This historic textiles centre now has a fast-growing digital tech economy. Two leading universities and a steady supply of graduates have attracted and created digital tech businesses such as Rainbird AI, Validus-IVC and Epos Now.
Startups are nurtured by meet-up groups including SyncNorwich and Hot Source, as well as StartUp Norfolk and local events such as the Sync The City startup weekend. There is a strong trend of founders ‘giving back’ to the community. The Norfolk Developers meet-up group, for example, was set up by the founder of Naked Element.
2016 saw the launch of a number of events, including the #DigitalCity trail and MyTech, which are aimed at inspiring young people and were able to bring businesses and students together to network. Meanwhile, the Norfolk Developers’ Conference included a ‘schools day’ to promote digital tech skills.
Barclays opened an Eagle Lab, while Norwich University of the Arts launched its new incubation hub the Ideas Factory, and TechEast opened its embassy in London. The annual Norwich Gaming Festival continues to attract enthusiastic crowds, with more than 30,000 visitors in 2016.
A proposed Tech Corridor along the A11 linking Norwich and Cambridge could bring thousands of jobs and more than £500 million in investment. The New Anglia LEP has established Enterprise Zones across the region to nurture growth, while plans for redevelopment in the Shoe Quarter are under way to create a live/work community.
What’s more, the £81 million Quadram Institute is due to open in 2018 at the Norwich Research Park. The institute will be at the forefront of research into food and health.
Thyngs enables anyone to make any everyday object easily interactive through a smartphone. We started with the charity sector, upgrading charity tins, ID badges and event stands to enable quick and easy digital donations and gift aid collection.
Norwich offers great connections with Cambridge and London, plus access to talent from local universities. Being based in the WhiteSpace/Barclays Eagle Lab tech hub
helps us to engage with the local community and provides on-site access to 3D printers
ubisend is a technology company that creates AI-driven chatbots to help brands to communicate with their audience on a personal level, at scale. Our job is to give brands a digital voice.
Norwich is becoming a thriving digital tech hub. We have built connections with local organisations, including the universities and other businesses, to find talent and grow support for ubisend.