Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Support Group Ready to Kickstart a Revolution

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Support Group Ready to Kickstart a Revolution

Article excerpt

Byline: BUSINESS coreena ford

APIONEERING support network has been launched in Newcastle to empower ambitious technology start-ups and scaleups in the city.

The launch of the Newcastle Tech Trust came after Tristan Watson, chief executive of business accelerator programme Ignite, last month issued a rallying call to the North East to come together to kickstart a start-up revolution.

The trust, an independent network of founders and investors with a wealth of experience to help scaleups with maximum potential, will hold an official launch event later this year after hosting its first meeting this month with a vision to support and empower ambitious technology startups and scaleups across the region Its steering group includes Mr Watson and his friend and former CEO of Ignite and Campus North Paul Smith.

The trust aims to support 100 technology start-ups and scale-ups in the next five years and is keen to play a part in supporting the creation of around 500 new jobs.

Newcastle is currently ranked as the 71st most innovative city in Europe but the trust's ambition is to support Newcastle in rising to the top 20.

The steering group also comprises Paul Fellows of Performance Horizon Group; Deb McGargle of Seedlegals and Techstars; Marcus Edeback of Invision; Aubrey Chiduku of Flux Media; Jo York of WatchWithMe, Reframed and Ki Media and Jonathan Grubin of SoPost. Paul Smith, who is now head of global field operations for Hyperloop One, and the rest of the group have pledged to give their spare time to develop a network of experienced founders and operators who can help with the very specialised needs of early-stage, high-growth technology companies.

Mr Smith said technology startups and scale-ups have the potential to transform the economic prospects of Newcastle and the North East, but without informed and meaningful representation, creating a sustainable environment that encourages and nurtures these businesses is a challenge. …

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