Posts byMel Kanarek

Sheffield City Council joins Sheffield Digital

Regional Partnership paves the way for closer collaboration.

We’re delighted to announce that Sheffield City Council is joining us as a Regional Partner. Sheffield Digital has always had a good working relationship with the Council, but their decision to formalise that into a Regional Partnership is really encouraging. It shows that the Council recognises the importance of the sector and is keen to

Pimoroni goes international

European expansion for booming tech firm.

Sheffield tech company Pimoroni Ltd is to go international, opening a German branch in only its fifth year of operation. Pimoroni GmbH will be based in Essen, providing European customers with improved, faster postage and local support. The move comes as the company, which designs, manufactures and supplies components and accessories to fans and users of

CMC Playground returns

Where kids can get hands on with digital creativity.

After it’s highly successful first appearance last year, Playground returns to the Children’s Media Conference from 4th to 9th July at the Cantor Gallery. Playground is an exhibition of digital art which you can interact with, plus there’s a Maker Space were you can make your own digital art. You’ll get to explore interactive digital

Company Spotlight: Evoluted

Helping businesses see there's more to digital than social media.

Evoluted is a company that actually conforms to the stereotypical tech business story. Managing director Ash Young started making websites while he was at Sheffield University studying software engineering. He set up Evoluted as soon as he graduated in 2006 and the company began with Ash and colleague Gareth Davies working out of a bedroom.

Company Spotlight: Hive IT

Meet the company that was our first company member.

Hive IT are one of the newer arrivals on the Sheffield digital scene – the company was started in 2014, when founder Jonny Rippon decided he could “do it better” and left Technophobia to set up on his own. Today, Hive IT employs 18 full time staff and, with contractors, can have up to 30

Call for businesses to get involved in the first Digifest

New event to introduce young people to the digital sector.

Digifest, which takes place on Tuesday 4th July, is a new event designed to celebrate digital learning activity and inform young people and their families about the exciting opportunities in the digital sector. The event will be held in Sheffield Hallam University’s brand new STEM centre opposite Sheffield station. It will combine taster sessions and

Tutora named amongst 100 Hottest UK Startups

More success after smashing their latest crowdfunding target.

Just two months after raising their latest round of funding, Sheffield startup Tutora are celebrating ranking 77th on the Startups 100 List. Heralded as the ‘longest running index of the best new UK businesses’, the Startups 100 List is highly competitive, highlighting the head-turners of the entrepreneurial world. Previous Startups 100 lists have featured the likes

Celebrate with us at The Platform – 18th May.

We've got some fantastic speakers lined up for our 2nd birthday party.

Two years ago, Sheffield Digital was just an idea. Today, it’s a vibrant community organisation that’s busy connecting, representing and promoting Sheffield’s digital community. Come and hear about what we’ve achieved so far, and our plans for the future, as well as from some of the people and firms who are shaping the Sheffield tech scene right

Year three – join us today!

Why we need you to become a member.

Sheffield Digital turned two years old on 21st May. Now we have launched a campaign to significantly increase Sheffield Digital’s membership. Why? Because we need to put the organisation onto a sustainable financial footing so that we can make plans for the future and put some proper resources in place to do the work. But, just as

Children’s Media Conference 2017: 4 – 6 July

This excellent conference brings media people from all over the world to Sheffield.

The Children’s Media Conference is the UK’s premier gathering for the kids’ media and entertainment industry – and it happens in Sheffield. Last year, the conference welcomed over 1100 delegates from television, radio, film, games, interactive media, magazine and book publishing, the licensing and toy sectors and the arts and culture sectors. This year’s conference

Startup Weekend Sheffield returns

After débuting their first event way back in 2012, the team behind Startup Weekend Sheffield are gearing up for a special 10th edition of their weekend long entrepreneurial extravaganza. Taking place on 2nd – 4th June at the University of Sheffield’s Diamond building, Startup Weekend sees participants progress from pitching an idea to launching a

Plusnet joins Sheffield Digital as company member

We’re delighted to announce that Plusnet is the latest business to join Sheffield Digital as a company member. We spoke to Digital Transformation Consultant Liam Dyson to find out more about Plusnet’s Sheffield operation and their plans for the future. Set up nearly 20 years ago, Plusnet’s Sheffield office now has more than 1,200 people,

Local tech start-up goes global.

Sheffield based digital agency Appt is launching an office in Kunming, China

Appt, a digital agency specialising in the design and development of bespoke mobile and web based apps, is opening a new office in Kunming, China. Their mission is to help companies navigate the complex differences between the digital landscapes of China and the West. Chinese developer Yingzhu (Joy) Quan, a Sheffield University graduate, will be returning

Tech North initiative to help address the gender imbalance in tech.

