North East tech hidden gems
There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to the North East tech scene. From Zerolight’s cloud tech revolutionising how cars are bought to Atom being the UK’s first bank built for mobile, there are plenty of regional tech success stories to take pride in.
Technology is exhilarating; to innovate is to change. And being able to successfully manipulate change is what founders and sector operators live and die by. It might be an old cliché but when it comes to new tech taking off… blink and you’ll miss it!
A lot of solutions being developed by tech startups aren’t always easy to understand. Many journalists or spectators, and oh god how I’ve been (remain!) there, can struggle to get their heads around SaaS models, never mind distributed ledger technology or other nuanced or seemingly complex new areas of technology and change.
So it’s really not uncommon for stories to be missed or a select few names to become synonymous with the sector, or local ecosystem, entirely. Moreover, and I can’t reiterate this enough, the best early-stage founders and startups have their heads down; they’re immersed in problem-solving and product development, not in PR or shouting about their businesses before they’ve built their tech.
Now I genuinely don’t grow tired of seeing North East tech firms hit the headlines, not even you with your *incredibly* frequent LSE updates, Kromek. So if Company X is in the media 5 times in the past two months, that’s awesome. But I often think, wouldn’t it be cool to read more about some of the unsung heroes too?
So without further ado, and to mark our second century of Newcastle Tech Digest issues beginning, we’re kicking off a fortnightly feature bringing three North East tech unsung heroes or hidden gems to the fore each week.
We’re citing ‘hidden gems’ as those companies which, in the past 12 to 18 months, haven’t had more than a couple of stories in media circulation but are very much doing exciting things nonetheless.
If you know them all then I tip my hat to you madam/sir but otherwise, enjoy!
Who? Led by world-renowned marine expert and adventurer, Dr. Alan Jamieson, Armatus Oceanic offers subsea technology, scientific consultation and science communication, specialising in the deep sea.
So what? Armatus’ deep-sea camera tech and resin-based lens innovation allows the team to capture footage deeper than anyone else! They’re also super-passionate about making the deep-sea accessible to all and have a cracking podcast.
Give me more! Film director James Cameron consults with the Armatus team and appeared on their podcast recently. Check it out.
Who? Newcastle-based edtech Cognassist is pursuing a vision of a better world where no learner is left behind. Its online learning tools and innovative platform provides a digital cognitive assessment for learners, meaning unique learning needs can be quickly identified to support people in their journeys.
So what? I’ve read so many reports over the last few years which cite the importance of neurodiversity although I’ve seen very few companies taking charge in the area. I love the Cognassist team’s ethos and their desire to mass-market the platform they’ve created. Definitely one to watch.
Give me more! If you are interested in learning more about neurodiversity, check out this awesome guide from Cognassist.
Who? Intelligence Fusion develops an online platform where agencies concerned with global risks and security threats (such as terrorism, criminality, data breaches, piracy, political or economic instability, etc.) can share and discuss information.
So what? The global threat intelligence market is expected to reach $17.9bn by 2025. Ex British Army intelligence officer Michael McCabe founded the company knowing first hand how improved threat intelligence software is not just a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must have’ in countering the global threats of today.
Give me more! The software company landed a £400k raise last month. Read more about the team’s plans here.
We’ll be back with three more firms to talk about in Issue 103, April 2nd.