Posts byClaire Fletcher

Sheffield Digital supports Kickstart job creation fund for SMEs

We are urging tech companies to get on board a funded scheme which will create jobs for young unemployed people.

Sheffield Digital has joined the Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and other partners across the city to help smaller businesses offer a funded six-month work placement through the government’s ‘Kickstart’ scheme. The placements are aimed at 16 to 24 year olds who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term

An opportunity for emerging Tech for Good companies

Super Connect For Good is a national competition looking for the best emerging tech companies that are delivering positive social change.

The competition will recognise 15 winners including a National Overall Winner, eight Regional Winners and six Industry Winners from the following verticals: AI, EdTech, MedTech, HealthTech, Smart Cities (including IoT, 5G, Intelligent Transport) and GovTech. The National Winner will receive £40,000 worth of business support including a 12-month subscription to Hays Rise (worth £30,000), a

AR’ City showcases playful tech during Festival of the Mind

See how AR’ City is using tech and the ideas of young people to improve Sheffield, at an exhibition on The Moor in September.

Inspired by the concept of a playable city, AR’ City has developed playful tech to change the way we interact with our environment and explore the sense of belonging in a space. The theme of the project is ‘young people’ as the ideas for the playable tech were developed in workshops with young people, asking

Company Spotlight: Elements Technology

Elements Technology is a young and exciting award-winning company. We found out more about them from CEO, Dr Joe Handsaker.

Elements Technology is a software development company, creating products that are designed to be user-friendly, intuitive and where possible – using ‘everyday’ consumer devices and technologies, like smart phones. Elements Docket is the company’s first product and allows manufacturers to track and manage production at any time, wherever they are. Using NFC (Near Field Communication)

New fast track developer training to fill region’s skills gap

Junior developers can now fast track their progression to mid-level in one year with The Developer Academy.

Students on the Developer FastTrack course can progress from a junior to mid-level developer in 12 months, participating in live online training sessions on two days every month. The course – which starts on 24 September  – is structured in four core phases which cover planning, requirements and problem solving, version control, design patterns and

Sheffield Digital Festival goes Virtual and Augmented

Field & Sheffield Digital will host an outdoor festival, showcasing and celebrating what the city’s creative and tech communities have to offer.

We want to achieve two things: Build on the platform we created last year that allows people to organise their own events during the Festival week. Encourage people to explore and rediscover the city’s creative and digital industries through a digital medium. Our Festival will tie in with Sheffield’s ongoing “Make Yourself at Home” campaign

Changes to international data laws that all digital firms need to know

Dr Sam Chapman shares details of new laws relating to protected data sent to or from the US.

Firstly, I should be very clear that I’m not an expert in data protection or law, yet anyone who works with data does need an understanding to ensure compliance in data handling. This is not expert opinion so I would recommend much wider reading on the subject. I am sharing this post merely to help

TwinklHive announces £250k fund to help young tech entrepreneurs

The business accelerator has set up a scholarship programme for young people who want to start a digital business in South Yorkshire.

Young entrepreneurs applying for the scheme must have a clear, viable start-up business plan that will solve a pressing problem. Each successful applicant will receive a grant of up to £40,000. The scholarship is a full time position which is set to run for six months, with the possibility of follow-on investment from TwinklHive at

A new approach to agency working

Little Mesters is building a network of creative and digital freelancers in Sheffield.

‘Little Mester’ refers to a master crafter working on a specific part of a production process, and this is exactly what you can expect from the newest digital marketing agency to launch in Sheffield. Little Mesters brings together experienced freelancers from the creative and digital industries to work on its clients’ projects. Rather than having

Make a difference to people living with tinnitus

The British Tinnitus Association is looking for companies in Sheffield to support its digital transformation.

