Bright Minds Sought to Launch Sunderland’s Next Wave of Tech Businesses

Photo Credit: Marvin Meyer Via Unsplash

Tech Startup Sunderland is a programme led by industry experts providing wide-ranging support to new digital and tech businesses in the city. It was set up last year, and the programme has brought together a team of tech experts with decades of industry experience to increase the number of new tech businesses in the city. 

This includes providing free one-to-one support to those who have an idea but have little tech know-how, and those who may have an idea and the digital nous but have little to no experience of running a business. 

Over the past 12 months, the team has worked with dozens of budding entrepreneurs to develop a wide range of early-stage business ideas, from cyber security consultancies to software platforms and the development of mobile apps. 

With the programme now fully underway and a series of events in the pipeline, the team are calling on residents to get involved and find out how the support could help them bring their big ideas to life. 

Micheal Dunn, programme lead to Tech Startup Sunderland, said: “Sunderland may not be the first destination people think of when they think of fast-growing tech hubs but there’s actually so much going on here. Tombola, Coatsink and Leighton are all companies that are globally renowned for the digital products and services they offer and they’re all right on our doorstep.

“This city is also about to benefit from becoming one of the UK’s first SmartCities meaning it will have the 5G connectivity, as well as businesses, to compete with anywhere in the globe, but to ensure the city capitalises on this, we have to ensure we unleash the ingenuity that spawned those fantastic companies and inspires others to follow in their footsteps, which is why we launched Tech Startup Sunderland. 

“Whether it helps to register a business, work with our in-house tea to develop your idea, or free access to a community hub to work from, we can help you no matter what stage you’re at so please do get in touch”. 

Christopher Marshall, founder of fast-growing network security consultancy, Cosmo Digital is one of the tech entrepreneurs to have benefited from the initiative. After receiving one-to-one support from the team and being directed to the financial support he has gone on to secure a number of clients and make a real success of his new venture. 

He said: “My business advisor not only completely understood the sector but actually understood my business and what I was trying to achieve, which as a tech start-up is very rare and he has also run multiple businesses.

“The conversations I had were so insightful and have genuinely helped me. It is a totally different kind of business support programme and I’d argue that one of the main reasons I am where I am today, is undoubtedly because of the programme and the connections it has helped me develop”.  

Tech Startup Sunderland is delivered by Sunderland Software City and has been developed as part of Sunderland City Council’s Smart City activity, a programme designed to help boost Sunderland’s digital economy by creating a place where everyone can take tech business ideas to global markets. 

Lis St Louis, Assistant Director of Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council. Said: “This programme echoes our ambition for the city, it is a tech startup programme for everyone in the city, no matter how early-stage their idea is, their level of experience or their background”.