Pioneering project boosts South Yorkshire tech startup ecosystem
Data indicates TEAM SY helped reverse tech slowdown and achieve growth ahead of national average
Analysis of information held at Companies House, the register of British companies, shows that 741 tech companies were started in South Yorkshire in the 19 months between October 2021 and June 2023, the time TEAM SY was fully operational. This compares to 629 startups in the preceding 19-month period.
Tech startup birth rates increased by 16 per cent (to 435) and 22 per cent (to 151), respectively, in Sheffield and Doncaster, South Yorkshire’s two largest tech hubs, and by 49 per cent in Barnsley, which saw the emergence of 73 new tech startups since the start of TEAM SY. The number of startups formed in Rotherham, which was falling before the launch of TEAM SY, increased by three percent to 82.
South Yorkshire’s increase in new tech startups compares well to the rest of the UK, where birth rates rose by 14 per cent over the same period. Although formations lagged the 24 per cent rise recorded in London, South Yorkshire matched Greater Manchester, the most successful tech hub in the North of England, where new startups increased by 17 per cent.
Since its launch, TEAM SY has supported 290 cutting-edge businesses working in areas including artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and technologies to enable net-zero supply chains and industrial operations. Early-stage startups supported by TEAM SY have already created 100 new jobs and launched 90 new technology products.
TEAM SY-supported startups have also secured funding through multiple investment partners, including NorthInvest, a not-for-profit organisation connecting tech and digital startups with mentors and investors in the North of England. NorthInvest has already facilitated investments totalling £5.6 million in these startups and expects further deals worth over £6 million more to be closed by the end of 2023. Beauhurst data published in November 2022 showed that, overall, tech startups in South Yorkshire secured equity funding totalling more than £52.6 million in the first ten months of 2022, 42 per cent more than all of 2021.
Darren Balcombe, Deputy CEO at Capital Enterprise and TEAM SY lead, said: “South Yorkshire is known for entrepreneurship and innovation, but these qualities need nurturing to thrive fully. TEAM SY leveraged public sector funding and private sector investment to grow the early-stage tech ecosystem in South Yorkshire. Today, we are witnessing a promising recovery, a reversal in the decline of startups following the pandemic, and a resurgence of innovation activity in our region.”
“However, our journey doesn't stop here. We are committed to supporting the ecosystem to grow even stronger. Our vision is to cultivate an environment where globally competitive tech companies can be born and thrive, right here in South Yorkshire.”
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