Northern Voices will train people and find speaker opportunities.

Tech North has just announced Northern Voices, a six-month programme to help address the diversity challenge in tech/digital. The first course is designed specifically for women, and non-binary people who do not identify as men, to address the gender imbalance at conferences and in media appearances, in turn making digital jobs a more attractive career

SHU launches Digital Industry Day for students and employers.

Uni careers day on 22nd Feb is open to local digital companies.

The department of computing at Sheffield Hallam University is inviting local digital employers to take part in an inaugural Digital Industry Day and promote their career opportunities. The event is called STACK and will be a combination of students’ work with a careers event. The University is inviting employers to come and see all the great

Sheffield startup raising second round.

Tutora is returning to Crowdcube, this time for £350k.

Unrelenting in their explosive growth throughout the UK, EdTech startup Tutora are gearing up to launch a second round of crowdfunding to continue their expansion into the £6bn UK private tuition industry. Founded by Scott Woodley, a former teacher fed-up with the difficulty parents faced trying to find a tutor for their children, Tutora helps

Turning the spotlight on Sheffield’s creative digital economy.

We know you get asked to complete loads of surveys, but this one’s important!

Over the past 18 months, the University of Sheffield’s City and Cultural Engagement department has been working with different partners to create a series of “Snapshot Reports” which highlight a particular aspect of Sheffield’s creative and cultural economy. These reports are being used to highlight the things that make Sheffield distinctive, to raise Sheffield’s profile

Paper launches

Mark Goddard writes about the studio's new community initiative. is a collaborative way to help small businesses with digital. It was born out of an idea to do good things outside of the ordinary day-to-day running we undertake at Paper. It’s a no-catch exercise of pro bono work to find out if the people of the digital industry could help small businesses, social

Flying the flag at Prolific North Live

Along with Creative Sheffield, we’ll be in the Media Partner Zone, shouting about digital in Sheffield.

Now in its second year, Prolific North Live is a media, marketing and creative industries expo showcasing the latest innovation in digital, broadcasting, PR, web, publishing, tech, marketing and advertising from across the North. The first event was a great success, so this year it’s been expanded to two days, taking place on February 15

Game Over celebrates 2nd birthday

Head over to Bungalows and Bears on 1st Feb for some snakey fun with Sumo.

Game Over is a popular Sheffied-based events company focused on retro and current generation gaming. They hold monthly mixers at City Centre venues that host casual and competitive gaming with tournaments, raffles, and local game devs. They’ll be celebrating their 2nd birthday event on February 1 at Bungalows and Bears. Sumo Digital will also be part

An update on SHU’s Digital Degree Apprenticeships

Get involved now for September 2017.

A great deal of work has been going on behind the scenes to get the Digital Degree Apprenticeships ready to accept students this September. We’ve been working alongside Sheffield Hallam University to inform local digital companies about the programme and to provide a way for these employers to feed back into its development. Now is

Digital Degree Apprenticeships – an update

Updated 10th March - the latest information about Sheffield Hallam University’s Digital Degree Apprenticeships.

Sheffield Hallam University has now officially launched its “Digital and Technology Solutions Professional” degree apprenticeship, with plans for delivery to start in September 2017. The programme is designed to take three years, leading to a BSc Honours degree. The course content is based on a government approved standard which was developed by leading tech employers. It

Company Spotlight: Databowl

In two years, this company has gone from being a digital agency to a multi-million, global software business.

In the vast quantities of data that companies collect every day for marketing, how do you tell the good from the bad, and maximise the performance of the good? For advertisers that rely on a constant flow of fresh leads, the task of filtering out the fraudulent, invalid or out of spec data is a

Bunnyfoot opens state-of-the-art usability labs in Sheffield

And you can visit them for a look round on their open day on 26th January.

User experience research company Bunnyfoot has converted the Old Chapel on Mortimer Street into high-tech labs to allow companies to “climb inside your customers’ heads and find out what they really think about your website or app”. Companies like Waitrose, Sky and Sheffield City Council are already using the labs to watch their customers do

Season’s Greetings from Sheffield Digital!

It's been quite a year . . .

This time last year, the Sheffield Digital elves were hard at work on our new identity and website, with the goal of going live at the start of 2016. It ended up being mid-January, but we were pretty pleased with the end result. Since then we’ve: served up 42,356 pages to 9,452 unique visitors published

Pimoroni partners with Google on launch of Android Things.

Sheffield's Maker heroes are the only European partner for Google's new IoT platform.

