Leeds is a thriving hub of innovation, which means you’ll find a raft of exciting tech businesses here…
Today, we’re looking to the future and the incredible Leeds businesses that are building it. From law tech to movement analytics, social networks to coding bootcamps, it’s all going on, right on our doorsteps. In fact, these disruptive companies are all based in Platform. Bruntwood SciTech has created a unique tech ecosystem that champions tech start ups, supports growth and encourages collaboration – in short, they’re helping businesses like these to succeed.
DigiBete is an online platform that offers clinically-approved, patient-led resources to help young people and their families manage type 1 diabetes. It’s used in 150 clinics around the UK and they’ve recently launched a new app that supports self-care by allowing you to record ratios, doses, clinic appointments and more, all in one place. Innovation is at the core of everything they do – they harness the power of technology to change lives and turn patient frustrations into real-world solutions.
“We’re really pushing and promoting social change in terms of the way patients and family are involved in healthcare. We’re at the forefront of patient-led, clinically approached resources for young people with type 1 diabetes patients and their families,” Maddie Julian, Director at Digibete, explained. “We’re all passionate about the cause and committed to making a difference to the lives of children and young people who have challenging health needs.”
Northcoders began life in Manchester, where they set out to close the tech skills gap with an intensive, full-time coding bootcamp. In just five years, they became the UK’s leading coding school for graduate outcomes. They now have a 10,000 square foot campus in the Manchester Technology Centre and a 2,000 square foot hub in Platform.
“We put a lot of time into research and development, taking feedback on our curriculum, and we’re very quick to turn things around,” CEO Chris Hill told us. And he couldn’t be more right – just two weeks after the lockdown began, they launched their new remote courses. That kind of think-on-your-feet mentality makes people stick around. “It’s a year since anyone has left. We’ve done a full year where not a single team member across the organisation has left and we’re operating with 35 people now as a company. Not just in Leeds, in Manchester as well.
rradar has turned the legal industry on its head. They use technology to help transform and empower organisations. How? By sharing their legal expertise with clients through a series of digital tools. In a way, they’re shooting themselves in the foot, because they’re actively helping businesses avoid litigation, but in doing so, they’ve created an invaluable service. They even have a talking lawyer, an AI solution built in-house to give clients instant, on-the-go legal support.
“Traditional law firms are built on a different financial model, a different culture, a different way of earning money,” Gary Gallen, CEO of rradar explained. “We do subscriptions, we don’t do hourly rates – we’ve decided to make the law available and accessible. It belongs to the people – it’s passed by Parliament for the benefit of the people, but actually the secret of how to use it is locked up within the legal profession who can get very wealthy from it. It’s hard for normal human beings to get access, so we’re turning it into a simple everyday tool.”
Citi Logik provides movement analytics for transport planning, smart cities and build environments. They use vast swathes of data from mobile phone networks, all provided anonymously and all GDPR-compliant, to understand patterns of movement. Their in-house planners and analysts turn the raw data, which includes millions of journeys, into datasets their clients can use to build transport models. In short, they’re shaping the transport schemes of the future.
“What’s exciting is that we’re always doing new things, we’re always pushing the boundaries of technology and systems,” John Rands, CTO, CEO and Founder of Citi Logik, told us. “If you’re a data analyst, mobile data is one of those holy grail data sets – lots of people want to see it and play with it, but very few people are actually allowed to touch it due to privacy and data security within the networks. We’re one of the few that are privileged to be able to do that.”
Shift.ms is a very special kind of social network. It’s a safe space where people with multiple sclerosis can come together to share their experiences with MSers, so they can come to terms with their diagnosis surrounded by people who understand what they’re going through. Created by MSers, for MSers, it’s become a fast-growing and truly global community with over 30,000 members worldwide.
“Shift.ms has come far since we launched in 2009, progressing from a small UK charity to a global network of thousands of MSers,” George Pepper, Co-Founder & CEO of Shift.ms, told us. “But we won’t stop here, in fact we’re just getting started. We’ve reached an exciting time at Shift.ms, where the future holds promises of international expansion, but we place MSers at the heart of all we do now more than ever before.”