The BTA’s vision is to deliver a world where no one suffers from tinnitus. Until a cure is found though, they strive to help sufferers to manage the condition more effectively using the tools and information available. The charity does this by delivering high quality information and guidance through its national freephone helpline, a web-chat

UKTCG urges Government to prioritise grassroots expectations in Digital Strategy

The digital and tech industries can drive the UK’s economic recovery. What support do we need to make it happen?

In June 2020, the UKTCG hosted a Recovery Roadmap Summit which brought together hundreds of tech stakeholders, policymakers, investors and entrepreneurs in a one day virtual event. Attendees explored and developed ideas on how to both help the tech sector grow as part of the UK’s economic recovery, and to better understand how digital can

A safe return to coworking in Sheffield

How are the city’s coworking spaces making people feel safe and at home as they reopen?

Sheffield Technology Parks Sheffield Technology Parks was keen to safely reopen its coworking space – The Cooper Lounge – as soon as possible since closing in March. Chief Executive, Tom Wolfenden, comments: “Many of our coworkers live and work alone, and the lockdown restrictions had started to take their toll on productivity and mood.” Tom

Appt helps local business recovery with app-building platform

The digital agency hopes its new platform will help local businesses pivot to digital in light of COVID-19.

Making apps more accessible Flytt is a modular and customisable iOS and Android app with an easy to use online content management system. It has been created to make app development more accessible to one-man bands, SMEs and large corporations. Anna Bollinger, founder and managing director of Appt, says: “We have helped hundreds of clients

New campaign shows Sheffield is open for business

‘Make yourself at home’ is a new city-wide initiative to support the economic recovery of our businesses and communities.

Make yourself at home This campaign has both short and long term goals. Initially the focus is about promoting the ways that local businesses are safely reopening, encouraging residents to buy local and support the economic recovery. Longer term, it’s about building on stories of innovation and creativity and the strength of our communities, to

Our sector needs diversity – are your job adverts shutting people out?

We hear from the Sheffield Digital community how to attract more candidates to your company.

Why does it matter? Last year, we heard from Sally Bogg, Head of Live Services at NHS Digital, who is passionate about achieving greater inclusion and diversity in the tech sector. Speaking at our AGM, she shared some bleak statistics including that women only hold 20% of the UK’s tech roles, black, Asian and minority

Meet the meetup: Sheffield Collective

Find out more about the meetup for freelancers, sole traders and self employed folk in Sheffield.

What made you want to start the Sheffield Collective meetup? Well, I’d been working freelance for a few months and had a couple of brief thoughts about doing it previously, but it was ultimately the Coronavirus situation which inspired me to set it up. I had a really tough couple of weeks at the start

Member spotlight: Neil Hale

The digital marketing expert tells us about his work and why the lockdown has given him confidence in his recent decision to go freelance.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey to becoming a freelancer? I moved to Sheffield in 2005 to study Business and Marketing at Sheffield Hallam University. As part of my degree, I completed a placement year with a local eCommerce retailer BuyBrandTools in a digital marketing role before returning to the company as

Twinkl team wins global SEO award

The education publisher’s in-house SEO team has been named best in the world at the Global Digital Excellence Awards.

The in-house team fought off tough competition to be named best in the world by an influential and respected international judging panel, including senior figures from Microsoft, Vodafone Group, Freesat and Arriva Group. The Global Digital Excellence Awards were held for the first time this year to recognise and celebrate exceptional digital campaigns, businesses and

UTC calls on businesses to boost students’ skills

Your help is needed to plug the region’s skills gap, by providing real-world insight and experience to talented young computing specialists.

Sheffield’s UTC Olympic Legacy Park is focussed on building a strong pipeline of talent across its specialisms of Health Science, Sports Science and Computing. The college is reaching out to employers in the digital community to work with them in shaping the future workforce and in return, gain access to some of the region’s most

Company spotlight: Nimble

Chris Roberts talks to us about making Agile practices stick, employee engagement and plans to expand.

