI is very pleased to be supported in our international expansion by Tech Nation. As an insurtech focused on AI in Commercial Property risk management, we see Japan and Asia as providing huge growth opportunities for Intelligent AI and the Tech Nation Japan Growth Programme is helping us to plan and start that journey.”

UK scaleups on the programme have prioritised their expansion into Japan and South Korea having already realised the opportunity in their sector. 

Vishal Kumar, CEO of computational photography startup Alice Camera, said they had prioritised the Japanese market because it is a well-known and established country for professional cameras, and because 20% of pre-order sales have come from Japan it made sense to explore concrete opportunities for mass commercialisation.”

Paolina White, head of sales EMEA at deeptech Speechmatics said: “Speechmatics is a rapidly growing business with a global reach for delivering speech recognition technology to businesses around the world, and the Northeast Asia market – specifically Japan – is an obvious expansion step with Japanese already existing in our language portfolio and the demand in the market for speech-to-text capabilities.”

The South Korea market is a target for growth satellite imaging company Satellite Vu as it has a “strong heritage in space technology” and has also passed the Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth Act to cut emissions by 35% by 2030, explained director Alex Gow. 

And the cohort has already started seeing benefits from the growth programme. 

Gareth Lewis, CEO at private investment-focused fintech Delio, said: Having won our first Japanese client during 2021, this programme is providing Delio with an effective and efficient way of building on this early traction and exploring further opportunities in the country. The team’s network of connections and market knowledge is already opening doors to financial institutions that we would probably have struggled to engage with through traditional method.”

Tim Turner-Sutton, APAC general manager at online marketplace Wolf & Badger, said, The team has been incredibly diligent and efficient, while taking the time to understand our business and the required deliverables. This has enabled them to gather relevant data, present insights and establish connections on our behalf with potential local partners including platforms, retailers and operators. We can see the programme helping us accelerate our growth in Asia Pacific.”

And for Alice Camera, CEO Vishal Kumar added: “Through the help of Tech Nation’s International Growth Programme we were introduced to Intralink who have significantly reduced the barriers to entry to Japan by helping us reach out directly to traditional players in the camera industry alongside influencer agencies and content creators. Through this engagement we hope to scale our sales effort and we foresee at least one-quarter of our sales coming from Japan.”

Tech Nation’s International Growth Programmes are part of the UK government’s Digital Trade Network initiative in Asia Pacific, to help de-risk and accelerate UK scaleups international growth. Alongside Northeast Asia, Tech Nation also supports UK tech scaleups in Southeast Asia and Australia. 

Meet the cohort


  • Alice Camera
    Alice Camera is a computational photography startup based at the UCL university incubator building a novel AI camera in Britain from the ground up for the 200 million income-generating creators, YouTubers, TikTokers, and Twitch streamers who create frequent digital content as part of the passion economy and the future of work. By combining professional quality optics with AI-accelerated hardware, computational photography algorithms driven by deep learning and software we are offering content creators a device more suited to a fast-paced content lifestyle.


  • Delio
    Delio’s private markets technology, expertise and network power the strategies of the world’s most respected financial institutions.


  • Elvie
    Elvie is a femtech brand founded by Tania Boler in 2013, with a mission to revolutionise women’s health and wellbeing on a global scale – by using radical female-first technology to create superior products that women want, need and deserve.


  • Intelligent AI
    Intelligent AI offers global location intelligence that helps customers identify, measure, predict and mitigate property risks in real-time.


  • Speechmatics
    Speechmatics are global experts in deep learning and speech recognition, providing Autonomous Speech Recognition technology that understands every voice. Offering its speech recognition for solution and service providers to integrate into their stack regardless of their industry or use case. Businesses use Speechmatics around the world to accurately understand and transcribe human-level speech into text regardless of demographic, age, gender, accent, dialect or location.


  • Softools
    Softools is the fastest and simplest platform for building and deploying Enterprise apps – by the business, for the business


South Korea

  • Bramble Energy
    Bramble Energy is an innovator of renewable energy technologies; designing and manufacture high-performance, low-cost, fuel cell stacks using printed circuit board (PCB) materials and processes.


  • Satellite Vu
    SatelliteVu is launching the world’s first constellation of high-resolution thermal infrared imaging satellites. The constellation will be capable of resolving building level thermal change measurements providing an accurate determination of temperature, at multiple times of day or night. This unique technology will help us better understand change and activity within the built and surrounding natural environment that traditional visible wavelength imagery will not detect.


  • Wolf & Badger
    Wolf & Badger is the B Corp Certified marketplace to connect independent ethical brands with conscious consumers worldwide.
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