Brighton

Coastal tech hotspot with over 21.5m rail users in 2016

£574 mDigital tech business turnover
(2017)
ScaleupDominant distribution of businesses by age (2017)
£88 kDigital tech turnover by employee (2017)
107Digital tech business births (2016)
£528 mGVA
(2017)
6,493Jobs in digital tech
(2017)
14,379Digital tech jobs
(2017)

Developments

Virtual reality has taken Brighton by storm, tapping into the rich supply of talent stemming from the areas many creative agencies. In fact, tech businesses of all kinds are benefiting from this pipeline. Take CoverageBook, for example, born out of the well-established marketing agency, Propellernet. E-learning is gaining pace, Leo Learning, who provide integrated e-learning services to corporate clients, and Totara, an open learning management platform, are also both growing fast.

  • Brighton is one of six cities chosen to host 5G testbeds. Based at the Fusebox, the facility will allow SMEs to test their technology on the 5G network three years before it is released. This will be a game-changer for VR and AR companies in the area.
  • Much needed co-working spaces are opening across the city. Spaces and Platf9rm are two of the most popular, adding to communities like The Skiff, which provides office space to over 240 freelancing members.
  • A push to develop the area’s talent pipeline is gathering momentum. Now in its second year, the Talent2018 festival matches junior talent to media and tech companies. Over 1,500 people are expected to attend the festival in June, where 30 companies will exhibit, and portfolio clinics and CV sessions will be run.

Matt Barker

CEO, mpb.com

About MPB Group
mpb.com is the leading marketplace for the trade of photography and videography equipment. Launched in 2011, the marketplace has more than 200,000 registered users and currently operates in the UK, Germany, and the US. The company enjoys backing from Mobeus Equity Partners, Beringea, and FJ Labs.

Why Brighton?
We have a very central  location where we house our product, dev, marketing, finance and customer teams. Brighton provides talent, culture and fun in equal measure and is a fantastic place to grow a digital business. We also have a large base in NYC in the heart of Silicon Alley where we house our US operational, marketing and customer teams.

National & International focus
MPB is an international business with a diverse culture and employee base. We have backing from both UK & US investors, and plans to open an office in Germany in 2019. Our offices are connected through our own software, all hosted in the cloud to ensure we have one platform to cover our global operations. The users of our marketplace are spread across multiple markets, including almost every major EU country and right across the US.

Founded: 2011

Raised: £8.1m

Andy Peck

Co-founder, Trusted Housesitters

About TrustedHousesitters
TrustedHousesitters is the world’s largest house and pet sitting platform, with a community of nearly half a million members in more than 130 countries. We connect home and pet owners with animal lovers who care for pets without charging a fee, in return for accommodation.

Why Brighton?
I launched TrustedHousesitters from my bedroom in Brighton in 2010. Eight years later and with a team of 50, we’ve in our fifth Brighton premises: SPACES in Trafalgar Place. By staying on Silicon Beach we believe we’re among the best and most exciting digital start-ups.

National & International focus
As a digital business, we work from every corner of the globe. Our directors frequently travel to New York and Silicon Valley and meet with our agencies in the US and Australia. We also have colleagues working remotely across Europe and South East Asia. Our recent partnership with easyJet is also helping us reach millions more members all over Europe.

Founded: 2010

Popular meetups in Brighton

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 Brighton startups say is a strength

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

What Brighton startups say is a challenge

1.Cost of living
2.Access to talent
3.Availability of workspace

Who Brighton startups say is influential

Phil Jones

Managing Director, Wired Sussex

About Wired Sussex
Wired Sussex is a fully independent support organisation for the digital, media and tech sector. We work with around 2,500 businesses across Sussex, helping them access talent, funding, clients, workspace and – crucially – each other.  I originally encountered Wired Sussex when I was myself looking to start a new digital media business in Brighton.

Unique to Brighton? 
Brighton’s scene has large numbers of small businesses that apply a very high level of creative and critical thinking to tech to generate commercial value. Their smaller size requires them to be very collaborative and very agile, and the combination of those factors drives their success.

Strengths & Challenges
Brighton has succeeded because our cluster strategy has avoided just ‘picking winners’ or ‘scale-ups’. Tech businesses here define ambition and impact in ways that contribute to the social as well as economic good, and now more than ever that needs to be supported. We must continue to be the place where left-field and marginal ideas can be nurtured into mainstream successes, and that means we have to deal with spiralling property costs potentially pricing new talent and interesting startups out of the city.

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 data.world platform. If you use the data, please let us know. We would love to showcase your work.

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