Twenty years ago, meeting a business owner working in the “Tech” space would have been a rarity. While most people would have been able to name multi-nationals and household brands like Apple, Microsoft and IBM, the idea of a tech start-up in every city (let alone a tech community) was almost unthinkable.

Today, however, it feels like there’s a new tech niche popping up on a daily basis. Whether it’s PropTech, FinTech or even InsurTech, there is no doubt that society’s reliance on all things digital has fuelled the creative and coding juices of the brightest minds in business.

New technology innovations can change the way businesses are run, so it’s no wonder that the UK has seen a surge of tech start-ups in recent years. In fact, eWeek UK reported last year that the UK is now the third country to have a tech sector reach upwards of $1 trillion, following the US and China. And the North East is a key part of that picture.

With a burgeoning community of tech organisations developing across the North East in recent years, we’re going to take a closer look at the rise of companies in this industry in the region, and explore the steps needed to find success as a North East tech start-up.

The rise and rise of tech start-ups in the North East

Tech is one of the leading industries in the North East, boasting a diverse range of new and emerging organisations. Founded in 2020, Hicomply is one such business; an IT security management platform that received a £3 million investment from UK growth capital investor BGF in 2021. Meanwhile, Inflo is a cloud-based accounting business founded in Houghton-le-Spring in 2016 which is now used by more than 1,000 businesses.

Likewise, SaleCycle is a behavioural marketing company which has come a long way since it was founded in Gateshead in 2010. Its notable clients include Tesco Mobile and Puma. What’s more, last year two North East tech businesses were featured on the Financial Times’ list of Europe’s fastest growing firms: Everflow, based in Wynyard, and SoPost, based in Newcastle.

Here at TEDCO, we’ve helped tech businesses get started in their field, such as innovative SaaS platform Marketing Engine, who secured start-up finance from TEDCO and Virgin StartUp in 2019. Likewise, Tipll received similar support from TEDCO in 2017, launching an app that helps visitors to the North East ensure they have a night to remember.

Why the North East?

Research by Tech Nation in 2021 found that the tech sector is providing the highest levels of new employment in the North East, at 14%. Likewise, research from RSM found that the new tech companies incorporated in the region has risen by over 70% since 2017. With a large student population, an established business support network and lower business running costs than would be found in London, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Even larger organisations are turning to the North East for new opportunities, such as global cybersecurity company Arctic Wolf, which recently announced that a new European HQ would be based in Newcastle.

And the industry shows no signs of slowing down. Last year, Sage called for a pro-tech, pro-enterprise shift for UK businesses, in what they hoped would awaken a passion for a “Digital Britain”.

Starting your own tech company?

The sheer volume of tech companies found in the North East can be both a blessing and a curse for budding entrepreneurs hoping to set up their own digital brand in the area. Past successes speak of an exciting and ever-evolving industry in the region, but this may also make it harder to stand out from the competition.

To find success as a tech start-up, you need to ensure that you’re building a product or service that meets a clear need. A strong vision can catapult your motivation, allowing you to make a business plan that offers the best chance of success. Ask yourself what makes your solution unique, and how you can get it noticed by the right audience.

Speaking to Forbes, AutoClaims Direct Inc. CEO Ernie Bray said finding your niche is essential to tech start-up success:

“Don’t try to be all things to all customers. If you can hone your solution to solve an important problem that the bigger competitors overlooked or neglected, you could create an amazing company.”

It’s also important to ensure you have the right support in place when setting out to launch a business. Surround yourself with the right people, network with others in the industry, and explore the growth and support options in place from North East business support companies. TEDCO Business Support has helped thousands of start-ups get their feet off the ground in the region, helping them start, grow and achieve sustainable success in their field.

Got a tech business you’d like to launch in 2023? Get in touch with the team at TEDCO Business Support today. Give us a call on 0191 516 61 02 or drop us an email at

What we offer

TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

Are you eligible?

If you are looking to start and grow a business we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly team of experienced Business Advisors are on hand to take your call to discuss the support available.

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