In early 2016, Chris Roberts secured a project with the Home Office to head up its first Digital Hub outside of London. Having worked in Sheffield in a freelance capacity for two years, and prior to that at Technophobia, Chris had built up a solid network of product, tech and delivery specialists, who he brought

Tickets for Good extends free event access to frontline health workers

The online platform will give away thousands of tickets to NHS staff, volunteers and frontline social care workers.

With the COVID-19 crisis putting frontline health and social care workers under immense strain, Sheffield-based social enterprise Tickets for Good is saying thank you by offering free event tickets through its Ticket Bank platform. The Ticket Bank was launched just over a year ago and has provided thousands of people from low income and socially

Razor wins place on landmark AMRC framework

The digitisation specialists will help to inspire innovation in British manufacturing.

The digital framework forms part of the AMRC’s wider mission to become a champion for digital integration in the manufacturing environment. They plan to become a centre of excellence to inspire manufacturers throughout the UK to consider the benefits that digitisation can achieve. The overall objective of the AMRC strategy is to provide a robust,

Meet the Meetup: Sheffield Women in Tech

Find out why this successful meetup started, how it has developed and what’s in store for Sheffield’s Women in Tech.

Why did you start the ShfWiT meetup? Emma: Mel and I attended an “overly pink” women’s meetup that we felt didn’t empower or represent the women we saw in tech every day. We wanted something that spotlighted the positivity we could see, so Mel gathered an initial group of amazing Sheff women and we started

Barclays Entrepreneur Awards – enter now

Let’s recognise and celebrate the entrepreneurial talent in our region

Barclays Entrepreneur Awards – now in their fifth year – are designed to highlight and recognise entrepreneurs who are changing their industries, the economy and society in unique, original and positive ways. Winning an award will give you access to a community of business leaders, experts and other entrepreneurs and will help you to increase

Returning to work

Guidance for employers about the safe reopening of workplaces

The government has now published industry specific guidance on the safe reopening of workplaces, including office based environments. It has also outlined plans to have some businesses, such as shops and car showrooms, open as soon as 1 June. With the situation changing quickly, employers should be planning now not just how they will reopen

Pitch-in to support regional IoT innovation

The University of Sheffield is developing a LoRaWAN network and is inviting businesses to get involved.

What is Pitch-In? The Pitch-In project is a collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Newcastle, Oxford and Cambridge, funded through Research England’s Connecting Capabilities Fund. Working with industrial and commercial partners, the universities will show how they can deliver benefits by enhancing Internet of Things (IoT) innovation. In each region, the Pitch-In programme is creating

Razor gets creative with lockdown recruitment

The tech company has welcomed three new starters and has some useful advice about virtual recruitment and onboarding.

Razor – which specialises in AI and automation tools – has expanded its team during a time when all businesses are facing completely new and complex challenges. The first new recruit to be virtually welcomed was James Croft, who has joined Razor as a Software Lead. James is recognised as a ‘Microsoft Most Valuable Professional’

SHU launches funded internships

The university is giving local employers access to talented graduates to support their business this summer.

Why consider an intern? We know that every business owner has a lot on their plates at the moment and taking on an intern is probably low down on your list of priorities. However, the graduates of 2020 are the workforce of the future so it’s to everyone’s benefit that they get some hands-on experience

Running an online meetup on Zoom

Tips from the Sheffield Digital community

Not only this, but meet-up and event organisers are now faced with, well, faces. And not much else, just lots of faces looking back at them on a screen, without the usual dynamics, the natural hustle and bustle, small talk and human contact that you find at events. So what’s the secret to holding a

Twinkl offers help to city’s businesses

The EdTech publisher is helping local businesses to innovate and adapt in the Covid-19 crisis.

Twinkl is offering the free sessions to businesses in any sector that are struggling with issues such as blocks to cashflow or are faced with unexpected costly outlays. The Innovation Team has experience in supporting emerging EdTech companies to grow, to develop ideas and to launch disruptive, innovative products. They want to use this experience

Evoluted boosts team with new Head of SEO

The Sheffield agency has made two recent hires despite the ongoing Covid-19 crises.

