Tech City UK, the quasi-governmental organization in London tasked with fuelling the ongoing growth of digital industries and startups across the UK, has launched a free online platform for people to improve their digital and business skills.
Run with help from University College London’s UCLeXtend platform, the Digital Business Academy is partner-led, meaning users can take online courses from institutions such as Cambridge University Judge Business School, UCL and FounderCentric, which works with organizations like Seedcamp, among others.
“Whether you are a mother returning to the workplace or a new graduate full of ideas, securing top-notch digital and technical skills is essential,” Baroness Shields, chair of Tech City UK and Digital Adviser to the Prime Minister, said. “The Digital Business Academy will open up digital careers to people irrespective of age, background or pre-qualifications. For anyone who wants to learn, we provide the practical skills you need to start your own digital business or to thrive in any digital company.”
Other partners include the BBC, Twitter, O2 and accelerators like Microsoft Ventures, which will result in “tangible opportunities to course participants” in the form of (paid) internships, mentoring, and other start-up support services, like fast-tracking start-up loans and free co-working space, Tech City UK said. It’s also working “in association” with Techstars, a spokesperson said, but the organization isn’t a partner of the project.
In the pre-launch phase, more than 1,000 people signed up in anticipation of the opening day. Courses available include business development, marketing, branding and finance, and include hands-on exercises as well as theory-based learning. Overall, most should take between three and six weeks to complete, the organization said.