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

Kane Fulton, May 10, 2019 2 min read

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

  • View our Wales Network page for more insights, resources and support

Louise Harris, cofounder, Tramshed Tech, says:

Cardiff has a leading creative industries sector, grown up over the last 20 years and continuing to develop. There is a real opportunity to converge tech expertise and innovation with the mature skills of this sector to do something truly exciting and world-leading. I also think that the clustering we have seen in Wales around data, AI, cybersecurity and internet of things is a helpful way to focus resource and expertise to accelerate startups and scaleups in these areas.

One challenge is skills – access to talent is an issue across the whole of Wales and the UK. In Cardiff, we have some specific challenges. As a graduate city, there is some amazing work happening in the FE/HE sector around working with industry to create ‘work-ready’ graduates, but we do also need to get better at a few things.

They include providing startup founders with the skills they need to run a business; recruiting and retaining talent that hasn’t chosen university as a route; getting to learners much earlier in schools and engaging them in STEM; and finding ways to continuously upskill tech teams with on-demand content to help keep them at the cutting edge of technology.

Dan Jeffrys, founder, Resooma, says:

Resooma is aiming to fix the student rental accommodation market by creating solutions to solve tenants’ top pain points, sewing it together in one smooth and entirely online user-journey. We fell in love with Cardiff and its culture back in the early 2000s. Since moving here in 2006 to study, every area of the city has changed but it has managed to keep its great community, and it feels like the biggest village in the UK. From a business perspective, we couldn’t ask for a better ecosystem. Top picks for the region definitely have to be our access to grant funding, mentors and the Welsh population’s unwavering support for their own businesses.

Our focus for the next few months is to engage nationally with property owners/management to get them onboard for Resooma’s latest product offering, which goes live in July. We’ve got some really great tech coming out which will change the UK’s rental landscape and deliver our customers real value. We have started to warm up our international plans but for now, it’s strictly a UK focus at Resooma HQ.

Aimee Bateman, founder, Careercake, says:

Careercake provides organisations with content that gives their people the confidence to take on (and rise up to) the challenges they may face in their career. The tech scene here is great; it’s filled with passionate people, fantastic networks and some of the most amazing investors. In the early days, we were told we’d need to move to London or the US to make it in our space, but Cardiff has in fact presented us with so many opportunities.

This year Careercake has big plans to launch a new product suite and tech platform to businesses throughout the UK, building on our early successes in Cardiff. We’ve increased our content by 20% and the tech that underpins it all is providing vital insights to businesses looking to keep their people productive and happy.