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Who is Manoj Ranaweera?

Last update: 2019-02-09

Manoj founded his first tech startup, a FinTech in electronic invoicing and payments in 2004. He then founded Techcelerate which built the Manchester’s tech ecosystem from 2006 to 2013. In 2007 Manoj founded, edocr.com which was recognised in 2008 as one of the hottest 20 tech startups in the UK. In 2013, GP Bullhound acquired Northern Tech Awards from Manoj. In 2015, edocr.com was acquired by US-based Accusoft.

In 2018, Manoj restarted Techcelerate (having closed it in 2013) to help tech companies raise investment. As part of this initiative, Manoj is building a membership organisation of 100 tech companies, investor network, partner network and specialists, which will help to further accelerate the success rate of Manchester and the North West based technology companies.

Manoj recently launched Deal Lite, a UK competitor to Crunchbase, with the idea of providing investment intelligence to Techcelerate Members, investors and partners.

The Tech Entrepreneur Journey

(Not all are Limited Companies):

  1. 2004 to 2006: ebdex – electronic document exchange for connecting Accounts Payable (A/P) and Accounts Receivables (A/R) to facilitate faster payments with potential to extend to a fully-pledged Supply Chain Finance solution. [Secured £250k debt finance]
  2. 2006 to 2012/13: Techcelerate – 2,300 strong tech ecosystem for tech entrepreneurs, investors and dealmakers [Got tired in 2012 and eventually closed down in 2013 after the disposal of (5)]
  3. 2007 to 2015: edocr.com – YouTube for documents. Best way to generate maximum ROI from publicly shareable documents for businesses [Acquired by Accusoft, Inc in March 2015]
  4. 2008: Foresight North – A research analyst firm co-founded with Dr. Angel Salazar. [Closed down due to lack of early traction]
  5. 2011 to 2013: Northern Tech Awards – UK’s first black-tie event dedicated to celebrating tech entrepreneurship in style [Acquired by GP Bullhound, a boutique investment bank in August 2013]
  6. 2011 to 2012: Tech Centre Manchester – A joint venture with Bruntwood, provided a co-working environment for tech startups in Manchester. [Closed at end of 2012 when the office floor was snatched by a Bruntwood customer]
  7. 2012: CRMPlus – first thin universal address book which syncs all your SaaS products. [Closed due to front-end delivery issues]
  8. 2015 to 2017: UnifiedVU – Re-defining how we consume business software. [Failed to gain traction – often told ahead of the market].
  9. 2017 Jan to 2017 Nov: Venture 9 – Tech startup consultancy services [Folded into (11)].
  10. 2017 May to 2017 Aug – Unified Health – Spin out of (8) [Shut down due to poor chemistry of the team].
  11. 2018 August onwards: Techcelerate – help Tech Companies achieve growth through access to investment, know-how, talent and markets.
  12. 2019 Apr onwards: Deal Lite – Crunchbase for the UK. Investment intelligence built on top of (8).

Life before

Prior to entering the tech startup world, I successfully leveraged management and leadership skills in technology, engineering, transportation, utilities and oil and gas sectors for over 10 yrs, working for two multinational consultancy firms, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Parsons International representing end clients, banks, bidding consortia and contractors during multi-stages of project life cycles, in the UK and Middle East.

Most enjoyable projects:

  • Winning the consortium bid to build and operate Croydon Tramlink – I was responsible for the circa £10 m light current solutions from non-vital signalling, telemetry SCADA to public address systems.
  • Abu Dhabi Sewerage telemetry SCADA system – re-designed and went to tender in 3 months.

I have an MBA from Manchester Business School and a B.Eng (Hons) from Brighton University (Polytechnic). My full profile can be accessed via LinkedIn

As a person

I’m approachable.