Accelerating tech growth in Sheffield

Accelerating tech growth in Sheffield

You might have seen in our recent post on navigating the route to net zero that we are revisiting our three priority areas of work, updating and elaborating on what these priorities include. This post delves into our ambition to drive tech-based growth in the city, and unpacks what this actually looks like in practice.

Helping companies land in Sheffield

Inward investment by companies relocating to the city has so many positive knock on effects. Through our LOCATE project and financial incentives like the Tech Welcome Grant we’ve supported the arrival of companies like BOW, TUBR and Eutechtics.

Since moving to the Tech Parks, machine-learning startup TUBR has secured over £200k in a second round of funding, has expanded into new office space and hired two members of staff, with more to come.

We have also been approached more recently by a further two London based businesses who are looking at relocation options. When looking outside of London, major cities such as Leeds and Manchester don’t always feel different enough. Sheffield’s relative scale, friendly community and growing economy make it a logical choice for those looking to relocate. Watch this space…

Saying ‘yes’!

Tech is broad, fast-paced and very diverse. We never know what kind of company will walk in the door next and in the past year we’ve welcomed vertical farmers, eco-chemists and robotics specialists, to name but a few.

This means we get some unusual requests and complex specifications for workspaces, often from unique companies that are struggling to find the right space to accommodate their groundbreaking work. And we say yes whenever possible, adapting our spaces into labs, studios, workshops - whatever is required.

When University spin-out Aeqiq was on the lookout for a facility, we catered to their needs by transforming two former office suites into lab and clean workshop spaces. The quantum-tech company has since expanded into three large suites and has employed more than 25 people.

Building a better investment landscape

Our team is committed to building a better investment landscape in the north of England, which will encourage more entrepreneurs to locate here, providing greater opportunity for those looking to invest.

We work with partners to educate entrepreneurs and better prepare them for getting ‘investment ready’. This includes building peer networks and encouraging those who have completed investment rounds to share their experiences.

Recently we facilitated a number of events, including a lunch and learn with the Venture Capital team from international law firm Mishcon de Reya and, as part of British Finance Week, we supported a panel discussion for both investors and entrepreneurs. Crucially, this highlighted common mistakes on both sides of the relationship, and how to avoid them.

Why do we do this?

Our organisation was created to enhance and develop the economic landscape of our City; to support founders to grow specialist businesses which create high value employment opportunities for the people of Sheffield. The unique way we were structured, and the fact that we exist for purpose over profit, has enabled us to say ‘yes’ to more founders over the years than any other organisation in Sheffield. We’re small, agile, ambitious, and we’re excited for what 2024 will bring - perhaps you’ll be part of it?

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