Toggle menu

Tech Ecosystem Event Subsidy

Apply Online

Glasgow City Council has established a fund to help increase tech ecosystem "market square" activity in Glasgow by supporting providers in delivering conference and tech ecosystem events in the city.

The Council will provide a grant allocation for organisers that can be used to subsidise the costs of hosting and delivering events that attract both UK & international tech businesses and employers, talent, investors and the tech diaspora to Glasgow.

Support Available

A grant up to a maximum value of £15K per annum is available to support eligible organisers with the costs of delivering a tech ecosystem-focused event against set criteria with a view to showcasing the regional tech ecosystem to a wider audience.

This subsidy focuses specifically on activity and events physically located within the Glasgow City boundary. As such, it is designed to support professional projects and applications will not be considered for purely social events.

The grant is now open for applications. The Grant will close to new applications on 20 December 2024 or when budget is fully allocated (whichever is earlier).

To draw down your grant, you must provide copies of all invoices and proof of payment in the form of a bank statement relating to eligible costs.

Eligibility Criteria

What constitutes a Tech Ecosystem/Market Square event?

At a broad level, meets the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review (STER) definition, as published in August 2020, and is aligned to the associated recommendations with respect to scaling Ecosystem Infrastructure, specifically the creation of temporary market squares in the form of conferences and meetups:

"These market squares can be small to large in size, are typically temporary in nature (comprising a single or multi-day event occurring on a one-off or semi-regular basis) and have a tech content, networking, business development and education component in their makeup."

While not definitive, examples of eligible projects may include:

  • networking and conference events
  • founder education sessions
  • investor readiness and introduction events.

Specifically, Tech Ecosystem Events and/or Conferences are larger in scale and tend to be more professional/formal in setup than Tech Meetups being mostly led by speakers who are expert in their fields and who present ideas based on the topics to be discussed. They often (though not exclusively) share some of the following characteristics:

  1. Large open sessions in halls
  2. Small meeting rooms for private discussions
  3. Technical help during the conference
  4. Host, sponsors and organisers presentations
  5. Rooms have to be equipped with sound and projection facilities
  6. Bigger budget fund to maintain financial risk, organisational issues and retention of profits for special members
  7. A website with several social media accounts connected
  8. A promotional element or marketing campaign incorporating an element of planned media coverage and lead generation.

Tech Meetups, by comparison, are events where like-minded people in tech can connect, learn new skills, and hear from experts and speakers. A Tech Meetup could be geared around a variety of topics, including software development, programming languages, blockchain, VR, or AI.

Tech Meetups exist worldwide and can take place online or in-person. Depending on the group dynamic, expected attendance, and community activity, tech meetups typically organise an event once a month or every couple of months.

Tech meetups tend to be locally hosted and attended.

If your event criteria more aligns to the definition above then please note GCC has also introduced a Tech Smart Meetup Subsidy, please click here for more information.

Grant Eligibility

Event Eligibility

  • Must be located within Glasgow City Council Area.  (Postcode checker: )
  • Must be in-person (virtual or on-demand access should be provided by the organiser, where possible) and take place within the Glasgow City boundary, to enhance the city's reputation as a credible host of tech business events
  • Must have capacity to measure tangible economic impact through market square enhancement and networking benefits for the Scottish tech ecosystem and Glasgow in particular
  • Must seek to address an identifiable gap in market square event activity, e.g. leveraging specific vertical industries or sectors of relative regional strength, addressing a broad range of technologies and/or providing a focal point for identifiable ecosystem trends, themes or identifiable gaps, e.g. growth of tech investment, etc.
  • Does not duplicate existing provision currently satisfied by other providers at city region level
  • Clearly targets a broad tech audience with a relationship to the Glasgow and Scottish marketplace through content, education, product demonstrations, networking, et al.
  • All events must be delivered within the City of Glasgow and benefit the Scottish tech ecosystem. They must have either an existing track record of delivering events that support the tech ecosystem or be able to demonstrate the ability to do so credibly.
  • A tech ecosystem can be defined as "a network of interconnected and interdependent diverse business entities that come together to support each other and spur innovation sustainably. These ecosystems support growth through pooling resources and sharing technologies and applications developed to boost each other's productivity."

Note criteria is not definitive and should be used as a baseline. Fresh and innovative ideas are welcomed. All projects and events must be of a professional standard, purely social events will not be considered. If you have any queries about your eligibility, please Email.

Business Eligibility

  • Businesses must have been trading for at least 6 months
  • Businesses must be compliant with Minimal Financial Assistance threshold of £315,000 over the current and proceeding 2 financial years. The threshold will not be exceeded by the amount the business will receive if grant award is approved.

Not Eligible:

The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Businesses who possess undischarged bankrupts, subject to insolvency proceedings or an individual who has entered into an arrangement with his/her creditors (including a trust deed)
  • Businesses who are in arrears of Non-Domestic Rates

The final grant will be subject to specific Terms and Conditions set out in an individual grant award letter.

Application Process

Eligible businesses must complete the Application Form, including:

  • A 500-word (max) description of your proposal for a one-off or series of events which will support the Scottish tech ecosystem
  • A 500-word (max) description of your organisation/individual responsible for managing the event and experience in the Scottish tech ecosystem
  • A 500-word (max) breakdown of costs, e.g. venue hire, speaker costs, hospitality, etc.
  • A 250-word (max) description of expected key outcomes of the event
  • A 250-word (max) summary of how your event will be promoted to the wider tech ecosystem
  • Details of additional funding - either applied for or secured - for event, namely, sponsorship, grants, additional public sector support, etc.


Conditions of Support

The subsidy will pay up to a maximum of £15k in a single financial year to offset the overall costs of hosting and delivering the event

Details must be provided of how the subsidy will directly contribute towards increasing the profile of the Glasgow City Region tech ecosystem in particular

The grant will be paid as follows:

  • An advance payment of 50%, on acceptance of the conditions of grant and evidence of a signed event lease or, alternatively, production of invoices for a minimum 50% of overall event costs.
  • Balance of payment made available on successful completion of event and production of invoice(s) from event with business bank statement showing previous payment(s) being made.
  • Please note that a contribution will only be made towards actual costs incurred and VAT costs are not eligible.
  • Applicants may not claim cash payments; handwritten invoices and receipts will not be accepted.


Unacceptable Actions Policy

Our staff are here to assist you with your business enquiry however, insulting or abusive behaviour towards our staff will not be tolerated.  Please note that our services may be withdrawn in line with our Unacceptable Actions Policy if anyone is considered as being abusive.

Related Content

Related Articles



This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  Successful applicants should follow UK Shared Prosperity Fund branding and publicity requirements. Please click here for details.

Funded by UK Government banner


Last modified on 18 July 2024

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email