Worcester law firm ties up with cyber accelerator

HCR Nicola-McNeely-at-Betaden

Worcester law firm HCR’s top technology law expert has been doing her bit to support start-up tech companies by offering a day a month of her time free of charge.

Nicola McNeely, who has worked with tech companies throughout her career, has been supporting growing companies being developed by Malvern-based tech accelerator BetaDen, which is now looking for its next group of entrepreneurs and tech companies to apply to join Cohort 4.0.

Nicola offers legal advice on everything from contracts and the structure of the companies, to negotiations with investors and suppliers and their market strategy.

She said: “It’s hard work, but I get the opportunity to work with really interesting tech businesses; I have spent my career with this kind of business and I really enjoy it. Their issues are very varied, and it is great to be able to help them set a course towards success.”

The current cohort of businesses are developing products and services using blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), drone mapping, 5G and thermal sensors. BetaDen is now keen to recruit more early stage technology entrepreneurs to benefit from its support – based at Malvern Hills Science Park, it offers nine months of free office space, mentorship, and access to Worcestershire’s 5G testbed. Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership also provides a £10,000 ‘proof of concept’ grant.

Linda Smith, CEO and founder of BetaDen, said: “We’re delighted to have Nicola on board; her background in IT and intellectual property is invaluable for the founders here. We have just started recruiting for our new cohort who will come on board in March next year, and I hope that HCR will continue to support us.”