Podcast: Nurturing North East tech growth – David Dunn, CEO, Sunderland Software City

David Dunn Sunderland Software City UKTN Podcast

In the latest episode of the UKTN Podcast, Sunderland Software City CEO David Dunn shares his thoughts on how the North East can grow its tech sector, gives his assessment of the government’s tech department, and explains how increasing the number of regional startups can help the UK become a “tech powerhouse”. 

From Newcastle to Middlesbrough, the North East of England is bursting with clusters of tech innovation. But Dunn believes that with the right support, the North East “could be adding more value to UK PLC”.

In this episode, Dunn explains how focusing on talent pipelines rather than job creation can stimulate tech sector growth. He also explains steps to overcome funding challenges for North East businesses and how to promote the region internationally. And ahead of an almost certain general election this year, Dunn looks at how the two main political parties have been faring when it comes to tech policy.  

“I think there’s an acknowledgement both by the secretary of state, the minister and the department that things aren’t equal across the country and you can’t pull one single lever and solve all of the problems simultaneously,” Dunn tells UKTN Podcast host Jane Wakefield. 

Elsewhere, the regional tech leader discusses the government’s levelling up agenda and the untapped opportunity in North East tech for investors.

“A forward-thinking VC who wants to fish in a market that’s potentially underserved should get on a train and come up and see what we’ve got going on in the North East,” he says.

Dunn has held leadership roles at Sunderland Software City since 2008. The not-for-profit provides support services to tech businesses in the region. Dunn also holds the CEO role at support organisation Dynamo North East and is a founding member of the UK Tech Cluster Group, an organisation representing regional tech businesses.  

Listen to the full episode here, along with all previous episodes of the UKTN Podcast.

The UKTN Podcast is sponsored by HSBC Innovation Banking, which offers flexible banking solutions for startups, scaleups, growth businesses, investors and those working towards IPO.

Throughout the series, the UKTN Podcast will be speaking to some of the key movers and shakers from UK tech. We’ll learn growth strategies from both seasoned and up-and-coming founders, hear market sentiments from investors, and question policymakers on the decisions impacting the country’s innovation economy.

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