Leeds’ tech community hub marks first anniversary

Platform’s tech hub for start-ups and SMEs is celebrating its first anniversary following a successful 12 months.

Launched by Bruntwood SciTech in April 2018, the tech hub at Platform is now home to more than 70 digital and tech companies. The hub was created with £2m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, via Leeds City Council, to support the creation of over 1,000 new digital tech jobs over the next decade, joining a network of other specialist tech hubs.

The tech hub offers companies from the region’s rapidly growing digital technology sector business support and expertise. Such support includes access to finance, markets and talent, delivered in partnership with leading national and local partners to help drive their growth.

Among those championing the hub is Mark Walsh, CEO of interactive quiz platform Kwizzbit, who took space there more than a year ago.

Mark said: “Since being based alongside other tech businesses, our company has flourished, both in terms of size and our skillset.

“We have benefited from free expert business mentoring and introductions to the investor community brokered by the team at Platform. This is not something you usually get in a workspace.”

Companies based in the tech hub have access to a wide range of events and a social programme, all designed to build a successful community, with Platform hosting half of the city’s tech meet-ups, including Northern UX and Leeds Sharp.

Matt Ross, co-founder of ecommerce consultancy, Leeds Sharp and Tronik, said: “Leeds tech community is really sociable and having our events as part of Platform’s community programme means we attract new people all the time.”

Platform has also become a magnet for companies moving to the region.  It is home to global sport analysis company, Hudl; award-winning digital agency Cyber-Duck; and the world-leading identity and access management systems integrator, IC Consult.

Amy De-Balsi, Head of Innovation and Partnerships at Bruntwood SciTech, said: “In the last 12 months, Platform has become a landmark for the tech community and plays an important role in the region’s ongoing economic growth.

“The digital sector in Leeds is showing no signs of slowing down and it is crucial that there are quality spaces and services available to support growing businesses.  We are looking forward to the next 12 months, cementing Platform’s role in the Leeds tech ecosystem.”