Two leading tech entrepreneurs have called for the digital sectors in Manchester and Nottingham to work together to realise their potential.
Mark Onyett and Mark Sanders sold technology and analytics business TDX for £200 million in 2014.
Onyett is now a partner at Blenheim Chalcot, which bills itself as “venture builders, not venture capitalists”, while Sanders is CEO of Blenheim Chalcot’s co-working spaces in Manchester and Nottingham, Accelerate Places.
They are calling for more to be done to strengthen ties between the cities and are launching a cross-region pitch competition for entrepreneurs to win a £35,000 business support package including desk spaces in both locations, cash investment and expert ‘scale up’ mentoring.
The deadline for Manchester businesses to enter via a two-minute video pitch is Friday – you can enter the competition here – with five shortlisted companies set to be chosen to present their ideas in person at the pitch night on 31st October.
The deadline for Nottingham businesses to enter has passed.
“Having operated in both cities, I can see so much crossover and potential for business owners,” said Onyett (pictured below, left, next to Sanders).
“The majority of private equity is still held in London and being based outside of the capital can sometimes restrict industry development.
“But with more collaboration, shared learning and by joining forces, the cities have the potential to make a powerful overall contribution to national competitiveness and outcomes.
“Both regions excel in creative, tech and digital sectors, as well as science, so sharing of skills and learnings can only be a good thing, especially to attract and retain the best talent and to appeal to investors from the capital and beyond.
“We have deliberately opened Accelerate Places co-working spaces in both Manchester and Nottingham and we can see the level of entrepreneurship, innovation and ideas coming out of our work hubs. Entrepreneurs are working together in each city, but why not open this up and share expertise across cities?
“Both Manchester and Nottingham are buzzing with talented entrepreneurs trying to get their foot in the door and we’re offering a great opportunity to kick start their idea and work cross-region by offering desks and mentoring across the two locations.
“We’d be interested to speak to companies that are keen to work across cities so welcome entrepreneurs with visions beyond Nottingham and Manchester too. It’s our personal crusade to link these two fantastic regions.”