Manchester tops the table for North West tech start-ups

Manchester has been named as the North West’s number one location for new tech businesses, securing top spot in a survey of 39 of the region’s towns and cities.

The research, by bank NatWest, ranked areas of the North West based on the number of tech businesses established between 2010 and 2018 in five industry sub-sectors: motion picture, programming and broadcasting, telecommunications, computer programming and IT.

The findings revealed 825 tech-related firms set up headquarters in Manchester in that period, followed by the Greater Manchester suburb of Trafford, with 485 new businesses in that period.

Manchester topped the table in four out of the five industries, with Trafford taking the joint top rank for number of programming and broadcasting businesses, alongside Cheshire East and Liverpool.

Trafford also took the second-place ranking for the motion picture, computer programming and IT industries.

Compare Checker, a car insurance comparison app that compares comparison sites rather than individual companies, is one of the 825 tech businesses that call Manchester home.

Since the app launched in 2016, Compare Checker has been downloaded in excess of 100,000 times, garnered countless fintech and entrepreneurial award nominations and is about to see its sixth iteration launched to the public.

CEO and creator Ade Molajo joined NatWest’s Next Level accelerator programmes in 2017 after a venture capitalist school friend recommended joining an accelerator to fast-track the app’s success.

Ade said: “Since I graduated from Nottingham University’s Business School I have always pursued entrepreneurial activities which I credit for giving me the skills to get me to where I am today – as well as my experience working on a number of other apps along the way.

Compare Checker CEO and creator Ade Molajo.

Compare Checker CEO and creator Ade Molajo.

“I made the decision to base the business in my hometown of Manchester after seeing the major strides in recent years to foster a start-up scene and the city’s digital business presence is exploding here, with co-working spaces in abundance and three universities full of eager students. It’s impossible to miss the ever-expanding tech presence here.

“The NatWest accelerator programmes are a great support for budding entrepreneurs, both within the tech industry and outside of it, and the fact that Manchester is now home to one of the new Fintech accelerator hubs means that the tech scene here can continue to grow and innovate, thanks to NatWest nurturing new tech talent.”

The research also reviewed new job creation within the tech industry from 2015 to 2018, with Greater Manchester regions performing strongly again.

In Salford, the home of Media City, 1,000 new jobs were created in the sector over a four-year period, placing it second in the rankings behind Liverpool.

Manchester created the biggest number of new jobs within both the motion picture (700) and the computer programming (1,000) sectors whilst Trafford created 125 new jobs in IT, ranking it top for this industry.

Dan Burton, Scale Acceleration Manager at NatWest said: “From the data we’ve collected it’s clear that Manchester is rapidly becoming a powerhouse for technology outside of London.

“The number of tech-centric businesses and jobs that have been established across both the city of Manchester and Greater Manchester speaks for itself.

“It’s for this reason that when we launched our specialist Fintech Accelerator Programme in 2018, we chose Manchester as one of the four cities to make this available to entrepreneurs. The others being Bristol, London and Edinburgh.

“We’re keen to keep investing in tech talent and this is a perfect way for NatWest to support homegrown talent financially, allowing businesses to put their focus into growth.”