Welsh Technology Startups, Clusters & Support

Here at TechHub we recently announced our expansion to the south Welsh city of Swansea, our third site in the UK after London and Manchester.

To the casual observer Swansea may seem something of a curveball, especially when you consider cities such as Cambridge and Edinburgh.
especially when one sets out to Google technology in Wales, no doubt you top 10 google search results half of which will refer to Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, yet this is the country which gave us the Microphone, Radar, Packet Switching, The Train, Powered Flight (yes 15 years before the brothers wright) , Fuel Cell and dozens more world changing inventions. Is innovation in Wales is dead? Or is simply undocumented?

Will Wales produce a billion dollar startup:

Wales has an uninspiring economy, traditional industry is fading, its growth lags behind that of the UK and its the 34th largest economy in the EU. The ICT sector in Wales contributes in excess of �1.2 billion to the Welsh total Gross Value Added (GVA)

Doctor Who / C++ / Unix

Despite this the welsh economy, like the majority of western has moved towards the tertiary sector and has produced some success stories. GoCompare who in 2011 posted �34.4 Million pre-tax profit. Both major media companies in the UK, BBC and ITV have a major presence in Cardiff. According to the BBC Welsh youth entrepreneurship is on the rise the longstanding initiatives such as Entrepreneurship Academy Wales has been churning out students.

Set Top Box Heritage, Life Science, Aviation

Manufacturing in wales from the Raspberry pi to the jammy dodger (ok, not strictly tech, but still awesome)

So first lets get the horrible cliches out the way and i'll try to do it without making a Silicon Valley / Welsh Valleys Joke. Is South Wales the next Silicon Valley? No!

These are the questions for governments and policy makers, people who care about Local Economic Development, job creations. We live in a global economy, the internet has democratised access, if you are determined you can build a startup from anywhere as long as you have an outward looking focus

This is not just about swansea its about all of south wales, it is not us choosing one cluster over another
We could talk about just Swansea, South Wales or even Tech Britain but frankly it doesn't matter.

Swansea university alumni and Wales' first billionaire Terry Matthews recently stated at the welsh national ICT conference Digital 2013

The magnate courted controversy in March last year when he suggested that �Cardiff� should encompass both Newport and Swansea, saying that it would do �better economically� as an all-encompassing district, rather than separate cities.

Find the full article here at intapeople

Welsh Government & Education

Over the past several years the Welsh government has been hugely supportive of SME growth within the country, funding scheme such as:

by 2015, 50% of the population will have access to 100mbps broadband. This is all in additional to nation wide schemes including the Entrepreneur Visa, R&D Tax Credits and the generous EIS/SEIS, offering investors x% return on investments up to �500,000.

Universites, Swansea University, University of Wales and comp sci graudations. Insert fun fact here.

Clusters in Wales

What makes a strong technology cluster?

This year saw the launch of Cardiff Start a business advocacy group founded by local entrepreneurs, Neil Cocker, Stephen Milburn, Mark Stevenson and Rob Lo Bue

[:vimeo 66864073]

Cardiff Start is a group of entrepreneurs, startup founders, creatives, students, and investors who believe that our city is a brilliant place to work and live.

The start model has since been replicated in Swansea as Swansea Start and the first ever Startup Weekend in Wales will be taking place later this year. Startup Hackathon Launch48 will be taking place in Cardiff in October this year, Monmouth was the worlds first Wikipeida Town the aforementioned High Potential Startups is based in Newport.

It was recently reported that Sir Terry has recently started "Up five new top-secret companies in Newport, dealing in mobile devices, broadband, cloud services and 'big data'."

Investment & Industry:

Traditional Venture Capital is sparse, there are however several alternative and an appetite to try new alterative methods of financing. Swansea based startup Veeqo has raised �150,000 via London based equity Crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

But its 2/3 hours to London a city with no shortage of seed capital right now and the world at your fingertips through video messaging.
Investors including Indycube Ventures, Finance Wales, Angel Network Xenos

Does this mean to succeed Wales needs Venture Capital? Does it need its own stock exchange? The answer is no. For the moment there is not enough deal flow, over the past 5 years only one Welsh based company has listed on AIM on the London Stock Exchange. London is only 3 hours away. We must leverage the strengths of each technology cluster, something we here at TechHub are working to facilitate.

investment in youth entrepreneurship and greater links with industry see a new wave of graduates, building companies, better deal flow

Wales needs technology hero's, help us shout about success

Alacrity Foundation charity set up by Terry Matthews to create the next generation of British hi-tech entrpeneurs, based in Newport as well as Technocamps and Robocup Junior

Will South Wales overtake London's Tech City as the premier Technology Cluster in the UK? probably not. But thanks to the efforts of the local government, pationate local founders and organisations like TechHub, we have a chance to inspire the next wave of entrepreneurs but to do this we must start shouting about these success's, creating heros and most of all collaborate.

through generating a collaborative culture, mix of university students with industry experts, encourage all of you to get involved, contribute, tell your story. Follow @TechHubSwansea on twitter and get involved with the TechHub community here.

So can a welsh team develop a billion dollar startup, the answer as with all clusters is yes of course it can, the bigger issue is retaining said company when it beggins to show traction,
Tech clusters take years to build, its up to the local community to ensure that it fosters an enviroment that can maintain these companies locally, but first lets inspire and start some great companies.

Some of the hottest startups in Wales

Veequo Recently raised two rounds via equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs totally �150,000.

Dizzyjam

Comparison Creator

Ingot

SubHub

RantMedia Games

[OysterWorld]

Wepredict Swansea based, boasting an impressive lineup of clients including Oracle, Microsoft, KPMG, Grant Thronton, IBM, Honda and more.

[Dezrez]

[Sbiffy] Welsh by birth but now based in TechHub Manchester


TechHub is a unique environment where technology startups can start up faster. We nurture an international network of like-minded and focused tech entrepreneurs, providing places where they can work, meet, collaborate, network, learn and have fun. By getting the right people together in a physical space, good things happen. - @TechHub / @TechHubSwansea

post by me