In this weekly series we introduce you to members of the Tech North team and let them tell you more about their roles and their views about tech in the North of England.
This week we hear from our Founders’ Network Programme Lead, Lauren Nicholson.
Tell us about your role at Tech North
I’m the Programme Lead for Founders’ Network; a peer to peer networking and learning programme that enables members to help each other to grow their business. We operate across the North of England and help members to grow their businesses from pre-seed and early stage all the way up to mid-stage businesses. We have a Facebook group so our members can chat to each other at any time and a series of breakfast meetups where we discuss common startup problems and how we would solve them.
My role varies quite a lot and I’m often travelling around our Northern cities speaking to founders and putting together great content with our partners.
What’s your background, and what attracted you to working at Tech North?
I’ve been working in tech for about five years now and have loved every second of it. When I left university, I founded my first start-up and worked on that for about two and half years and like most first time founders, made every mistake in the book. I decided to work for other startups and have worked up and down the country as well as helping to bring a new product over from Malaysia.
In my spare time, I’ve helped to organise Start-up Sheffield as well as attending quite a few of them. I was attracted to Tech North because it would enable me to do what I love – helping other founders succeed – on a much bigger scale. I’ve always enjoyed speaking to other founders and as a former founder myself, feel I can relate to both the successes and challenges they face.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about tech in the North since you joined Tech North?
Probably the speed of the growth of tech in the North and the vibrancy and creativity of the startups we have here. I think we always think that all the big startups are based in London but we have so many great companies across the North with more and more returning from London.
The fact that the North is growing so fast, it also means that we are seeing more businesses setting up to tackle the digital skills gap and ensure that the North can continue to thrive and produce world class products and services.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Meeting founders, for sure. I love how open people are who work in tech to share their experiences and really help other succeed. We’ve just launched our Founders’ Network 2.0 programme and its really great to hear how excited founders are to join the programme and seeing the private Facebook group really take off has been one of my proudest moments of joining Tech North so far.
If there’s one thing you’d like people to do after reading this interview, what would it be?
Sign up to Founders’ Network 2.0!