Jobs in digital tech up 15% from
2014 to 2017

£568 mDigital tech business turnover
£133 kDigital tech turnover by employee
£402 mGVA
4,283Jobs in digital tech
7,008Digital tech jobs


Its City of Culture status in 2017, its high standard of living and a tradition of entrepreneurialism have all helped make Hull an attractive destination for digital tech startups. At the heart of its tech scene lies the C4DI digital hub, providing a home to companies of all sizes, and corporates too.

  • Now in its fourth year, the Digital Awards 2018, held in September, will highlight and celebrate the key areas of growth across Hull’s digital tech sector, with categories including ‘best emerging technology’ and ‘best global reach’. The awards bring together the movers and shakers of the digital community for an exciting event which recognises the inspirational companies that are at the cutting edge of digital business in the region.
  • Hull’s traditional businesses continue to innovate through tech. One good example is Arco, a prominent safety equipment provider, which was founded 133 years ago in Hull and employs 1,700 staff. The company is currently investing heavily in new digital capability and will house a 50-plus digital team at C4DI to work on its £30 million digital first transformation programme. By being based in C4DI the company hopes to strengthen its links with the local digital community and tap into specialist skills.
  • The Ron Dearing UTC opened its doors in September 2017. The new school focuses on digital tech and mechatronics and is sponsored by local businesses such as KCOM, ensuring that its curriculum is fit for business. The school has been a huge success, and it is already oversubscribed.

Simon Read

Director of Public Safety, Saab

About Saab
For over 40 years Saab’s UK operations have delivered advanced defence and security systems for the UK market, working with our customers to meet the challenges they face in demanding, dynamic situations at home and abroad.

Why Hull?
We chose C4DI in Hull as the location for our new team as it offers the opportunity for us to be part of a technology hub and digital community with software development expertise. Our intention is to work with people within C4DI on research and development projects in areas such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.

National & International focus
Saab is an employer with an international work environment and global work opportunities that sees 16,427 employees working to support more than 100 customer countries worldwide.Through investing in local businesses and industries as well as bringing ideas together, we create unrivalled partnerships. Sharing our technology, ideas and thinking, results in mutual benefit, better outcomes and common goals.

Founded: 1937

Ashley Lewis


About Ash TV
We’re all about placing ads, precisely in your pocket. We specialise in mobile video with a wide range of established and exclusive publishers. We like to think we’re innovating in a space which has been rather stagnant.

Why Hull?
Born and raised in the city, with our offices surrounded by young and exciting startups, Hull is one of the best origins for startups. Complimenting this, Hull is among the more financially accessible locations to grow, allowing us to advance rapidly.

National & International focus
We like to attend relevant conferences when we have the opportunity to. Examples are, Pioneer’s Festival in Vienna and TheNextWeb in Amsterdam. Additionally, we have staff based remotely in Germany, Netherlands and Leeds which we liaise with on a daily basis through video calls. We’ve recently also been working with PwC to expand our clientele to companies in the North and beyond which has proved very successful for us.

Founded: 2016

Raised: £350 k

Popular meetups in Hull

1,166 members

Hull Digital

210 members

Hull Digital

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 Hull startups say is a strength

1Helpful tech community
2Proximity to a university
3Good internet speed

What Hull startups say is a challenge

1Access to talent
2Bad transport links
3Access to funding

Who Hull startups say is influential

John Connolly

Managing Director, C4DI

About C4DI
C4DI (The Centre for Digital Innovation), a privately funded and managed technology incubator based in Hull.  C4DI helps tech companies grow and traditional businesses innovate.

Unique to Hull?
Central to the growth of the tech scene in Hull is the slow-tech worlds of traditional organisations coming together with the fast-tech world of tech startups and scaleups.  This enables traditional organisations to harness technology they would never normally have been exposed to, and helps tech companies connect to supply chains and mentors they’d never previously have been able to access.

Strengths & Challenges
We have challenges like many other areas, but the rate of growth in tech, the fact that it’s embedded within local industry (rather in a disparate siloed tech community), our fibre infrastructure, our talent from organisations such as the UTC and University of Hull, and the fact we’re the UK’s most cost effective place to run a tech company (Tech Nation 2017) give us considerable confidence for the future.

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.

If you'd like know why we are doing this, check out our blog.

Next cluster