What are the opportunities and challenges for digital tech founders in Brighton?

Kane Fulton, May 10, 2019 2 min read

What does Brighton have to offer ambitious digital tech entrepreneurs? We asked the following stakeholders and business leaders to find out. For granular data on Brighton’s digital tech ecosystem – including its companies (and founders), accelerators, and workspaces – see Data Commons.

Lars Hyland, Chief Learning Officer, Totara, says:

Brighton has a powerful blend of tech and creative talent that already represents the future skills and collaborative practices demanded in the wider workplace. As a place to work it offers stimulating career opportunities and is fertile ground for ambitious startups. As a place to live, nothing beats it.

Brighton is growing more popular, so investment is needed in infrastructure, work and living spaces. Digital businesses are growing in confidence, capability and scale. Government policymakers should take note and provide the necessary support to accelerate development and global awareness of what is a true centre of excellence.

Hannah Dawson, CEO, Futrli, says:

Futrli exists to help small businesses succeed: positively impacting families, communities and economies globally. The real answer is because I fell in love with my husband who lived here! But fortuitously, Brighton is an amazing melting pot of bright minds and innovation. Our 80-strong team here are going from strength to strength and we’re sending the Brighton vibe to the other offices we have in Belfast, Sydney, Melbourne and Australia.

We’ve been international from day one. Launching in Sydney almost 5 years ago, our ANZ market is fantastic. The UK and ANZ are our core markets, but we are moving more aggressively into the US now and seeing fantastic results.

Jonathan Barrowman, founder and CEO, Gorilla In The Room, says:

We’re an immersive technology company which develops AR and VR products for the market research industry. The founding team have lived here for years however, because we’re so different, we probably wouldn’t have met if we lived elsewhere. Brighton celebrates diversity and this unique mix of liberal arts, technology and creativity is the reason we got together in the first place. I recently found out that Silicon Valley’s perfect founding team is apparently a Geek, a Suit and a Hippie – which is a happy coincidence.

We’ve got a long way to go before we’ve saturated the UK market however enquiries from North America and other countries in Europe have led to our tech being deployed in multiple markets. I’ve been in global roles before so our ambition is definitely to scale beyond the British Isles.

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