Meet the Rising Stars semi-finalists: the North East’s top two early-stage companies

Kane Fulton, January 13, 2020 3 min read

Unfortunately for the North East, the region didn’t see a winner emerge from our Rising Stars 2019 competition. Early-stage companies from across the UK are once again set to pitch at this year’s Rising Stars 2.0 semi-final on 15-16 January in Manchester – and we’ve had a chat with founders of the two competitors from the North East who are hoping emerge victorious. Read on for their thoughts on reaching the semi-final, and what it’s like to be a digital tech company based in the region.

Marketing Engine

Marketing Engine (@menginetweets) is for every marketer who wants to plan, share and report on a platform like no other. By recording all your marketing activity in one place, and reporting on this activity in real-time, Marketing Engine lets you access everything in a visual and easy-to-analyse canvas. Amy Muirhead, cofounder at Marketing Engine, tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars semi-finalist?

A huge thank you to Tech Nation and all the judges for this recognition – we’re absolutely thrilled. After a busy nine months since launch, we’re growing and learning in all directions and this is the icing on the cake. We’re over the moon to be flying the flag for the North East in the semi-finals.

What’s it like being a tech company in the North East?

The North East is a special place for starting a business. The entrepreneur community is so welcoming and open to helping new founders – with initiatives such as #EveryFounder, Digital Union, and StartUp Week – there are so many opportunities to learn from those who have been there before you. The Rising Stars competition is all about nurturing potential and supporting each other, and that is mirrored in the ethos of the North East business community.

Fair Custodian

Fair Custodian (@faircustodianuk) is building an ecosystem where individuals have agency over their own personal data and their interactions with businesses. They help businesses to manage their existing personal data landscapes and meet their legislative obligations, and help individuals to understand where their personal data goes. Cofounder Ben Fielding tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars semi-finalist?

It’s an amazing feeling to be recognised like this, especially among a stellar group of businesses in the North East. It really shows that companies are starting to understand the impact of new data protection regulations and people are beginning to care about where their data goes and who has access to it. We’ve been working really hard on building useful tools and it’s a big boost to morale to get some validation that our message resonates with people in such a unique way.

What’s it like being a digital tech company in the North East?

The North East is a great region for a tech startup – there’s a fantastic, supportive community in Newcastle and there’s a lot of enthusiasm right now. There are a number of organisations and loose collectives that are more than happy to help out new businesses or individuals looking to set out on their own, as are we! With that being said, there’s plenty more that could be done to promote the region, the funding landscape is quite sparse and there is still significant ‘brain drain’ to other regions which reduces the pool of available talent.

North East