From Robert Stephenson’s locomotive to Joseph Swan’s incandescent light bulb, science and technology have long found a home in Newcastle and the North East. “Newcastle has a history of innovation going back hundreds of years, with some of the world’s greatest inventions coming from the city and its surrounding area,” says Paul Lancaster, founder of Newcastle Startup Week.
The city’s technological spirit remains alive and kicking today, due to the presence of world-leading universities and a vibrant startup scene. The kingpin is Sage, one of the largest enterprise-software companies in the world, whose headquarters have remained in the region since being founded in 1981.
Ask around and you’ll find a close-knit network of entrepreneurs from all over the world, drawn by the lure of talented graduates and low living costs. “You can get started and make things happen very quickly in the city at a much lower cost than anywhere else in the country,” says Doug Jones, community development lead at government-backed initiative Tech North. A recent report by Tech City UK counted more high-growth companies in Newcastle than in London.
New developments in the city, including a £30 million National Innovation Centre for Data, an Innovation District in the up-and-coming Stephenson Quarter and a North East Futures University Technical College, due to open in September 2018, will ensure Newcastle maintains a thriving tech scene.
Here’s our pick of the Newcastle startups you need to know about.
This streaming social network connects artists with fans. Although it’s run from the banks of the Tyne, most of its traffic comes from Latin America. The app makes recommendations based on the listener’s streaming history.
Investment raised £2.26m
Founders Gilbert Corrales, Melvin Salas, Daniel Salas, Helga Alvarez
TrendListr is an online marketplace that curates vintage clothing for women, with a men’s marketplace building inventory too. It has built a strong seller community to connect with a global network of retro-fashion fans.
Investment raised N/A
Founders Louisa Rogers
3D printing hasn’t yet fulfilled its make-anything-anywhere potential, but Perfected3D aims to lower the barriers to entry. It automatically cleans up modelling data and enhances designs, which it then sends to 3D printers. Clients include Microsoft and Ubisoft.
Investment raised £800,000
Founder Joe Stevens
Gym Plan, formerly known as Fit Gurus, is a fitness app that provides personalised fitness and nutrition plans. The service also offers chat facilities with advisers and personal trainers.
Investment raised £400,000
Founders Dave Stidolph, Paul Slater
Moltin offers customisable e-commerce APIs for small businesses. The service handles every aspect of e-commerce, from stock management to checkouts, in response to challenges firms face when working for an agency.
Investment raised £1.5m
Founders Chris Roach, Adam Sturrock, Jamie Holdroyd