North-East leads year-long tech campaign by highlighting region’s big names and startups – The Northern Echo


A CAMPAIGN to champion leading clusters of UK technology has launched, with the North-East leading the charge.

The ‘12 Clusters of Tech’ initiative explores ecosystems and tech trends in every region over the next twelve months, with an end goal of mapping the UK tech scene.

Launched by the UK Tech Cluster Group, which is led by Sunderland Software City boss David Dunn, and London Tech Week, it will look at all corners of tech and become a resource for investors, press, tech stakeholders and other interested groups.

Kicking off the project is the North-East, which pays homage to its fast-growing tech sector and mix of startups, scaleups and established leaders.

Born and bred North-East, large firms such as Sage and Tombola, attract graduates and actively raise awareness of STEM opportunities which act as a positive inward investment tool. Sage chief operating officer Lee Perkins calls the region “the perfect breeding ground”.

Meanwhile, others have been bought up by out-of-town firms, like Kontainers and Moltin which were acquired by Canadian-based companies.

Durham’s Atom Bank quickly emerged as an industry leader after bursting onto the banking scene in 2014, and now has its own incubator for startups.

The Northern Echo:

Also in the spotlight, alongside sampling company SoPost and software firm SalesCycle, is Double Eleven.

The scaleup digital entertainment firm, based in Middlesbrough, has worked on Minecraft Dungeons with Microsoft, Prison Architect with Paradox and PS Vita’s Big Little Planet.

Teesside’s Boho campus, Sunderland’s Software City and Gateshead’s PROTO are just three of many hubs that helps businesses get off the ground, while the North-East also has a portfolio of accelerators to first help ideas become businesses.

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Startup Paid, based in Darlington, collects invoices for small businesses and freelancers to help others get instant payouts – a tool useful in today’s uncertainty.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “People know Teesside steel built the world and now they are hearing more and more about how we are driving forward innovation when it comes to tech and digital.

The Northern Echo:

“Far too many people still think you have to go and work in Manchester or London if you want a job in tech, but it’s simply not true. Companies right here in Teesside are working on the next blockbuster game for Microsoft and developing the next generation of high-tech flexible circuit boards.

“The Tees Valley is home to some amazing world-leading tech and digital businesses doing some incredible things. It is one of our key sectors, responsible for employing thousands of people and delivering more than half a billion pounds into our economy each year. If you want a job in tech you can absolute follow your dreams right here in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”

The report identified artificial intelligence, immersive technology and industry 4.0 as the North-East’s specialties.

David Dunn, chair, UK Tech Cluster Group, is delighted about the partnership.

The Northern Echo:

He said: “I am delighted we are partnering with London Tech Week for the development of 12 Clusters of Tech. We will be highlighting some of the amazing companies from across the UK and showcasing technology to the rest of the world.

“From exciting startups to established employment powerhouses, there is a lot to be proud of across our ecosystems and we will be telling the story by putting businesses in the spotlight.”

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The next 12 Clusters of Tech report will be released in October and cover Scotland.

The North East report is now available for download at: https://londontechweek.com/news-and-insights/innovation/12-clusters-of-tech-the-north-east/





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