By now, many of you will have heard the news that Claire Braithwaite has left Tech North. Although we are all disappointed to see her go, we understand and respect her decision and feel it’s important to keep you, the Northern tech community, updated on the future of our organisation.
A number of you have been in touch asking about how we will operate on a day-to-day basis. Our Executive Chairman, Herb Kim, has stepped in to run Tech North in the interim. It goes without saying that both Herb and the Tech North team have the full support of the Tech North Advisory Board and wider Tech City UK team.
Many of you will already know Herb, who will work with the Tech North team members to continue our community engagement within the region as well as the strategic work that has been so effectively initiated to date. We will also be actively recruiting a new Head of Tech North or similar role as soon as possible and further updates on this will be provided in due course.
In the meantime, we can assure you that our funding remains unaffected. In fact, we have been notified that from 1st April 2016 – Tech North will continue to receive £2m per year for the next two years (2016-17 and 2017-18) in line with the Government’s original commitment and is in addition to the core grant for Tech City UK (£2.2m in 2015-2016).
We are committed to delivering on our existing strategy which remains entirely unchanged: accelerating the growth of the North’s digital economy, by promoting digital entrepreneurs and attracting talent, entrepreneurs and investment to the North of England.
As many of you know, part of what makes Tech North special is that our projects are developed and delivered by a team already embedded in the community. We don’t have a central office, working instead in co-working spaces in Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. This will continue with the on-going support of Tech City UK and will be driven by the Tech North community and the Tech North Advisory Board.
We will also be working to improve communications between the Northern and London based team, build relationships and mutually beneficial collaborations.
Our ‘Tech North: 6 months on‘ blog on Friday was a reminder of just how far we’ve come in a short space of time but we have many more things to look forward to in the months ahead that we are sponsoring and supporting including:
– Launch of the Tech North Founders’ Network
– Liverpool Girl Geeks
– Django Girls Sheffield
– Lean Startup Yorkshire
– Leeds Enterprise & Innovation Hub‘s quarterly ‘Innovation Network’ events (Feb, May, Aug & Nov)
– Part of UK delegation to Kidscreen Miami children’s media conference (7-11 Feb)
– Manchester Digital Skills Festival (9 Feb)
– Leeds Digital Jobs Fair (10 February)
– #FloodHack16 @ ODI Leeds (11-12 March)
– Taking our Tech North ‘Northern Stars’ winners to SXSW and promoting the wider Northern tech community whilst we’re there too (11-20 March)
– Get Digital North East, Newcastle (17 March)
– Tech North Talent (TNT) Fest, Sheffield (18 March)
– Business Rocks tech + investment summit, Manchester (21-22 April)
– LeanConf, Manchester (21-23 April)
– Leeds Digital Festival (25-30 April)
– Jamchester (the UK’s biggest competitive game jam), Manchester (20-22 May)
– Binary Festival, Liverpool (24-25 May)
– Tech North showcase at the International Festival For Business (IFB2016) in Liverpool (13 June-1 July)
+ lots more to come!