Declan Reilly joins the digital agency – which is sponsor of the Sheffield DM meet-up – with eight years of SEO experience, having begun his career aged 17 as an apprentice. He is responsible for leading Evoluted’s organic search performance services and has already begun to share his knowledge, helping businesses understand how to approach

EdTech start-up launches safe social media space for kids

Sheffield based ‘Natterhub’ has launched early to keep children safe online during lockdown.

Natterhub is a learning platform and framework created for teachers to share with pupils. Co-founders Manjit Sareen and Caroline Allams have made alterations to make it ideal for home use, although teachers must set up the accounts which they can then share with parents, carers and pupils. Natterhub was due for launch in May 2020,

Coronavirus: Looking after employees’ mental health and wellbeing

The coronavirus outbreak is causing anxiety amongst many in the workforce, so how can leaders support and protect their teams?

Communication is key There is enough ambiguity in people’s lives right now; information vacuums from employers will only further fuel employees’ anxieties. Therefore, it’s vital that you decide company policy on matters such as sick pay, furloughing employees and annual leave, and that you are communicating your plans accordingly. Then, it’s important to keep open

Help fight Covid-19 at online Startup Weekend

Techstars is inviting you to stay home, collaborate and innovate to tackle the pandemic.

Techstars are looking for developers, designers, marketers, nurses, doctors, students, scientists, teachers and anyone with an idea to tackle the challenges created by the global pandemic. What’s it about? Techstars UK Online Startup Weekend is part of the Unite to Fight Covid-19 global series. Taking place across three days from 24-26 April, you’ll work on

Kids encouraged to design smart products during lockdown

DRJFF has launched free data science homeschooling packs to keep kids inspired and excited about technology.

The education charity has adapted its computer science curriculum for Key Stage 3 pupils to help them to carry on learning at home while households are in lockdown during the coronavirus outbreak. The material is aimed at 11-14 year-olds and is designed to be suitable as a self-guided activity for learners to enjoy individually at

Company spotlight: Bossa Nova

We caught up with the world-leading retail services robotics manufacturer.

Established in the US in 2005, Bossa Nova creates and supplies autonomous robots to the retail sector. The company’s technology delivers sophisticated, actionable real-time data, to increase efficiencies for retailers and improve the shopping experience for the public. In 2018, the company opened its first European headquarters in Courtwood House, Sheffield, which is headed up

The CMC is going virtual

The Children's Media Conference will host a number of virtual events and opportunities to support its community this summer.

The CMC team confirmed on 3 April that the conference would no longer take place in Sheffield on 7-9 July, however in its places there will be webinars, virtual networking and a mini online CMC, all under the new theme, ‘Still Here Right Now’. In the run up to the virtual CMC in July, the

HealthTech Response to COVID19 – what’s your idea?

Do you have a tech solution that can support the NHS response to the COVID-19 crisis?

There are four particular challenges that the partnership is looking to help overcome through the use of technology and innovation. These are: Slowing the spread of COVID-19 Enabling home-based care Supporting the wellbeing and morale of NHS workforce Assistance for those who are most vulnerable The team has only just started but is already investigating

Legal insight: how Covid-19 may affect your business

We hear from commercial law experts, Keebles LLP about some of the likely impacts on tech companies.

This is unknown territory for all businesses, including those in the digital industries. Business owners and managers will be paying close attention to cash flow, employee management and customer retention. The economic effects of the virus outbreak are likely to be amplified where start-ups or fledgling digital businesses are concerned. They may not have the

Introducing our new Community Manager

Sophie Wendell is here to support and strengthen our community of individual members and meetup organisers.

How are you involved in Sheffield’s digital scene? I’ve worked at Zoo Digital since I graduated about six years ago and I’ve held a few different roles there. I’ve had what’s called a ‘squiggly career’ – going from working in the production side where we create subtitles and dub audio; to R&D, where I now

Sheffield school becomes national robotics hub

Sheffield Girls’ Junior School has been selected as the first national robotics hub for primary school children.