Android Things, an Internet of Things (IoT) platform from Google Inc, was launched this week with supporting kit from hardware providers worldwide. Pimoroni, the only European hardware kit partner, have launched a new HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) alongside a complete starter kit for people looking to try Android Things on the Raspberry Pi. With it, they

New venture fund aims to create tech stars of the future

Campus Capital is the first VC firm in the UK to build on-campus funds.

This week has seen the launch of a new tech venture fund, Campus Capital, led by two very familiar faces from the Sheffield start-up scene: Michael Howe (serial entrepreneur and founder of Sheffield-based artificial intelligence firm Otus Labs) and Samantha Deakin Hill (Sheffield Start-Up Weekend and University of Sheffield tech start-up supporter). The firm, which

Christmas Party Time!

Bring your office party to our office party.

We’re delighted to be teaming up with The Workstation again this year for a great big everyone’s invited Christmas party. It’s on Thursday 22nd December from 5:30pm. There’ll be a bar, DJ, games room and competition (with prizes!). After last year’s success, we expect tickets will go fast, so grab yours now: Get Tickets Here. We

Introducing the Tech Partnership

This guest post from Philip Rubenstein outlines what the Partnership does and how employers can get involved.

Will we have the skills for a bright digital future? In these uncertain times, it’s comforting to hold up digital as a shining example of UK economic success. This is, after all, an industry that contributes around £100 billion a year to the nation’s wealth – some 6% of GDP. It’s also an industry set

Sheffield wins £750,000 for “City of Ideas” project

This ambitious project will bring digital creativity to place-making.

Sheffield’s Site Gallery has been awarded £750,000 by Arts Council England for their place-making project ‘City of Ideas’. ‘City of Ideas’ will create new and accessible public art commissions animating existing spaces in the city centre. It will also create opportunities for young people, artists, the digital sector and public to work together over the

Tech Nation 2017

Deadline is 5th Dec to make sure we are properly represented.

The survey for the Tech Nation 2017 report is now live and we need as many people as possible to complete it before Monday 5th December. The report aims to provide detailed analysis of how the digital sector is driving economic growth, showcasing the innovation and energy of tech hubs across the UK. The 2016 report

Tutora Young Entrepreneurs’ Challenge

Local start-up encouraging school children to start their own tech businesses.

Local tuition company, Tutora, are seeking out the best young entrepreneurial minds across the country as they introduce children to new business concepts through their Young Entrepreneurs’ Challenge initiative. The events are designed to open children’s eyes to the possibility of creating their own tech businesses, whilst teaching them many of the skills they will

Tech Nation Visa Scheme Surgery

Take advantage of a free advice session in Leeds on 30th November.

Tech North are holding a free ‘Tech Nation Visa Surgery Session’ at Ward Hadaway in Leeds on Wednesday 30th November. They are offering an initial amount of free support to help applicants understand the application process, fast track options, exceptional promise options and eligibility criteria. The 30 minute ‘Office Hours’ style sessions will be open to

Pixels come in many sizes

Sheffield Digital is celebrating Sheffield Design Week with a special edition of The Platform.

A pixel is a basic unit of programmable colour on a computer display or computer image – these units are the building blocks of digitally created visual design. We’re bringing the digital to Sheffield Design Week with a special edition of The Platform. We’ll be exploring the breadth of digital design talent in Sheffield, with presentations

Offset comes to Sheffield

Two days of design inspiration on our doorstep.

OFFSET is one of the world’s most inspirational, educational and vocational conferences for the design and creative industries. The Dublin-based event attracts over 2,500 attendees every year and features speakers who are key disrupters and influencers in their fields. National and international giants in the world of design speak about their work, ideas and inspirations,

Futurecade – Art of the Future

Festival of the Mind goes full VR, Sept 15-25.

The marvelous Festival of the Mind is back this month, with lots of digital content to discover. Futurecade is a series of 15 different exhibitions and talks, including a variety of virtual reality experiences, an homage to the Hole in the Road and even some dancing robots. The future fun all happens at the Millennium

New resources to support teachers delivering the computing curriculum.

ARM has supported the Tech Partnership to develop key learning modules.

A series of online resources designed to help teachers build their knowledge of key computing concepts, and to convey them creatively in the classroom, has been designed by the Tech Partnership – with support from technology company ARM. Three e-learning modules, suitable for teachers of all Key Stages, introduce Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Principles of

Three ways to pitch your start-up

Keep an eye on these events and deadlines in September.

