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Thursday 25th April 2019

The Leeds Digital Festival Awards take place next week (30th April 2019).

The LDF Awards celebrate the success of the digital and tech industry in Leeds and the wider city region over the last year. The thriving scene is not only home to start-ups and SMEs, but also much larger businesses where tech is at the heart of everything they do.

The awards will celebrate the organisations and individuals who are driving the vibrant industry and making Leeds a fantastic hub of digital innovation. 

With a couple of days to go until the big night, we thought we'd take the opportunity to get to know our fantastic shortlisted individuals and organisations.

In this blog we hear from the 'Facilitator of the year' shortlist. We asked them 'What does being shortlisted for a Leeds Digital Festival Award mean to you?' 

Find out what some of them said below...

Leeds Boost

Here is one of the many reasons Leeds Boost were shortlisted...

"Leeds Boost was born out of the much documented digital skills gap. Following a conversation between Simon McCaskill, Google Trainer and Digital Speaker, and the team at LeedsBID, the Leeds Boost project became a BID initiative in October 2017, and has been providing digital skills training to the businesses and people of Leeds."

"Delivering the most in-demand digital topics, Leeds Boost addresses key issues such as - boosting footfall on the high street, winning new business, reducing stress and increasing productivity and wellbeing in the workplace, all by adopting digital tools and techniques.

The bitesize sessions, masterclasses and one-to-one support is designed to empower people and grow the knowledge and digital skills in Leeds city centre, which in turn supports business growth, personal development and enhance health and well being in a digital world."

Here is what Leeds Boost had to say about being shortlisted...

Taras Lanchev

Here is one of the many reasons Taras was shortlisted...

"Leeds needs mentors and young entrepreneurs who inspire others and help them become entrepreneurs. That's Taras in a nutshell."

"Taras has also:
-  Been responsible for bringing Startup Weekend back to Leeds, and also playing the part of a mentor.
- Sold his business 'CrytoDaddy' in 2018. 
- Gets involved in events such as Leeds Digital Drinks Startup Quiz
- He is a positive role model for foreign nationals having successfully applied for Tech Nation's Tier 1 Exceptional Visa (on top of everything else he's done)."

Here is what Taras had to say about being shortlisted...

Dr Victoria Betton

Here is one of the many reasons Victoria was shortlisted...

Victoria is the Managing Director of mHabitat.

"MHabitat have recently launched Co>Space North - a 5000 sq ft collaboration and co-working space at Platform. Co>Space has been two years in the making and was born out of a vision to create a virtual and physical community of innovators in the digital health and tech for good space. With a blended model of membership, event/project space hire and corporate sponsorship. Co>Space is developing a strong programme of events and activities for the city and beyond.

Our first initiative is Propel@YH - is a regional accelerator for digital health innovators. We are curating around 20 events during the 2019 Leeds Digital Festival and since launching we already have a steady stream of events taking place in the space. We offer the space free to meet-ups and not-for-profits and our friendly team make sure everyone feels welcome. What makes us different than other similar spaces is our focus on citizens, with free membership to citizens in Leeds who have an interest in digital health and tech for good."

Here is what Victoria had to say about being shortlisted...

"I’m thrilled to have been shortlisted for the LDF Facilitator of the Year award. At mHabitat we love facilitating connections and collaborations between the NHS, charities, public sector and digital companies and academia. Our health and care themed programme at this year’s festival is all about bringing people together to learn about important topical issues such as AI and ethics, personal health data and privacy, teens and social media. So whilst I have been shortlisted, this is really an mHabitat team effort with collaboration at the heart of everything we do."

Leeds Libraries

Here is one of the many reasons Leeds Libraries were shortlisted...

"Leeds Libraries work to provide digital support to families and to marginalised groups and isolated individuals. 

They do this through their energetic and innovative Family Digital Offer with regular 7 Code Clubs, 2 Coder Dojos and holiday events running across Leeds. Our Central Library Code Club has recently been awarded star club status and our attendees have sent code to space with the support of volunteers and librarians.

Leeds Libraries work in partnership with business, cultural and third sectors to bring high quality events to Leeds including Queens of Industry -All girls hack in partnership with Leeds Museums. Which saw 30 girls come up with solutions to challenges set by Leeds Libraries and Museums." 

Here is what Leeds Libraries had to say about being shortlisted...

Fintech North

Here is one of the many reasons Fintech North were shortlisted...

"Founded in Leeds to bring together the FinTech community, Fintech North now operates across the north in multiple locations but with its biggest and most active community in Leeds.

Hosted over 30 events since 2016, with over 3300 attendees from more than 600 companies and speakers drawn from over 20 countries.

Fintech North has provided a pitching platform for 3 international FinTech delegations totalling over 60 FinTechs who have visited Leeds, supporting inwards investment into the region.

Fintech North has worked in partnership with key stakeholders in the Leeds City Region including Leeds City council, Leeds City Region LEP, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, DIT, Tech Nation, University of Leeds, Nexus, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University, and many of the leading banking and tech brands who are based in the region."

Here is what Fintech North had to say about being shortlisted...

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