The recognition comes after the school secured £5000 worth of funding to purchase 19 educational robotics kits, following a bid to the Girls Day School Trust (GDST) and HSBC Partnership Funding. As well as designing and implementing a WER Robotics curriculum for its Year 5 students, teachers at the school have also designed lessons and

Barnsley DMC to undergo £1.7m expansion

The creation of DMC 02 will be a key part of Barnsley’s new Digital Campus.

Owned and managed by Barnsley Council, DMC 01 has seen strong and sustained occupancy levels which have increased over the last three years. After acquiring the former ‘Core’ building in spring 2019, Barnsley Council has been supported by investment from Sheffield City Region to transform the space into DMC 02. Opening in summer 2020, the

Law firm offers fixed fee support to start-ups

CMS has launched equIP North to help tech start-ups access legal support

CMS’ award-winning equIP programme has been running for more than four years from its London office. Recognising the growing reputation of the North of England as a centre of excellence for tech innovation, the firm is now offering the programme to tech start-ups in our region. EquIP North is designed to help early stage tech

New partnership inspires children with power of computing

The David and Jane Richards Family Foundation has teamed up with Pimoroni to help Sheffield school students get creative with data.

The new kits use Raspberry Pi Zero WH and are fitted with user-friendly sensor boards designed by DJRFF in collaboration with Pimoroni, and manufactured in Sheffield. The microcomputers will be used by students on DJRFF’s Get Creative with Data course which has been rolled out at a number of schools and colleges across South Yorkshire.

Make connections in the rail industries

3Squared is hosting an event to help Sheffield’s tech companies find opportunities in the rail sector.

As part of its Start Up Rail initiative, the Rail Innovation Group is visiting UK cities to promote opportunities and to meet new tech companies. On Tuesday 14 July, they will be in Sheffield. If you have a product under development – even if not originally intended for rail – this is a great opportunity

Company spotlight: Hive IT

We caught up with our first ever company member to talk usability labs and Tech4Good.

Since moving from Electric Works in 2018, Hive IT now operates across two floors in Park Hill. With design and development taking place upstairs, the ground floor is dedicated to facilitation workshops and a totally separate space which is the Usability Lab. Here, the company tests client products, including websites, applications and hardware across desktop

Guest blog: Getting the right people in the right roles

Benchmark Recruit tells us about a recent collaboration with the Developer Academy.

At Benchmark we are proud to champion individual and business needs by getting the right people in the right place for the long-term. We are committed to developing skills and giving people the opportunity to do this in a nurturing environment. With the rise of people signing up for coding camps – with successful results

Company profile: The Curve

New Sheffield Digital member The Curve tell us how their experience has helped them shape a brand new company.

Company founders Paul and James Ridgway understand what it takes to grow a business. For just over seven years, they worked at the UK’s most successful Global Telematics Platform, where Paul was a co-founder and James joined as one of the first employees. Both in key leadership roles, the brothers supported the company’s growth from

Barnsley College becomes Regional Partner of Sheffield Digital

One of the UK’s leading colleges has joined the Sheffield Digital family.

Last year Barnsley College launched an ambitious three-tiered digital transformation strategy designed to improve the digital skills of local communities, transform the college’s infrastructure and facilities, and close the region’s digital skills gap. As part of the strategy, Barnsley College has introduced a new Digital Industries Department offering employer-led courses, and a bespoke specialist Digital

SHU helps to train future tech team leaders

A new Masters Apprenticeship is preparing tech employees for team leadership roles.

Matt Durrant is an NHS Data Services Manager, based at Don Valley House in Sheffield. He enrolled on the new MSc Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Masters Degree Apprenticeship at Sheffield Hallam University in September 2019. Having graduated just over eight years ago, Matt enjoyed having some time away from work to concentrate on studying