Following the recent launch of Tech Nation, we are running a series of profile pieces on each of the digital clusters featured in the report.
With five local universities, the North East cluster has an excellent pool of accessible talent, and over 26,000 people in digital employment. Headquartered in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the cluster also boasts a FTSE 100 company in Sage. This further increases the pool of digital talent in the area, as the company continues to attract world-leading experts from around the world.
A strong industrial history mean that the North East is an established working community, the perfect basis for a digital cluster to form and 77% of digital companies feel part of it. As well as IT support and software development, gaming has been a large contributor to technology success across Newcastle, Sunderland and Northumberland. Some great examples include Ubisoft Refections, Epic Games UK and CCP Games.
Within the cluster, there is a range of both public and private sector support for fledgling tech businesses aiming to grow and scale. Sunderland Software City, Campus North, Ignite (pre-seed accelerator) and VC Northstar Ventures have all been vital to the successful growth of the digital community and success in the North East.
According to companies in the area, it boasts some of the most positive cluster benefits of any in the report. With 86% of respondents supporting the view that the North East has strong social networks and with access to affordable property coming in at 70%, businesses have the perfect platform in which to grow. Strong social networks have led to great tech events being established right across the North East, such as Dynamo15, Thinking Digital, VRTGO, and The DIBI Conference.
Co-founder and CEO of Ignite 100 is enthusiastic about the spread of digital success across the cluster: “There are clusters of activity across the North East – Newcastle is the hub, but Sunderland and Gateshead also have their own communities.”
Three local companies were profiled in the report: