We are Tech North

Meet fellow founders, learn from industry experts, and share startup experiences

Founders’ Network is a free six-month programme of educational workshop-led events for early to mid-stage tech startup founders in the North of England. Join and you’ll benefit from:

  • Free, accelerator-style education, without the intensive time commitment (just one afternoon a month)
  • Masterclassess by expert educators and entrepreneurs who’ve trained top global CEOs, started up and scaled businesses, and have extensive experience working with startup founders
  • Joining a cohort of fellow founders, forming a supportive network as you grow your business
  • Creating actionable plans for implementing what you learn to your business straight away

Become a member

 

“This was one of the best startup events I’ve attended. If it’s ever going to be possible to foster more successful tech startups in the North, one huge step in the right direction will be to work with founders to identify weaknesses and points of failure early on and facilitate change in the right direction. For me, this event was exemplary of what Tech North can and should be doing.”

Salma Conway, MrLista

 

 

Founders Network Facilitators Facilitators

Workshops are led by world-class educators who between them have:

 

  • Worked with CEOs of organisations such as Skyscanner, Mando, and HMRC
  • Received investment as part of YCombinator accelerator in Silicon Valley
  • Written game-changing books and articles about entrepreneurship, including The Mom Test
  • Designed and run impactful accelerator programmes for startups across the UK, including Dotforge, Microsoft Ventures, Seedrs
  • Sean

    Sean Sankey

    Director, Strategy & Services at FORM

  • Matt

    Matt Johnson

    Managing Director of FORM

  • Devin-Hunt

    Devin Hunt

    Cofounder of lyst.com

  • Rob-Fitzpatrick

    Rob Fitzpatrick

    Serial Entrepreneur

  • Emma Cheshire_Fotor

    Emma Cheshire

    CEO and co-founder of Dotforge

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Sean

Sean Sankey

Director, Strategy & Services at FORM

Twitter: @MuchClearer

Sean Sankey has been trusted by organisations large and small to help their leaders deliver significant change in their businesses. In the last 15 years he has held various leadership roles, and has been a consultant to top teams in organisations as diverse as Aviva, Capgemini, Ofsted, HMRC, Skyscanner, and Shop Direct. He is Chair of Directors at The LifeCentre, a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Manchester that, within three years, went from nothing to generating an annual revenue of £250K.

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Matt

Matt Johnson

Managing Director of FORM

Twitter: @WeAreForm

Matt Johnson founded Form after more than 18 years growing a number of businesses, including the digital agency Mando, one of the largest digital agencies in the North West, of which is was co-founder and CEO. Matt is Non Executive and Angel Investor working with a range of creative and digital companies including The Gate Films and 4040 Media. He is the co-founder of Be One Percent, a charity empowering people to invest in products supporting global communities.

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Devin-Hunt

Devin Hunt

Cofounder of lyst.com

Twitter: @hailpixel

Devin Hunt is the cofounder of lyst.com, one of Europe’s top fashion startups which recently announced a $40 million series C. International speaker on design-led entrepreneurship. YCombinator alumni who has created award winning products for companies including Vice, Disney, and BERG.

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Rob-Fitzpatrick

Rob Fitzpatrick

Serial Entrepreneur

Twitter: @robfitz

Rob Fitzpatrick is a technical founder who learned enterprise sales and customer development the hard way. He’s the author of The Mom Test: How to Talk to Customers When Everyone is Lying to You, a practical handbook on Lean Startup which is taught at 4 of the top 5 global universities. He’s a YCombinator alumni, has raised funding in the US and UK, and has founded and run a wide range of startups throughout the past 10 years.

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Emma Cheshire_Fotor

Emma Cheshire

CEO and co-founder of Dotforge

Emma Cheshire is cofounder and CEO of Dotforge Accelerator. She has a wealth of experience working with tech startups and third sector and charity organisations, and in fund management.

Emma helped establish and deliver the first Dotforge programmes in 2013 and 2014, and went on to work with the RSA and Key Fund to develop Dotforge Impact – supporting entrepreneurs to use tech to solve social and environmental challenges. Dotforge has backed 32 Tech4Good startups to date, and is also delivering specialist programs for industries such as health, agritech and hardware.

 

Founders Network Masterclasses Masterclasses

Giving you the knowledge you need to move your business forward.

The programme covers six key topics across six masterclasses, held in the North East, Yorkshire & Humber, and the North West. Each month, our expert-led masterclasses will cover a new topic, giving you the knowledge you need to move your business forward. Read more about the Founders’ Network masterclasses and facilitators below.

Customer-Development

Even the most experienced salespeople make mistakes.

We’ll cover how to avoid and/or fix them. You’ll leave with a customer learning plan that will help you save time, turn conversations into customers, and better your business. Led by Rob Fitzpatrick at Founder Centric.

 

Leadership

Becoming a leader often requires developing a new skillset.

By the end of this masterclass you will be better equipped to grow as a leader and influencer, having deepened awareness of your own leadership strength and growth areas. Led by Sean Sankey and Matt Johnson at Form.

 

Legals

With so much else to do, legal speak can be offputting to those starting or running a business.

This session will bring together a panel of legal advisors to discuss the basics every startup needs to know about and have in place – in plain English.

 

Tractions-and-growth

There’s more to growth than content marketing, direct sales, and search ads.

There’s more to growth than content marketing, direct sales, and search ads. In this session we’ll look at the more unusual (but no less effective) approaches to growth, and how to quickly test whether they’ll work for you. Led by Devin Hunt at Founder Centric.

 

Building-a-team

As you grow, the team you have around you becomes increasingly important.

In this session we’ll cover how to shape your team and attract key players, how to make great hiring decisions, and how to retain your top talent. Led by Sean Sankey and Matt Johnson at Form.

 

Investment

What is it that investors look for in a startup?

What is it that investors look for in a startup? You’ll hear from a panel of VCs and angel investors, and a panel of entrepreneurs, who will demystify investment and help you decide whether it’s the right path for your company.

 

 

Founders Network Facilitators Schedule of Events

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Click the link below to the view the full Founders’ Network schedule of events in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber, and North East regions

Schedule of Events - Founders' Network
 

North West

 

Building a Team
Thursday 28th July (Liverpool)

Legals
Thursday 25th August

Customer Development
Thursday 29th September

Leadership
Thursday 10th November

Investment
Tuesday 6th December

Traction and Growth
Thursday 12th January

Yorkshire and Humber

 

Legals
Wednesday 27th July (Sheffield)

Customer Development
Wednesday 24th August

Building a Team
Wednesday 28th September

Investment
Wednesday 9th November

Traction and Growth
Monday 5th December

Leadership
Wednesday 11th January

North East

 

Customer Development
Tuesday 26th July (Newcastle)

Building a Team
Tuesday 23rd August

Legals
Tuesday 27th September

Traction and Growth
Tuesday 8th November

Leadership
Wednesday 7th December

Investment
Tuesday 10th January

 

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