Northern tech has a bright future, says Ward Hadaway

Northern tech has a bright future, says Ward Hadaway

The north's tech sector has a bright future and is home to some of the UK’s leading lights in the industry, according to leading law firm Ward Hadaway.

Ward Hadaway, which has offices in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester, made the comments after the final of the Northern Stars 2016 competition.

Hosted by Tech North, the competition set out to discover the most promising early stage technology companies across the North of England.

A series of regional pitch events culminated in the grand final which took place at the Old Granada Studios in Manchester when 10 winning companies were chosen by a panel of high-profile industry experts.

The law firm, which has a long track record of advising businesses in the technology sector from early stage and start-up companies to multinationals, was the official legal partner for the competition and helped to judge the entries.

Gareth Yates, a partner in the technology team who was a judge at the Sheffield regional heat of Northern Stars, said: “Judging by the companies which entered the competition, the future for the tech sector in the North of England is very bright indeed.

“In many ways, it was difficult to pick winners from the businesses which we saw since all of them delivered a great pitch and showed a great deal of passion and drive in respect of their particular innovation, and many had already developed to the point of significant commercial success in their venture.

“There are some real stars amongst those who took part in the competition and if these companies are an example of the next generation of tech businesses, there is a lot to look forward to in the coming years.”

Matt Cormack, an associate in the commercial team who was a judge at the Newcastle regional heat, added: “We already know from our extensive work with a range of companies and entrepreneurs in the technology sector that the North of England is home to some fantastic tech businesses, and it was great to see the quality and variety of businesses in this year’s competition, which really does highlight the strength in depth of the sector across the north.

“Whilst the businesses are at an early stage in their development, they all have a very firm idea of where they want to get to and how they aim to get there.

“We were very impressed with the quality of all the companies which we saw and how far many of them had already got to making real headway in developing their businesses.

“We’re now looking forward to working with the winning companies and identifying ways in which their businesses can progress to further success.”