Digital business births up 126%
from 2011 to 2016

£745 mDigital tech business turnover
ScaleupDominant distribution of businesses by age (2017)
£120 kDigital tech turnover by employee (2017)
97Digital tech business births (2016)
£684 mGVA
6,209Jobs in digital tech
22,034Digital tech jobs


With a rich history in arts and crafts, Sheffield now has strong digital tech success stories behind it too, like those of Plusnet, WANdisco and the Floow. Today, its digital tech community is boosted by great support networks, including Sheffield Digital.

  • The University of Sheffield is a founding member of the £20 million Institute of Coding, announced by the Prime Minister in January 2018. The consortium of over 60 universities, businesses and industry experts will tackle the UK’s digital skills gap.
  • In 2017, Sheffield IoT security company Ioetec was one of just nine firms selected from hundreds to take part in the second GCHQ Cyber Accelerator programme. The programme aims to help UK startups take the lead in cyber security, It is part of the Government’s £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Programme which is driving innovation in the cyber security sector and helping to keep British businesses and consumers safe from online attacks and threats.
  • Campus Capital, the UK's first on-campus venture capital fund, expanded from Sheffield into Manchester and Lancaster and now has an on-campus presence at the universities of Oxford, Nottingham and Southampton, These funds are part-run by active students with the guidance and supervision of the Campus Capital board. This structure enables the funds to be part of the fabric of each university, allowing them to nurture entrepreneurial talent and to add value to companies before and after making an investment.

Mark Hughes

Co-founder, Tutorful

About Tutorful
Tutorful allows students to find tutors who can help them learn anything, either in-person or online. We cover every subject and every age, across the whole of the UK.

Why Sheffield?
Sheffield has two fantastic universities from which to take top talent and low business costs (oh, and the Peaks are pretty close by!).

National & International focus
With over 10,000 tutors across the UK, we’re certainly a nationwide business, serving learners of all ages. Having completed three rounds of funding, two through Crowdcube, we have an array of international investors.

Founded: 2015

Raised: £1.4 m

Gary Hargraves

CEO, Sport:80

About Sport:80
Sport:80 is a leading sports technology company that has developed a cloud-based Sports CRM, which enables governing bodies of sport to manage their business operations from a single system and deliver online services to athletes, coaches, officials, fans and clubs.

Why Sheffield?
Sheffield is the perfect place for a business like ours to thrive. It’s a sporting city and its digital industries are growing at an incredible rate. One of the city’s biggest strengths is that it hasn’t lost its community feel. We work with a number of sports organisations based in Sheffield as well as the innovative businesses that inhabit our home patch of Kelham Island.

National & International focus
We have received support from a variety of shareholders, including a number of high net-worth individuals with invaluable expertise in industries outside of our own. We have also established working relationships with other innovative businesses to strengthen our product, including everything from online payment providers to design agencies. Finally, we have always looked to align our organisation with trusted industry influencers which add real weight to our message.

Founded: 2012

Raised: £1 m

Popular meetups in Sheffield

878 members

agile Sheffield

658 members

CodeUp Sheffield

643 members


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 Sheffield startups say is a strength

1Proximity of a university
2Helpful tech community
3Appealing area

What Sheffield startups say is a challenge

1Access to talent
2Access to funding
3Lack of awareness of local tech community

Who Sheffield startups say is influential

Chris Dymond

Co-founder & Director, Sheffield Digital

About you
For the last 10 years, I’ve dedicated myself to the digital development of my adopted city of Sheffield and worked to bring people together around tech. My background is mainly in web systems, but nowadays I specialise in the digital and economic development of places.

Unique to Sheffield?
Sheffield doesn’t really have any large traditional IT OEMs or corporates, which is a bit odd as we produce around a thousand computing graduates a year from our two universities. But as a result, there are now a huge number of young firms doing some very interesting and clever things.

Strengths & Challenges
There’s a huge amount that could be done, from place marketing to more meet-up support, more incubators and workspaces, a more joined up skills offer, better investment pipeline, outreach and inclusion, and so on. We at Sheffield Digital have a very long list, but are only able to spend a few days a week doing these things. So more local political and institutional support is what is really needed.

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