The UK is renowned for its tech ecosystem and, more often than not, London receives the bulk of this attention. But while it’s true that London is home to some of the world’s most pioneering companies, and attracts huge amounts of investment and talent — it is by no means the only successful tech hub in the UK.
The UK’s northern technology sector is a vibrant and thriving landscape, which is currently giving London’s monopoly on tech a run for its money. To date, there are over 12 technology businesses which have been founded in the North that have reached unicorn status, including e-commerce giants The Hut Group and Boohoo.
The talent pipeline in the north is strong, putting the region in a great position to maintain an equal footing with London and the South. In fact, the number of computer science graduates so crucial to the sector, is equal when comparing the two regions.
“London and Manchester are neck and neck as the top destinations for tech workers.”
Research from GP Bullhound highlights that the fastest-growing northern tech companies are well distributed across the whole of the region — but particularly in the North West and Yorkshire. Additionally, according to a recent survey, London and Manchester are neck and neck as the top destinations when it comes to tech workers choosing where to locate, with 18% and 15% respectively settling for the two locations — demonstrating that London is no longer the automatic choice for tech in the UK.
Celebrating the best of the North
It’s time to give the north’s fastest growing and most-promising tech companies their share of the limelight.
To champion the region, GP Bullhound has hosted the Northern Tech Awards since 2014, and each year there are new companies being developed that indicate how much there is to celebrate.
Given the circumstances of Covid-19, this year GP Bullhound will host a live virtual event, taking place on May 27 at 4pm BST, showcasing the digital economy of the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Registrations are currently open to entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders globally, and you can apply to attend here.
The event will spotlight the 100 fastest growing tech companies with The Northern Tech 100 League Table and celebrate the digital economy of the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The virtual gathering will also reveal the Top 15 Northern Stars, the most promising scaleups in the region, and include live panel discussions. Among the 15 set to be revealed are female founders behind Shopper.com, a platform that automatically applies the best coupon to your shopping, and Immersify Education, an augmented reality (AR) learning tool supporting an advanced learning curriculum.
There will also be an interactive Q&A with inspirational founders and investors who have contributed to the region’s success — including Richard Law, former chief executive of GB Group, Malcolm Cowley, chief executive of Partnerize, and Carl Cavers, chief executive of Sumo Group, together with Stephen Roberts, investment director of ECI Partners. Topics will include how the northern tech scene has developed over the years, investment trends in the region and why the north is attractive to tech founders.
The highlight of the evening will be the reveal of the Fastest Growing Company of the Year and the Fastest Growing Larger Company of the Year (with revenues over £10m).
The calibre of companies involved can be seen by some of the previous winners, which include Skyscanner, Nexus, Missguided, The Hut Group, Music Magpie, LADbible, Twinkle Educational Publishing and Evolution Funding.
The northern tech scene has proved to be as resilient and innovative as ever during this challenging time. Northern Tech Live will be the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the many ambitious and exciting companies to come out of this region and give the northern tech sector the attention it deserves.
This piece was sponsored by GP Bullhound.