Northern Stars rack up six months of wins

Northern Stars rack up six months of wins

Six months on from winning Tech North’s Northern Stars competition, winners have raised new funds, opened new offices, signed new contracts, and recruited key executives.

The companies from Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Bury and Lancaster are continuing to rack up wins on their path to growth.

The 10 flagbearers for the North’s digital promise have been working hard to build on their success last November. Connections and networking opportunities provided as part of the Northern Stars winners’ package have been instrumental in helping them to make significant business goals.

Airtime Rewards - has seen Waitrose and Debenhams join its rewards programme. It has also won a place on Telefonica’s accelerator programme, Wayra, as well as taking the Northern Stars award at the Northern Tech Awards in March.

Ash.TV - has opened its second office in Amsterdam and is looking at offices in Paris and San Francisco. One of the world’s biggest food groups is now a client, spending 10% of its online video budget with Ash.TV

DueCourse - has hired two senior people from GE Capital and Funding Circle. It has become a strategic finance partner of accounting software company Xero and is the first finance approved app on the Xero Marketplace.

LivingLens - has closed a £1.3 million funding round and successfully launched in the US. It’s also won a contract from a high profile global insight firm

ProxiSmart - has secured additional locations for its product, is talking about strategic partnerships with some of the other winners and is working towards its next fundraising.

SwapBots - has seen its own toy roll off the production line for the first time and has been talking to major toy makers, as well as Apple. It’s also successfully raised money on Kickstarter.

Valuechain - has acquired two technology businesses to improve its offer to manufacturing clients Rolls Royce, GKN, BAE Systems, Force India, Toyota and Cosworth. The manufacturing software business has also secured major contracts with Airbus and Bentley. - has achieved 80% growth in five months, with new clients signing up every day. Awareness of the brand in the local area has also increased.

Personalyze  - Northern Stars has been a great catalyst and the company has been chosen as one of the world’s top 10 data startups in the 2017 I-COM Global Data Startup Challenge. Personalyze now goes to Porto to compete to win a $50,000 prize from Unilever.

Dream Agility - won places at the Wayra accelerator in London and Lafayette Plug n Play in Paris for three months followed by three months in San Francisco. They will also open an office in Atlanta, as one of 22 startups taking part in a programme in the southern US city.

Richard Gregory, director of Tech North, said: “Our 2016 Northern Stars winners have made amazing strides in just six months and we know that they will make a big impression at The Next Web in Amsterdam this month. From these 10 companies you can see the strength and variety of digital tech businesses that are being built across the North and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

“Each of these startups has the potential to be a huge player in its field and they are a great testimony to the can-do attitude and dynamism of the North’s digital tech sector.”

The tech sector is thriving in most of the UK’s biggest Northern cities according to Tech Nation 2017, the most comprehensive analysis to date of the state of the digital and tech industries in Britain. Investment in Northern Tech companies is also at a 10-year high, with £326.9m invested in 2016, according to the first Tech North Investment Index report*.

Key stats on the northern cities where Tech North works to promote the tech sector found that:

  • The eight city clusters across the North have a combined GVA of £5.8bn, up from £4bn last year
  • There are 168,671 digital tech economy jobs across the eight city clusters in the North
  • Year-on-year the number of digital tech economy jobs across the North has increased from 141,465 last year to 161,701 this year (excluding Middlesbrough which was not included in last year’s report)
  • 1,973 startups are born each year across the eight city clusters in the North