Diverse and collaborative – 26% of digital tech workers are BAME vs. 15% UK average

£2.2 bnDigital tech business turnover
BalancedDominant distribution of businesses by age (2017)
£125 kDigital tech turnover by employee (2017)
17,581Jobs in digital tech
293Digital tech business births (2016)
£1.7 bnGVA
41,550Digital tech jobs


The traditional centre of the UK’s automotive industry, the city has long been a home to big banks, multinationals and professional services. Digital tech is also flourishing in the city, with support from Silicon Canal and Innovation Birmingham. This year, coding bootcamps, investment funds and infrastructure announcements have been added to the mix.

  • Birmingham’s first ever coding bootcamp, School of Code, launched in September 2017. The hugely popular programme received 275 applications for just 19 places. Three months on, 90% of applicants are working in tech, ranging from software development to project management.
  • The new £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund launched in March 2018. The fund aims to drive economic growth across the Midlands through financial support for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). The scheme is supported by the British Business Bank, and 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) located in the west and south east Midlands.
  • Routes have been confirmed for the High Speed Rail Network (HS2) that will reduce the journey from Birmingham to London to just 49 minutes, down from 90 minutes, with as many as 1,100 seats per train. The first phase of the £56 billion railway is due to open in December 2026. Phase two would also reduce travel times to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester.

Jill Palmer

CEO, Click Travel

About Click Travel
Click Travel reduces the cost and complexity of travel management by combining industry-leading technology,, with award-winning customer service and account management.

Why Birmingham?
Birmingham is a major technology hub and there is a great tech community with initiatives such as Silicon Canal. Plus, as a hub for planes and trains, Birmingham’s a great place to develop ideas that will revolutionise business travel.

International & National focus
At Click Travel our policy is always to hire the absolute best person for the job and as a result many of our team are spread across the UK – with a few popping up all over the globe. We feel this adds a great dynamic and greatly strengthens our expertise, meaning we can provide our customers with an enhanced service.

Founded: 1999

Melissa Snover

Managing Director, Katjes Magic Candy Factory

About  Katjes Magic Candy Factory
We have developed the first 3D printer for food to reach the consumer market. Candy lovers can choose to print a 3-D shape, message, logo or even a ‘Sweet Selfie’ in one of nine delicious and vegan flavours, and each candy prints in less than five minutes!

Why Birmingham?
We decided to base our business in Birmingham as it has excellent transport links to London and the rest of the UK, is surrounded by prestigious universities who specialise in 3-D printing, and it is home to many other creative and innovative start-up businesses.

National & International focus
Our HQ and offices are in Birmingham but we have launched our 3-D candy printers in retail outlets all over the world such as the USA, the Middle East, China, New Zealand, Italy, France and The Netherlands

Founded: 2015

Meetups in Birmingham

2, 500 members

Silicon Canal

2,013 members

Tech Wednesday

1,173 members

Hackers Birmingham

We have clustered Birmingham meetups according to their topics. Meetups with similar topics are attracted, whilst meetups with different subjects are repelled. A full screen version can be found here. Click on a node, or search for a topic in the full screen version.

We have clustered Birmingham meetups according to their topics. Meetups with similar topics are attracted, whilst meetups with different subjects are repelled. Please view this page on desktop to use the visualisation interactively.

Birmingham meetup clusters: Software Development PHP Open Source Web Design

Source: Tech Nation, 2018;, 2018. Thanks to the Oxford Internet Institute and JSIC

The size of each node is determined by the number of connections it has with others. A large node signifies a highly connected meetup with many topics shared with other groups.

Community perceptions survey findings

The Tech Nation 2018 Survey was conducted between January 2018 and February 2018, in partnership with Streetbees. This year’s survey received the largest response yet from members of the UK tech community. In a total of 3,428 submissions, people told us about the opportunities and challenges their local ecosystems face, and the digital tech leaders they admire. The majority of respondents (33%) were founders and CEOs.

What Birmingham startups say is a strength

1.Helpful tech community
2.Access to resources
3.Appealing area

What Birmingham startups say is a challenge

1.Access to funding
2.Lack of tech training
3.Access to talent

Who Birmingham startups say is influential

David Hardman

CEO, Innovation Birmingham

About Innovation Birmingham
Innovation Birmingham orchestrates cross-sector applications of innovative digital technologies promoting digital adoption to drive innovation and economic growth. The Campus catalyses community dynamics to drive interaction between members of a wide cohort of interested parties to drive innovation through serendipitous discovery.

Unique to Birmingham?
The second largest city in the UK, Birmingham, provides a unique opportunity for digital business. The city region provides scale for the tech businesses within a 30 mile radius of the Innovation Birmingham Campus (IBC). Rather than a specific digital sector, business opportunities derive from providing essential enabling competences for the demonstrable market strengths of the region such as next generation transport.

Strengths & Challenges
We must continue to develop meet-up and networking activities with IBC providing an aggregating point for the innovators, entrepreneurs and end users/customers. We must also continue to promote the city based on its significant quality of life and cost advantages; already well placed in the country on all communications routes, the arrival of HS2 will be a game changer. Ensure we stop people being surprised when they arrive in Birmingham and see what it is really like!

Tech Nation 2018 is now open!

Great news. All data featured in the 2018 Tech Nation Report is available online for non-commercial use by third parties.  The data can be accessed through the platform. If you use the data, please let us know. We would love to showcase your work.

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