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Hassle, WANdisco, GP Bullhound join Tech North board

Tech City UK’s Tech North initiative has unveiled its new advisory board, which includes Hassle.coms CEO Alex Depledge and David Richards, CEO of WANdisco, which has joint HQs in California and Sheffield.

Hugh Campbell, managing partner at investment bank GP Bullhound, will also join the board, along with The Co-operative Group’s Chief Digital Officer Mike Bracken and Lee Perkins, UK & Ireland MD of Newcastle’s Sage Group.

Claire Braithwaite, who was appointed as Tech North’s first head back in March, will also sit on the advisory board, which is led by Herb Kim, founder and CEO of Newcastle’s Thinking Digital.

Tech North was unveiled by Nick Clegg in October last year and came out of the Northern Futures project developed by the then Deputy PM to facilitate the debate around economic growth in the North of England.

This was followed in February by the release of the Tech Nation analysis of the UK’s innovation ecosystem outside of London, which found 74% of digital businesses are not based in the Capital.

Tech North is ambitiously attempting to work across Manchester, Newcastle, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Sunderland.

The board will be tasked with “sharing their expertise and experience to ensure the right mechanisms exist to support startups and scaleups in the North of England”.

Given the successes and challenges of five years of the Tech City programme in London, which is the lead feature in the latest issue of Tech City News, Braithwaite said: “We have ambitious goals to evidence growth in digital employment, digital startups and digital investment and are confident the experience and expertise of our new board will ensure we can fulfil this vision.”

Central Working CEO James Layfield, whose co-working company has just expanded its Manchester space, recently told Tech City News that there is no desire in the city to replicate the Tech City story up north.

Tech North is currently running a competition called Northern Stars to find the top 10 startups across the rather vast and diverse geography that is ‘The North’.

Startups must have raised no more than £1m while also having a live product and demonstrable traction. Find out out more here.