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

Kane Fulton, May 10, 2019 2 min read

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

Peter Birkett, CEO, Southampton Science Park, says:

Opportunities that exist here are very much around the sorts of things that are the planks of the government’s industrial strategy. Areas include the intelligent manipulation of data and what I’d call environmental improvements – such as battery tech applicable to electric cars – and muscular-skeletal medicine.

One of the things about the south coast is that it’s not Oxford, Cambridge or London. As a consequence of that, it generally speaking has a low profile and is difficult for startups to access funding without travelling further afield. The region is rich in tech innovation and startups, but it somehow manages to remain under the radar of people.

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.

Andy Dolin, COO, Tonic Analytics, says:

We’re a B2B data analytics company. Our innovative red.thread technology uses digital twins, big data and advanced predictive analytics to enable critical client outcomes. Southampton has a long history of using advanced technology to solve real world challenges. Our own roots are in aerospace – a sector in which Southampton has a proud history of innovation. In this digital age, our location at Southampton Science Park is providing us with the essential network of talent and support to solve new challenges.

We operate worldwide, with over 80% of our revenue coming from export. Our people, technology and services are all located in Southampton, UK.  Our home market is also our main platform for developing and proving technology solutions that can be deployed globally.

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