New reports from London Tech Week and UK Tech Cluster Group have highlighted the unique strengths of the East and West Midlands, and the contributions they make to the UK’s £150 billion plus tech ecosystem, including a burgeoning FinTech cluster across the Midlands as a whole.
With eight deals completed during Q1 2021, totalling £1.89 billion – more than double the previous quarterly record of £857m in Q1 2020 – FinTech recently maintained its reign as the most investable start–up sector in the area.
The East Midlands – specialist pioneers in HealthTech
Famous for its robust engineering and manufacturing heritage, the East Midlands is widely recognised as the ‘home of innovation’, including the world’s first factory, the discovery of silicon and pioneering game changing research into genetics and semiconductors.
These days, HRTech, FinTech and HealthTech dominate the area’s tech hotspots as it leads the way across wearables, biotech and medtech at a national level. Nottingham is the buzzing hotspot, where Boots, Experian, MHR, Lockwood Publishing, Adzooma, Tebex, Pharmaseal and e-days are based, and top tech talent is flocking to in droves.
“The East Midlands has long had a robust healthtech hub to boast about,” said London Tech Week festival director Suzy Pallett.
“With the support of large corporations like Boots, academia, incubators and accelerators geared towards the pharmaceutical industry, biotech and medtech, there is a production line of talent and exciting spinouts in the region.
“Attracting over 1,000 investment deals in the last 10 years (a 300% increase in investment in 2020) is testament to its position as a leading UK tech hotspot.”
Boots UK director of the Nottingham Enterprise Zone Mark Chivers said: “Our vision is to create a UK centre in health, beauty and wellbeing in Nottingham… that will improve the local economy and allow a number of start-ups and small and medium enterprises to develop and grow. (It’s) part of our ongoing commitment to innovation and being an incubator for young businesses in the East Midlands.”
Lincoln-based Tended is one such young business, combining wearable technology with behavioural psychology to deliver real time insights to employers while ensuring the mental and physical wellbeing of employees.
Tended founder and CEO Leo Scott Smith: “We’re proud to be part of the growing tech ecosystem in the East Midlands. The region is undergoing a huge transformation that is accelerating its economic growth and status as a prosperous place for people to work, study and live. In turn, this has helped us forge long-lasting relationships with investors and commercial partners.”
London Tech Week’s Suzy Pallett added: “With the relative closeness of key cities Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln and Leicester, there’s a unique connectedness to the cluster that sees talent spread across the area, placing the East Midlands in a position of privilege as post-pandemic working trends are established.”
Invest in Nottingham’s Ken Nettleship said: “The East Midlands has a strong track record in growing some fantastic tech businesses and this has been reflected in the 12 Cluster of Tech report.
“From established players such as Experian, who started in Nottingham, through to those with a great future ahead such as Felloh, the region offers a great ecosystem for businesses that are starting up or expanding into new locations.
“The talent pool, world-class universities, cutting-edge technology clusters and the access to funding mean that tech businesses can grow and scale with ease in the region.”