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Tech North is on the hunt for the North’s most promising startups

Tech North is on the hunt for the North’s most promising startups for 2017

Tech North has launched its biggest and best ever Northern Stars competition to find 10 of the North’s most promising tech startups. Over the last two years, Northern Stars has had great success in helping fast-growing startups and digital businesses to receive wider recognition and growth for their business, both within the region and beyond.

The tech sector is thriving in most of the UK’s biggest Northern cities and the sector now employs almost 169,000 people across eight cities.  Investment in digital tech companies in the North has risen 916% from £19.8m in 2007 to £201.2m in 2016 according to the first Tech North Investment Index.

To build on this success, Tech North particularly wants to encourage applications for the competition from as many emerging tech sectors as possible. Startups in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, gaming or Virtual Reality – underrepresented in previous years – are particularly encouraged.

Richard Gregory, director of Tech North, said: “The North has deep reserves of tech talent and that is why we have made our flagship Northern Stars competition even bigger and better than ever. Previous Northern Stars winners have now achieved so much and all will tell you that the assistance and recognition that comes with winning this competition are really useful in helping push their businesses to the next stage. Now we want to identify more early-stage startups from the North’s great cities and towns and we know there’s some great talent out there just waiting to be discovered.”

Matt Jeff-Watts, head of programmes at Tech North, said: “To make sure that Northern Stars is as relevant and useful to as many startups as possible, we are delighted to announce that this year Tech North will be able to extend bespoke support and promotion to all the finalists, as well as the winners. The package of training and promotion is intended to accelerate the progress of all those who reach the final, because to get that far really takes something special.”

Who can enter?

Any startup or early-stage tech company that is based in the North of England and has raised less than £2m in equity funding. Companies need to have a live product with market traction.

How to enter?

Applicants need to fill in the detailed application form https://technorthhq.com/programmes/northern-stars/ giving Tech North as much information about the company, its founders, its purpose, the product, the employees, the challenges that have been faced and overcome and everything that could make the business a potential winner.

Those who are selected will go through three pitching rounds this autumn to have a chance to be one of 20 finalists to make it to the final, which will take place on 20 November.

For the first time since the competition was launched, all 20 finalists will receive support and promotion from Tech North. Both the 10 winners and the 10 runners up will receive pitch training, a PR campaign and media training as well as personalised support and communications around opportunities for their business. All 20 will also receive tickets to and a place on an exhibition stand at the Founders Network Summit in spring 2018.

The prize

The 10 winners will receive pitch training, a PR Campaign, media training, tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin on the 4-5 December; attendance at a London Investor Pitch Event and opportunities to meet investors/corporates; entry to the Northern Stars category at the Northern Tech Awards which are held in Edinburgh in March 2018; tickets to and exhibition stand at the Founders’ Network Summit; personalised support and communications around opportunities for their business. They will also become members of the Northern Stars Winners Network.

Previous winners

Past winners need little encouragement to explain what a difference winning Northern Stars has made to their aspirations and their business. Chris Reed, founder and CEO of Proxismart, a 2016 winner, said: “The Northern Stars win has taken us on a journey which would otherwise have not been possible. We have increased our profile significantly, met potential investors, secured additional locations ready to deploy our solution, garnered support from HM Government’s national tech advisor, presented at high profile international events, secured additional national awards, featured in regional and national press. Most importantly, we have been able to confirm the potential of our business with enthusiasm for it both domestically and abroad.”

James Mulvany, founder and CEO of Radio.co, another 2016 winner said: “The conferences we attended have been really helpful, both in terms of general networking and educational aspects.  SXSW, in particular, was an awesome experience. Since our win, we have had massively increased awareness of our brand in the local area.  Lots of people I meet have already heard about us, specifically because of Northern Stars.”

Find out more about last year’s winners and watch their business story videos here: https://technorthhq.com/ones-to-watch/