The programme was set up to find 10 of the North’s most promising tech start-ups each year. Across the North’s largest eight cities, the tech sector employs almost 169,000 people, and according to the first Tech North Investment Index, investment in digital tech companies in the North rose 916% from £19.8m in 2007 to £201.2m in 2016.
As VR and AI have been under-represented in the first two years of the competition, entrants working in these areas are particularly welcome, Tech North said.
Richard Gregory, director of Tech North, added: “The North has deep reserves of tech talent and that is why we have made our flagship Northern Stars competition even bigger and better than ever. Previous Northern Stars winners have now achieved so much and all will tell you that the assistance and recognition that comes with winning this competition are really useful in helping push their businesses to the next stage.
“Now we want to identify more early-stage startups from the North’s great cities and towns and we know there’s some great talent out there just waiting to be discovered.”
Any start-up or early-stage tech company that is based in the North of England and has raised less than £2m in equity funding is eligible to enter. Companies need to have a live product with market traction: sales, leads, and equity funding of no more than £2m.
Companies interested should apply online through Tech North’s website. Companies successful at this stage will go on to three pitching rounds, with the top 20 going onto the final on 20 November. The 10 winning companies at the final will receive pitch training, a PR campaign, media training, tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin on 4-5 December and various other prizes.
Applications close at midnight on Sunday 8 October.
Last year’s winners included an online radio platform, an augmented reality toy marker and retail reward scheme innovator. Learn more about the past winners here: https://technorthhq.com/ones-to-watch/