Northern Tech Awards Showcase Growth

Northern Tech Award Winners

The North’s fastest growing tech businesses contributed £4.5bn to the UK economy in 2017

The digital technology companies at the forefront of the digital economy in the North of the UK were showcased at last night’s Northern Tech Awards. Held in Edinburgh’s prestigious Hub venue, the awards championed key players in the region’s digital industries.

The award winners were selected by a panel of high-profile judges. Sherry Coutu CBE, Chair of Founders4Schools, Jacqui Ferguson, director of Wood Group, and Melinda Matthews, chief executive of CodeClan, were new additions to the panel, alongside longstanding judges including David Rowan, Founding Editor of Wired UK.

Northern Tech Award Winners

Performance Horizon was awarded the Overall Judges Award, recognising the business’ key role in driving innovation both in the Northern region and on globally.

Tech businesses whose success has led to their rapid growth were also rewarded, with In Touch Networks winning Fastest Growing Company of the Year (for companies with revenues under £10m) and Evolution Funding winning Fastest Growing Larger Company of the Year (with revenues over £10m).

Ecommerce and IT

Three of the five fastest growing technology companies in the North of England were e-commerce specialists, while almost 30 IT service companies made the hotlist of the region’s top 100 fastest growing businesses.

The awards also highlighted ongoing trends in the Northern tech sector, as the region continued to prove its worth in software development: 22 enterprise software companies were in this year’s top 100 ranking, an increase from 19 companies last year.

Manchester confirmed its reputation as a Northern technology hub: 29 of this year’s top 100 tech businesses are based in Manchester, five of which are in the first twenty. Leeds came close behind with thirteen businesses in the ranking having been born and bred in the city.

Global Potential

Hugh Campbell, Managing Partner of GP Bullhound, commented: “We have seen the Northern region’s technology sector grow extensively as local businesses are scaling to reach the global market. Companies such as Peak AI and Sykes are a testament to the potential of Northern businesses to become international tech giants – we expect to see many more local companies with great ideas grow to reach the global technology landscape.”

Melinda Matthews, CEO of CodeClan, commented: “At CodeClan, we support technology businesses by giving them access to resources they need to scale. Scotland has the potential to be a leader in the global digital economy – it was an honour to reward the entrepreneurs who are involved in making this happen.”

2018 Northern Tech Award Winners:

  • The Region’s Top Northern Star from the competition run by Tech North: BigChange
  • Fastest Growing Company of the Year (with revenues under £10m): In Touch Networks
  • Fastest Growing Larger Company of the Year (with revenues over £10m): Evolution Funding
  • Judges’ Innovation Award: Peak AI
  • Judges’ Award for International Success: Purple
  • Judges’ Leadership Award: Sykes
  • Tech4Good Award: Virtual College
  • Judges’ Young Entrepreneur Award: Nicholas Mealey, Connex One
  • Judges’ Entrepreneur Award: Steve Oliver, MusicMagpie
  • Overall Judges’ Award: Performance Horizon


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