Barclays teams up with C4DI in boost for Hull tech sector

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HULL’s tech sector is set for a massive boost with the launch of a new partnership involving Barclays.

The city’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) is to partner with Barclays’ Eagle Labs iniative, in a move which both parties say will build a community for ambitious entrepreneurs to accelerate and scale their businesses, as well as providing the opportunity for traditional organisations to explore and harness new technologies.

Based on the ground floor of the C4DI Building at Queen Street, Hull, C4DI Community powered by Barclays Eagle Lab will be supporting businesses across all sector industries including; IoT, engineering, renewables, logistics, and health and wellbeing.

The city of Hull was recently highlighted in the Government’s Tech Nation Report - seeing a 15 per cent increase in tech jobs with over 7,000 people now employed in the sector. Hull was also noted to have a unique ecosystem making it the most cost effective place in the UK to be running a tech company and seeing a 21 per cent increase in start-ups.

John Connolly, managing director C4DI, said: “C4DI has grown significantly over the last few years with an increased number of tech and traditional businesses being part of our community.

“We now want to scale-up our work and the partnership with Barclays experts opens up mentoring, connections and collaborations required for Hull’s businesses to flourish and help them grow on the world stage.”

C4DI is a privately funded technology incubator and supports a community of more than 1,000 people.

C4DI’s model brings together traditional businesses with fast tech start-ups to run innovation programmes and start-up incubation. This provides traditional businesses with access to skills and expertise in the fast moving tech world and also provides tech companies with access to supply chains and mentors.

The C4DI Community, powered by Barclays Eagle Lab will build on three key areas of activity; helping businesses to plug in to the Barclays national network, access fledgling business support, high growth and scale-up support as well as build on the network for traditional businesses to access high tech knowledge.

The programme officially launches today with a grand launch event at the Hull Minster.

Steve Mullins, Barclays area director for Yorkshire said: “Hull is an exciting digital hub with huge growth potential and our new partnership, which forms part of our wider growth strategy in Yorkshire to support entrepreneurs, start-ups and accelerate high-growth companies, will stimulate economic growth and create jobs in the local area and across Yorkshire.

“As a partner C4DI brings unrivalled expertise in the digital sector and we are well equipped to help this dynamic community, encouraging innovation and stimulating business growth in the city.”

Barclays recently launched a new £500m growth fund for small and medium-sized (SME) businesses in the North of England.

The Barclays fund is intended for SMEs in the Northern Powerhouse region, including: established businesses with ambitious growth plans, start-ups with high growth potential, companies with early-stage equity funding and businesses focusing on innovation, R&D and technology.

The partnership with the C4DI programme will enable Barclays to work with businesses to provide access to the fund for scale-up and growth.