Tech Manchester has reached a significant milestone this week after training its 100th mentor as part of its start-up support scheme.

The not-for-profit initiative backed by UKFast currently has 165 people actively involved in its programme which offers free support and guidance to tech firms based in the region.

The roster of mentors is willing and able to deliver world-class support and guidance to start-ups.

“This is a significant milestone in our quest to help support the region's startups," said Tech Manchester programme lead Patricia Keating.

"A third of our mentors are female which is incredible when you think only 17 per cent of people working in technology are women. It’s a number we’re striving to increase still further.

"Diversity is really important to us and we have mentors from a cross section of the community.

“We sit neatly in the fantastic start-up support ecosystem that already exists in Manchester and as a community we are working to ensure there is support along every stage of a start-up's lifecycle.

"Our ambition is to train and deliver 250 mentors into the region by 2020. Our mentors are already having a massive impact and that is only going to accelerate as the programme develops."

Following the success of Tech Manchester’s first two ‘Meet the Mentor’ matching events, a third is planned for 10am – 1pm on 28th and 29th June at UKFast Campus. It has more than 30 mentors waiting in the wings to offer their support to new entrepreneurs.

The event offers startups the opportunity to meet up to six prospective mentors with the skills and knowledge they require – and then to choose the mentor that best meets their mission.

Once mentors are selected, they embark on a six-to-12-month journey during which they will identify and explore goals and objectives.

Tech Manchester has attracted more than 500 people to its workshops and mentor matching events so far this year. It is signed up to be the anchor tenant in UKFast’s new co-working space FastForward, which launches in September at UKFast Campus.

FastForward has also signed up its first tenant after Social Chain’s former head of product Sean Brown, one of our '35 entrepreneurs under 35' , chose to base his eCommerce platform Mercarto there.

FastForward gives Tech Manchester the space to bring its free programmes together,” said UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones.

“The businesses in there have access to creative resources like recording and TV studios, which adds real value for them – as well as the support they can tap into on demand.”

Tech Manchester is also inviting would-be mentors to attend the next intake of training in September ahead of a fourth matching event and working on an academic study to assess the impact of mentor programmes on business ecosystems.

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