Tech North has held a series of events to discuss its plans for the future.
The roadmap was outlined by Richard Gregory, new Head of Tech North who outlined the huge opportunity in bringing the digital economy in the North of England together.
In summary the plans were:
Trade and investment
To raise the profile of the North of England as a preferred business location for tech companies from elsewhere in the UK and overseas together with promoting export opportunities for the tech products and services created here. This involves working UKTI and seven key Tech North cities (Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sunderland) to tell a single joined up narrative.
Trade missions to events like SXSW in Austin, Dreamforce in San Francisco and Kidscreen in Miami.
The Tech Nation Visa scheme to attract talent to the North of England – with events supported by Ward Hadaway.
To raise the profile of the best tech startups in the North and provide them with high value connections. Companies involved in all areas of tech can apply, whether that’s virtual reality, medtech, artificial intelligence, drones or anything else. Online applications are open now for the chance to pitch at one of the three regional events.
There will be 10 winners and prizes include trips to TechCrunch Disrupt London, a Bloomberg investor pitch event, the GP Bullhound Northern Tech Awards, The Next Web Conference Europe in Amsterdam, plus the option to be involved in trade missions, such as to SXSW in Texas.
Founders’ Network is a six-month bespoke programme of tailored learning offering free, accelerator-style education for just one afternoon a month. The programme offers advanced masterclasses on business administration and lean startup principle; customer development; building your team; legals; investment; traction and growth, and leadership.
The co-investment fund
Accessing finance is a key issue facing Northern companies. Tech North are planning between a £20 million and £30 million co-investment fund that would co-ordinate investors, leading to the creation of more SEIS/EIS funds. It would put more capital into the ecosystem and act as a ‘hub’ for tech investment activity.
A video of priorities moving forward can be seen here