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YORKSHIRE TECH: THE SUCCESS STORIES!

Wednesday 1st August 2018
It’s Yorkshire day! Today we are celebrating everything that’s great about God’s own country. 

When you think of Yorkshire’s greatest exports, you might think of Marks and Spencer. Yorkshire puddings, Yorkshire Tea and Scary spice. The county has made a name for itself in a number of different areas from sport right through to food.

In recent years Yorkshire has made a name for itself in the World of digital technology. 

In the last five years Yorkshire tech hubs including Leeds, Hull and Sheffield have become breeding grounds for some of the most exciting digital innovation in the world. From home grown start-ups to international renowned businesses choosing Yorkshire as a base for their digital teams. The growth of Yorkshire tech is not to be ignored.

In this blog we’re going to break down just some of the exciting tech businesses that were born in Yorkshire or have chosen Yorkshire as a home to grow and succeed.

Cocoon ‘The Future of home security’, from Leeds to the world! 


Cocoon launched in Leeds in 2014 with the aim to revolutionise the way people protect their homes from intruders. 

Cocoon uses AI technology on one device to detect unwanted activity in any room, on any floor in your home and will then notify you on your smartphone.

Since its launch, Cocoon has gone on to have global success with the product being used in homes in over 70 countries. In 2017 Cocoon surpassed fundraising targets on CrowdCube, raising 2.3 million with over 1,000 investors. This enabled Cocoon to win 'Product of the Year 2018' at this year’s CrowdCube awards!

Synap – EdTech at it’s best


Synap is a unique learning platform designed to help students revise for exams by enabling them to create, practise and share education quizzes.

EdTech start-up Synap was brought to life by founders James Gupta and Omair Vaiyani while they were both at University studying Medicine.

What started out as an intelligent learning platform to help medical students revise for exams, has since expanded into other verticals, and is now delivering corporate training solutions across a range of industries including financial services, retail and transport.

Throughout it’s short four years, Synap has continued to succeed and grow, recently securing a six figure investment from Yorkshire funding and investment group Venturian!

Commenting on the recent investment founder James Gupta said, ‘We’re at a growth stage at the moment and the funds invested in us will help us reach the high targets we’ve set ourselves. It also shows that ambitious northern start-ups don't need to go to London to raise investment. We have seen many of our peers head to London to raise funds, but by working with Venturian, we can spend more time on growing our business instead of spending time on trains meeting investors.’ (Business Cloud)

Find out more and follow the Synap journey over at their Twitter here.

BJSS ‘The UK’S largest privately-owned IT and business consultancy’


The BJSS journey started back in 1993 in Leeds. 25 years on, BJSS now operates in numerous other locations – Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, New York and Houston Texas with over 1000 talented workers.

Over the last 25 years BJSS has built a name for themselves in the tech sector, being renowned for technical excellence, cost effective delivery and their proven ‘BJSS Enterprise Agile Approach’.

Notable highlights in the BJSS journey include their rebuild of the NHS spine, alongside the HSCIC in 2014 (which took place in Yorkshire).

The NHS Spine (commonly known as ‘the electronic backbone of the NHS’) is relied on by thousands of care organisations, health professionals and patients. The upgrade to ‘NHS Spine 2’ by BJSS, has improved the efficiency of the system and is able to support more capabilities that are instrumental in helping the NHS run smoothly. (Find out more here)

Even more recently, BJSS was awarded the prestigious Queen’s award for enterprise, in the innovation category for their enterprise software delivery approach.



 Find out more about BJSS and the work they do here.

FinancialForce - ‘The leading cloud ERP for the new services economy’


One of Silicon Valley’s greatest exports, (FinancialForce) run their research and development headquarters out of Yorkshire’s very own Harrogate.

“The #1 ERP native to the Salesforce platform, FinancialForce unifies data across the enterprise in real-time, enabling companies to rapidly evolve their business models with customers at the centre. Founded in 2009 in San Francisco, FinancialForce is backed by Salesforce Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures, Advent International, and UNIT4.”

Along with providing an excellent service to all of their users across the world. FinancialForce have been commended year after year for the opportunities they offer their employees in terms of working environment and progression, winning numerous awards and rankings including ‘Best Workplace’ five years in a row.



 In a guest blog written for Amsource Technology last year, Michael, a Software Developer at FinancialForce said the culture of the company was one of the reasons he enjoyed his work so much.It’s not toxic at all, management trust you to do your job. I have personally never felt too pressured to reach a particular deadline, any pressure has been healthy and motivating, as opposed to stress inducing.’

Find out more about FinancialForce here.

Sky - ‘Europe’s leading Entertainment Company’


Back in 2015, Sky moved its Tech division from London to the heart of Leeds, at New Dock. 

The move initially created of 400 jobs in the city and the company has since consistently invested in Leeds Tech talent.

The Sky Leeds tech hub focusses on building the next generation of Sky’s sites and apps, with a particular focus on helping viewer’s access content across different devices, wherever they are.

Since their move, Sky has also tried to bridge the gap in the UK’s tech talent sector by taking in young people looking to gain career experience and skills in technology. The have established their second Software Engineering Academy in Leeds, after launching the original in London.

The Leeds school accepts 24 graduates and eight apprentices a year!

Jeremy Darroch, Sky's chief executive officer, said on their move to Leeds: "Digital skills and innovation are at the heart of what we do at Sky, helping us give customers the best possible TV experience, whether at home or on the move.

"With our investment in Leeds, we’ve created one of the largest digital communities in the UK. We are looking forward to bringing more new jobs to the city and giving young people the opportunity to build their skills and help shape the digital services of the future
."



Find out more about Sky here.

NHS Digital – Revolutionising the National Health Service


Tech innovations are at the heart of NHS. Over the last 70 years tech has revolutionised the NHS, from ground breaking treatments, patient care to the way the NHS is managed behind the scenes.

NHS Digital is head quartered in Leeds. Their Yorkshire base is responsible for some of the most exciting tech innovations taking place in the NHS today. 

Hazel Jones is head of apps and wearables, in a recent blog post she commented on some of the exciting change taking place in her area at NHS Digital in Leeds: “we’re setting up a framework to enable holistic testing of apps and digital technologies, meaning that we can help signpost citizens to the digital tools that we know will help them. These apps have detailed evidence based outcomes and meet the standards around clinical and patient safety, as well as the technical wrap-around such as the security of the data collected and how it will be used.

We’ve got 70 apps out there already, from sleeping aids to self-managing diabetes. We’re in the process of scaling that up so that in the future we can offer even more choice to patients and citizens.”



 Find out more about the digital innovation taking place at the NHS here.
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