Michelle Hua, CEO, Made With Glove, Manchester

What is your background?
My background is in law but after 8 years of working as a lawyer in Australia, I quit my job and started Made With Glove, a wearable tech start up designing fashionable heated gloves for women.

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?
I initially came to the UK to travel and work for one year, as most Australians do, however I was inspired by working with other start ups. I applied for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa and started Made With Glove in Manchester after winning a wearable tech hackathon in Manchester. I felt that the UK, with its close proximity to Europe and the US makes it very easy to do business from the UK. When my entrepreneur’s visa expired, I applied for and succeeded in my application for the Tech Nation Exceptional Talent visa.

What are your current plans? / What projects are you currently working on?
My portfolio is quite expansive because I enjoy being involved in the UK tech ecosystem at all levels. While I am in prototype development with Made With Glove. I am a STEM Ambassador and work with schools, communities and corporates to deliver wearable tech workshops to girls aged 12-18 to encourage them to consider a career in STEM. I am a Tech Nation Visa Ambassador and help overseas applicants through my blogs who are considering coming to the UK to continue their digital and tech journey. I co-founded Women of Wearables, UK and Europe’s first organization that supports, connects and inspires women in wearable tech, fashion tech, IoT, AR and VR through our events and workshops and am now the Manchester Ambassador.

I am also a public speaker, writer and mentor to people who are on a similar journey to share our trials and tribulations, challenges, achievements and successes and support those who need guidance and advice.

Why did you choose to locate in Manchester?

I enjoy being in the North of England because the tech ecosystem and communities are very welcoming and we all share a common goal of striving to innovate, push boundaries and be competitive with the rest of the UK. Manchester and the North West has a thriving community here and I’ve recently discovered that the tech ecosystem in the North East, namely Newcastle has a strong and collaborative tech community too. With the recent launch of the Forge accelerator scale up IoT program in Newcastle, an InnovateUK, Tus Holdings and DotForge China UK collaboration, I believe this will strengthen the UK tech ecosystem on a global level.