We were delighted to read the recent news that a new venture is underway to boost the growth of the northern tech scene.
An article on Prolific North revealed the launch of a technology team backed by corporate finance advisory firm Dow Schofield Watts. Led by veteran tech advisor David Smith – an investor with impressive credentials – the team’s key focus is to improve tech companies’ access to finance.
It’s long been a problem to have plagued the UK tech industry outside of London. From start-ups to more established innovators, businesses of all shapes and sizes have found the route to venture capitalists in the city tough. Last year alone, for example, tech firms secured a reported £2.64bn in venture capital investment, but 63% of this remained in London.
Such a gap seems inexcusable in a modern economy, especially given the density of tech-based innovation in the north. In Yorkshire alone, cities like Leeds and Sheffield are home to some incredibly vibrant tech houses. But not only are they often overlooked. They’re also being held back.
Thankfully, in the face of finance difficulties, many tech companies – including ours – have forged ahead with their product roadmaps regardless. But not all have found this possible. It's a huge shame that such potential is being restricted and, in some cases, worse still, wasted entirely!
Unless the gap is bridged we'll continue to see Northern talent magnetised to London. Of course some people want to move to the city. But it shouldn't be the only way to further a career in tech for those who don't.
Something has to be done and we look forward to seeing what progress the Dow Schofield Watts team can make. The line-up of those involved certainly seems equipped to drive change.