In this weekly series we introduce you to members of the Tech North team, and let them tell you more about their roles and their views about tech in the North of England.
This week we hear from our Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Will Dolby.
Tell us about your role at Tech North
Despite my job title, I have quite a broad role at Tech North. My primary focus lies with developing and implementing the marketing plans for our programmes, and ensuring they get the exposure they require. It means I get to work with people across the organisation to develop the tech ecosystem, put on great events and create interesting content.
I originally joined Tech North as Social Media Manager, and still manage the company’s social channels day-to-day. I’m also responsible for the management and maintenance of the company website, all email communications and general marketing.
What’s your background, and what attracted you to working at Tech North?
I’ve worked in digital marketing for almost 10 years, for a number of companies that have a technology focus.
My first truly digital role was at 2ergo, a mobile marketing agency, with clients such as Orange Wednesday and Pizza Express. From there I moved to Brother UK where I worked in the digital team for close to three years.
After a quick (and misguided) foray into private banking, I moved to Hiring Hub, an online recruitment marketplace based in Manchester (if you’re currently using recruitment agencies, I’d seriously recommend checking them out). And that leads me to the current day, sitting at my desk, working for Tech North.
The move was a bit of a no-brainer. Having worked for northern technology companies, it was clear the sector was thriving, and this role gave me a chance to help to take it further. I was aware of some of the great work the business did beforehand and it made the choice to join an easy one.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about tech in the North since you joined Tech North?
There’s a lot more going on than you might at first realise, but it’s not all about the big cities. There’s some great tech happening in small towns and villages that you wouldn’t expect (shout out to our friends Dream Agility in Ramsbottom!). It’s also quite interesting to see that certain regions have specialities, for example Liverpool being a thriving hub for the games industry.
There’s obviously still a long way to go, but I believe the North of England has the opportunity to rival the world’s biggest tech hubs and it’s great being a part of it.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I love working with startups. Seeing the support we provide, lead to actual growth is amazing. And it’s not just that, the people you get to meet can be truly inspiring (and terrifyingly clever). I often find myself dreaming of starting a business of my own, something I’d never contemplated doing before.
Outside of that I’ve been given the chance to travel the world, with trips to SXSW in Texas and The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam. Not that I like to brag, but they were awesome.
If there’s one thing you’d like people to do after reading this interview, what would it be?
Apply for both Northern Stars and Founders’ Network.
Follow Will on Twitter.