If you’re looking for funding or mentoring for your start-up idea, or want to hone your pitching skills, there are a bunch of opportunities coming up in September that don’t require a trip to London: Tech North’s Northern Stars Northern Stars is back for a second year, with Sheffield hosting the first of three regional

Supporting tech start-ups in Gaza

A guest post from Laura Bennett and Elizabeth Shassere about their upcoming trip to Gaza.

We are proud and pleased to share that we are two of only seven mentors from all over the world to have the privilege of being a part of the Gaza Sky Geeks pre-incubator bootcamp in just a few weeks’ time. The fact that both of us are women from the North of England from the same fantastic entrepreneurial tech

What’s next for Sheffield’s “tech hub”?

We'd like to hear your views on how this project should develop.

It’s been nearly six months since my post providing an update on the Sheffield Tech Hub / MakerHub. When I wrote that post, Sheffield Digital had just been asked to participate in the Ecosystem subcommittee of the MakerHub Community Interest Company (CIC). Over the next couple of months, we spent a great deal of time

FrontEndNorth 2016

Sheffield is about to take its place on the digital conference map, thanks to the efforts of Barnsley agency Make Do.

If you are a front end developer, are interested in web design or just want to get up to speed on something new, you should get yourself a ticket to FrontEndNorth which takes place at Sheffield City Hall on 30th September. Organisers Kimb Jones and Dave Green from Make Do have set themselves the goal of creating

Venturefest Yorkshire 2016

Annual business event returns on the 16th November & refocuses on innovation and entrepreneurship.

After losing its way a bit in recent years, Venturefest Yorkshire has been given an overhaul and, this year, will have a much greater focus on innovation and entrepreneurs. The 2016 event at York Racecourse on 16th November will include an exhibition, speakers and workshops, opportunities to meet investors and two competitions open to anyone

Company Spotlight: Aiir

This Sheffield company dominates its market in the UK and is expanding into North America.

Back in 2003, an enthusiastic young radio presenter became interested in the web and started building sites in his spare time. He showed what he was doing to a producer at the station, who said “You know, we could sell that to radio stations” . . . The station was Sheffield’s Hallam FM, the presenter

SHU VR project featured on Channel 4

When a group of researchers from the different fields of games design, engineering and healthcare met at a conference, it sparked a project which is changing the lives of amputees.

If you attended the Platform event on VR in May, you would have seen Ivan Phelan from SHU’s Games department talking about his project helping amputees to learn how to use a prosthetic arm. Ivan’s project was featured on Channel 4 news last week. You can watch the clip here. There’s also more detailed information

Tech North launches Northern Stars 2016

Applications are now open for the 2016 Northern Stars start-up competition, with the first pitching event taking place in Sheffield on 8th September. Northern Stars is a pitch competition that seeks to identify and showcase the best tech startups in the North of England. It works through an online application process, supported by a series of

Start-Up Spotlight: Paper

Meet Paper - a new company on Sheffield's digital start-up scene

Pass through the huge stone archway into the cobbled courtyard of Globe Works and, apart from the cars, you could be stepping back in time. Globe Works oozes Sheffield heritage. Built in 1825, the building is possibly the world’s first purpose built cutlery factory but is certainly one of England’s oldest surviving cutlery and tool

Our plans for the next six months

Find out about what we’ll be focusing on and how you can get involved.

Following on from my post looking at the achievements of our first year, I wanted to share our plans for the rest of 2016. These plans were discussed in detail at our June board meeting and we would welcome your thoughts, comments and suggestions. There’s a lot to do, so offers of help would be

TechTrade Yorkshire launched for September 2016

This new trade event in Leeds should be a good place to meet IT decision makers.

Registration is open for the inaugural TechTrade Yorkshire (TY16) event, which will take place on 8 September at Elland Road, Leeds. Set to focus on how tech can transform organisations’ productivity, efficiency and innovation, this free one day programme is set to attract IT decision makers from a variety of sectors across the region and

Sheffield’s Tech Talent Pipeline – where is it?

Liz Wallis of Sero Consulting introduces our new Skills resource with an overview of pre-19 activity in Sheffield.

“Wow! I didn’t realise there was so much happening!” That’s a typical comment whenever I talk about the different coding and making activities happening all over Sheffield in the education and skills space for under 19 year olds. So what is going on and why is it not more visible? In this post, I’ll attempt

What does employer-led education look like?

In this second post for our new Skills section, Liz Wallis looks at how the UTC model is increasing employer involvement in education.

“Employers should be more involved in education” is almost a mantra now and, sure enough, up and down the country there are all sorts of initiatives going on to try to make that happen. One way is to set up schools with an employer focus at the outset. That’s the philosophy of the new generation