Northern Tech Firms Are Rising High

Salford Quays seen from the top of the Imperial War Museum
The north at its heights (Source: Wikimedia.)

Today, we're looking at the Tech North Investment Index.Tech North is a government-backed initiative aimed at accelerating the growth of digital business in the North of England. The Index tracks investment trends in Northern technology businesses. The data from the region is very positive. but Tech North asks, provocatively, 

The data from the region is very positive. but Tech North asks, provocatively, will the growth in investment keep pace with the ambitions of tech entrepreneurs? 

We care more about the ability of entrepreneurs to deliver, than we do about their ambitions. Confidence is a useful character trait, but overreach often leads to failure. So what do we see happening in the North?

2016 was a record year for deals. The growth from 2015 shows a smaller number of deals (74, down from 93) but larger monetary amounts (, up from ) This trend of fewer, larger deals has also been detected by Beauhurst.

The number that impresses us most is the long term growth. Ten years ago in 2007, almost £20 million was invested. The latest figure, £326.9m is fifteen times higher.

bubble chart of northern technology deals in 2016

We're seeing a picture of a regional economy which didn't exist ten years ago. That news, on its own, makes this a report worth reading.  James Bedford, Tech North's Head of Investment Strategy, told Tech City News that the real growth is only just beginning.

“The fact that more than half the top angel and VC deals were done in the last two years indicates an improving investment ecosystem...  The North’s digital ecosystem is still at an early stage but it has huge potential. This potential will only be satisfied if the ambitions of the entrepreneurs are matched by an ambitious investment ecosystem” Bedford said.

Read report: Tech North Investment Index