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Category: Northern Tech News

Networks of Manchester’s Tech Ecosystem

Once upon a time (2006 to 2013), Techcelerate pioneered in building the Manchester’s Tech Ecosystem, when public sector could not care less about scalable technology businesses. Today, it’s a different story. Both public as well as the private sectors have come together to build the ecosystem from where Techcelerate had left off. Referred to as Northern Startup 2.0 in 2006, a tech gathering supported by KPMG and initiated by TechCrunch grew into a network of 2,300 tech entrepreneurs, senior managers of tech companies, investors and deal-makers over a period of 7 years. Techcelerate ran over 100+ tech entrepreneur events with…

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Influential Players of Manchester Tech Startup Ecosystem

I just met a chap from Glasgow and spent two hours talking about the Manchester tech ecosystem. He is keen to get to know others, so here goes a list of players, in no particular order and how the tech ecosystem in Manchester was developed.   Before we get going, I have not included tech entrepreneurs and others unless they are involved in the community development. Usually this means running tech entrepreneur events or involved in activities other than simply building their own companies.   From 2,300 strong Techcelerate Community Richard Gregory – Head of TechNorth Martin Bryant – Part of…

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Idea for Richard and the TechNorth

Richard and some of his troops are already doing this.. But let’s get to the starting point. TechNorth is about supporting digital businesses of which tech businesses are a part of. My interest is only on the latter. If you are a tech startup, you hit the pinnacle when you get chosen as a Northern Star (within the TechNorth ecosystem). These companies get the maximum support, and rightly so. What about those left behind? Could there be another two levels of companies, which could get defined support? Yes, we get invited to various events and programmes, but it’s difficult to sum…

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Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) methodology of #TechNorth by Richard Gregory

I’ve known Richard Gregory for many years [Disclaimer: He was a customer of edocr.com at one point]. When I first heard of his appointment to head of TechNorth, I felt energised. Here is a man well known and respected in Manchester digital community, a sort of people’s champion. However, he was from the digital marketing community and not from the tech entrepreneur community. The only question remaining was that does he understand the pain tech entrepreneurs in the North has to go to get anywhere, especially on raising capital?   I just read Richard’s blog post where he shares Objectives…

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#NorthernStars – A celebration of Tech Entrepreneurship

I was late attending the finals of NorthernStars pitch event last night at UKFast organised by TechNorth missing all the 23 pitches, as a result of attending CommissioningLive, a healthcare event, but the feedback I got suggested that the quality of pitching in the North is now in par with London. This was perhaps the strongest criticism I had (other than called a talking shop, which was exactly the point of Techcelerate at the time) from numerous VCs who took part in Techcelerate’s Dragons’ Lair pitching events for investment.   Out of the 100 or so applications received, according to Matt…

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Alternative perspective on developing the tech ecosystem of Manchester

Today, we are obsessed with turning Manchester into a thriving tech city, whether its adoption of technology or creating new technology startups. We even have folks who are championing Manchester to become the 5th largest tech city in Europe #MCRTop5. This is all credit to Doug Ward (worthy of a dedicated blog post) and his merry men. But this aspiration is not unique to Manchester. As tech has become so sexy, every major city aspires to become the next Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, they all fail as Silicon Valley is unique and cannot be replicated for many reasons. During the heyday of…

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Night out with DotForge Accelerator

I was invited to dine with the DotForge team, their friends and the new cohort of 8 companies last night in China Town, Manchester. The most striking aspect of what I learned about DotForge last night was not that DotForge had come to Manchester, Colin Tan’s passion for helping startups nor how great the 8 companies are but their open invitation for others, who are not connected with DotForge to attend selected workshops. As far as I know, what goes inside a typical accelerator pretty much remains a secret, unless you are one of the Up Accelerator startups. Outsiders don’t even get…

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Thoughts from #TechNorth launch in #Leeds today

The Launch Until 8:00 am this morning, I couldn’t justify a reason to attend the launch of much hyped TechNorth in Leeds. By 8:15 am, I regretted my decision, and by 10:15 I was listening to TechCity CEO launching the event. Yes in Leeds! In 2006, except for few of us, tech entrepreneurship was not fashionable like today. Those naysayers then have become champions of the sector today. And it has been a pleasure for me to watch the transition. In early days, the effort of building the tech ecosystem rested with number of passionate individuals. In Sheffield you had Lee…

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My first exit (asset sale) – Northern Tech Awards

This post should have been written on 1st August 2013 when I sold Northern Tech Awards to GP Bullhound, a boutique investment bank, as I was emotionally fired up on that great scorching day in Manchester. Since 2004, I founded few businesses, some have gone horribly wrong and others have thrived. Northern Tech Awards was not a business, but a key asset that emerged from Techcelerate. It was setup as the highlight of the year, when I used to run over 20 events a year, and our strong community of 2,300 tech entrepreneurs, senior managers of tech companies, investors, deal makers…

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