New initiative identifies the tech companies to keep an eye on

The most innovative digital companies in Norfolk and Suffolk stepped into the national spotlight recently with the launch of the new profile-raising initiative TechEast 100.

Tech East, the cluster-focused organisation established to drive the expansion of the East of England’s tech economy, identified the top 100 start-ups and scale-ups with the greatest potential for high growth.

It was helped by a panel of judges comprising industry experts from organisations such as Tech Nation, Barclays Eagle Labs, Anglia Capital Group, UEA and New Anglia Growth Hub.

A spokesperson for Tech East said: “Our tech community here in the East is diverse and broad ranging and we wanted the Tech East 100 to reflect this.

“We asked our judges to identify our most exciting start-ups, the scale ups with high growth potential and the established national companies bringing in significant investment successes.

“We wanted them to recognise local businesses pioneering new technologies or carving out new market niches, as well as community players creating jobs for our local economy or new products and services to help make the world a better place.”

Tech East’s overarching mission is to help the local tech community thrive, to create new jobs and to attract and retain tech talent, all the while emphasizing what a great place East Anglia was to do business, she added.

The unveiling of the list of those who had made the final cut – livestreamed from Adastral Park in Martlesham – was attended virtually by Minister for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage, as well as actor, broadcaster and all round tech-enthusiast Stephen Fry.

Speaking to an invited audience of tech industry executives, investors, educators and policy makers, the minister said: “You are the most exciting and ambitious tech companies in the East of England and can be very proud of that.”

She also praised the region’s contribution to the tech economy as a whole, pointing out the UK had the largest one in Europe.

“A supportive, open collaborative tech ecosystem is vital to foster new start-ups and scale-ups, and to attract the best talent,” she said. “You have this here.”

Fry, in what was a surprise appearance for the audience, described the region as “a secret garden…and the door is not locked.”

Prof. Tim Whitley, managing director of Research and Innovation for BT Group, which owns Adastral Park, said: “BT is hugely proud to be here in the East of England.

“Suffolk and Norfolk really are exciting places to work and great places to start and to grow a tech business.

“The region is often viewed as a hidden gem, but in reality it is already at the heart of innovation in the UK, with national and indeed global significance.”

Email from Brigette Currin:

You may be interested in the Tech East 100 which we launched in September.  This new programme outlines the most innovative 100 tech businesses within Norfolk and Suffolk.

The launch was a great success.  Guest speakers included Stephen Fry, Digital Minister Caroline Dineage and Prof Tim Whitley from BT.  You can watch the event on our YouTube channel.

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