TechNorth Hub – The new Tech City?

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced an exciting new initiative – TechNorth, a project that aims to bring the equivalent of London’s Tech City to the north of England.

Virgin StartUp is committed to helping brilliant businesses all over the UK find a foothold - Storygami, 360 Video, Frugl, to name just a few - and we’re thrilled to hear this news.

There are already amazing things happening across the north – but the scheme aims to take this further by uniting and coordinate Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, and the North East, helping put them on the international map. Plans to achieve this include pooling resources, attracting investors, and providing startups with the help and funding they need to get going.

Nick Clegg points out “It is estimated that collectively, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and the North East tech cluster have over 20,000 businesses in the tech, media and telecoms industries. There’s a growing body of evidence which suggests that, to compete with San Francisco, Shanghai, Bangalore, Berlin and London, a cluster needs to reach a point of critical mass. This could be reached by attracting large inward investors which would have a magnetising effect to attract spin off businesses and support supply chains.”

First steps including attracting, retaining and supporting the tech talent of the North. TechNorth will act as a ‘superconnector’, helping link investors to talent through event and pitching, and by encouraging investors to move north rather than focussing on London and the south-east.

But it’s not just good news for tech businesses and those who dream of going it alone – this is an initiative sure to have an effect on the areas around them too, helping regeneration and empowering other businesses.

Our friends over at Virgin Media Pioneers recently put together mini-series On The Line, which focusses on the London Tech City – now a global tech hub. While not as large as Silicon Valley, it has its own unique spirit and atmosphere, and it’s going to be an exciting time to see what these new initiatives will create in the north of England. It’s clear the UK is one of the world’s most exciting places to start up a technology business – are you ready to come along for the ride?

Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons