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BlogNew Startup Activator launched for Greater Manchester

New Startup Activator launched for Greater Manchester

A new wide-reaching support programme for early-stage startups and founders across Greater Manchester has been launched.

The Startup Activator has been launched by independent trade body Manchester Digital and the event also saw the release of its new Startup Review, which focuses on recommendations moving forwards.

Katie Gallagher, managing director of Manchester Digital (pictured) said: “This is a pivotal time for startups and founders in this post-pandemic uncertain economy.

“During the Covid pandemic we saw the end of lots of networking and meetups for the startup and tech sector. Not all of these have come back so we could see a gap in the market to create a startup community, with a full programme of independent advice from experts in the field as well as networking events.

“Greater Manchester is a thriving region for the tech industry, but our report found that startups need more joined-up support from the sector, as well as a sense of community.”

Startup Review findings

The prestigious launch at No 1 Circle Square saw Manchester Digital MD Katie Gallagher discuss the findings of the Startup Review.

The report found the Greater Manchester tech region to be strong, with £680m of tech investment raised in 2022 (Beauhurst).

In comparison, the data from Beauhurst showed that other UK tech hubs which raised more were London with £17.7bn and Cambridge with £910m. Other UK tech hubs that raised less than Manchester were Edinburgh with £511m, Bristol with £496m, Leeds with £323m and Liverpool with £99.2m.

Recommendations from the Startup Review include:

  • A stronger sense of community is required
  • There is a need for a neutral place for founders to get advice
  • A clearer oversight of current landscape is required
  • More transparency from university spinout set up
  • More diversity and inclusion within startups
  • Better connections between startup up stages
  • Build on monthly successes to encourage more success
  • Build better connections with European tech hubs

The lunchtime event also saw a panel of tech startup experts discuss the opportunities and challenges of growing and building a startup in Manchester, and what needs to be done further to support them, to grow a stronger culture of entrepreneurship in our region.

Event panellists included: Paul Boardman, director at North West Cyber Security Cluster; Kate Longworth, CEO at Gaia Learning; Rakesh Maharaj, founder at Armsa Academy and Ben Davies, group marketing director at Praetura Ventures.

The Startup Activator programme will bring together expertise from experienced founders, informative sessions, networking events, as well as the chance to work as a community to influence upcoming governmental policy. It will also showcase the wide variety of support that’s available to start ups across the region and highlights the many incubators and accelerators that call the region home.

Manchester Digital has always supported startups within its wide-ranging work to develop the regional tech ecosystem. The not-for-profit trade body develops digital skills, runs events and networking events and influences policy within central government.

The Startup Activator is sponsored by Kao Data, industry-leading data centre provider, which is opening a new £350m Stockport-based data centre.

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