What does Birmingham have to offer ambitious digital tech entrepreneurs? We asked the following stakeholders and business leaders to find out. For granular data on Birmingham’s digital tech ecosystem – including its companies (and founders), accelerators, and workspaces – see Data Commons.
The largest city in the UK after London has woken up. Inward investment and huge infrastructure projects (including the two HS2 sites in the region) – set alongside projects like the 5G testbeds and the Commonwealth Games, and the fact that Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe, with under 25s accounting for nearly 40% of the citizenship – means that with a new dose of confidence the city is thriving.
A major current challenge is one of perception. The quality of life in Birmingham is high, disposable income is higher than in most cities in the UK and the cultural scene in the city is booming. But we need this not to come as a surprise to those arriving at New Street Station or driving into the city from Spaghetti Junction.
Yiannis Moas, cofounder and CMO, Hyve, says:
Hyve is a Customer Advocacy Platform (using a SaaS model) that turns happy customers into advocates that spread positive word of mouth, generate ideas, help with marketing and deliver support to other customers. Birmingham is a fantastic and diverse city full of incredible talent, which has made it the ideal location to start a business. Its burgeoning tech scene allows us to collaborate with likeminded businesses and people who share our vision. I believe that Birmingham will be seen as the tech capital of the UK and we want to be a big part of that when it happens.
Our aspirations are to have offices around the world, specifically in Europe, the US and APAC where we see a huge opportunity for growth. We are already building partnerships in these regions so that when we are ready we can quickly build on these foundations. We are also looking to expand in the UK and would ideally have people operating in London, Manchester and Scotland.
Chris Woods, founder and director, CyberQ Group, says:
The CyberQ Group is a UK-based cyber innovator delivering world-class cyber innovation, services, and consultancy. Birmingham has become fertile ground for more than iron and steel. It is a powerhouse of innovation and is currently the most robust economy outside London. Birmingham has begun to establish itself as a thriving technology hub known as ‘Silicon Canal’ or ‘TechBrum’ among the city’s technology entrepreneurs. Its variety of tech-friendly workspaces, a rich mix of investors and tech specialists make the city the UK’s top region for innovation.
CyberQ Group is a global cybersecurity innovator with capabilities in the UK, Australia, India, South Africa, and the Philippines. Locally, we partner with Birmingham-based businesses such as Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund (BHSF) and Probrand. Nationally, we partner with Logicalis as well as tap into the US market through partners such as CenterGrid.