Tech City UK Blog

Delighted to announce Claire Braithwaite to lead our Tech North initiative with Herb Kim as Executive Chair of the Tech North Advisory Board

Today we’re pleased to announce we have appointed Claire Braithwaite as the new Head of Tech North and Herb Kim as the Executive Chair of the Tech North Advisory Board. Tech North, part of the Tech City UK network, is a regional initiative that responds to the findings of the Tech Nation report – identifying how the cluster phenomenon is fuelling the growth of the digital economy across the UK. As announced last October by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, following his Northern Futures Project, Tech North will leverage the unique strengths of regional innovation by identifying and supporting the needs of grassroots entrepreneurs, and driving the connectivity of the digital ecosystem of the entire region.

The goal of the Tech North initiative is to accelerate the development of the North’s digital economy, helping attract talent, entrepreneurs and investment to northern cities including Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sunderland.

Claire Braithwaite currently holds the position of Chief Financial and Operations Officer at Clearly So, the corporate finance advisory firm for social enterprise. As the inaugural Head of Tech North, Braithwaite will lead our new initiative as well as putting in place a team. With a proven entrepreneurial record and grassroots understanding of the technology sector, Braithwaite’s stewardship heralds an exciting time for the digital business community across the North.

Herb Kim is the Founder and CEO of Thinking Digital based in Newcastle. With a successful track record in connecting entrepreneurs and digital leaders in the region, Kim will bring his years of experience as a respected northern business builder to bear on the initiative. His experience and networks in regional capitals in the US in particular will prove vital in championing the UK’s regional capitals and helping to build their growing reputation overseas.

Commenting on the global potential of the UK digital economy, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The Tech Nation report demonstrates the great innovation and thriving entrepreneurial spirit that is driving the sector forward across the country. Backing the industries of the future is a key part of our long-term economic plan to support business, create more jobs and build a more resilient economy. The North is growing and by ensuring we foster the right conditions for digital business growth, we can go even further in solidifying the position of the entire UK as a global hub of technology excellence.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “I’m delighted to be welcoming Claire and Herb to lead innovative plans to support the digital sector by bringing together tech talent in the North. I’m proud and pleased that Northern Futures has brought creative minds, tech experts and entrepreneurs together to help build world-class tech clusters spanning our Northern cities. Tech North will help business boom in the North, bringing a stronger economy but also a fairer society when thousands of jobs are created in the North.”

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for the Digital Economy, commented, “I welcome Claire and Herb’s appointments as Head of Tech North and Executive Chair. This is an exciting opportunity to build on the successes of Tech City UK, and to continue to develop the North’s leading digital clusters.”

The incoming team for Tech North will spend time working across the northern region and will be initially co-located between Manchester and Newcastle. Other Northern co-locations may be considered as the delivery of the initiative develops. Claire will assume her role from 27th April while Kim will assume his role with immediate effect.