Posts byMel Kanarek

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
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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,
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Paper launches legup.social

Mark Goddard writes about the studio's new community initiative.

legup.social 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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,
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Introducing our new Skills category

This new resource section is being produced in partnership with Sero Consulting.

Skills and Talent is a significant issue for digital businesses in Sheffield and is an important focus area for Sheffield Digital. By creating this dedicated section on our website, we aim to provide a central resource and information point for businesses to find out what is happening and how you can get involved. We’ll be
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You’re invited to a cryptoparty

Running as part of the SteelCon conference, this event is a chance to learn about how to make your online life more secure.

On Saturday 16th July we are having a party but not just any old party, it’s a cryptoparty and you are all invited. If you haven’t heard of cryptoparties before, they are a global movement to help everyday people become more aware of cyber security in everyday life.  The idea came out of Australia on
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StartUp Weekend – “not just for students”

The 8th StartUp Weekend is on June 26-28. Read why it's a great place for designers and developers to test out new ways of working.

I can barely believe we have our 8th Startup Weekend on the horizon here in Sheffield. In some ways it doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since we ran our first event, with no idea how people would react to it and certainly no concept of how much of a community would grow out of it.
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Membership scheme is live!

Join Sheffield Digital now and help make us stronger.

We’ve achieved an enormous amount in our first year best diet pills. We’re now recognised across the city and the region as the authentic voice of Sheffield’s digital industries. We’ve created new ways for people to find out what’s going on, connect with others and collaborate on ideas. We’re helping businesses to recruit in a
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One Year On

We've come a long way in 12 months and now we want your support to build on our achievements.

Well, will you look at that, Sheffield Digital is officially one year old! This is an important milestone for us – we’ve made it this far, we’ve achieved a great deal and now we are looking at what comes next. We set out to Connect, Represent and Promote. From a standing start, this is where
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Providing WiFi lifelines to refugees

Naomi Rosenberg calls on Sheffield's digital community to help her provide WiFi to refugees in Greece.

The refugee situation in Greece is overwhelming. Since the borders to the North have closed, tens of thousands of people are stuck here with no legal way to continue their journey. The Greek nation, already at an economic low, is struggling to support them. Food, water, clothing and accommodation are provided in varying amounts and
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Knowledge in Motion brings high profile speakers to Sheffield

A new series of events kicks off on June 16th with Jonathon Southam from Amazon Web Services.

The Knowledge in Motion events are the work of the team at Freshly Squeezed, who also run the KTN Entrepreneurs Forum events at Union St. The first event is titled “Company Building – Keeping your startup DNA as you grow your business”. For a startup the main focus is always on customer discovery and validation
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Sheffield College Skills Advisory Forum

Sheffield College are inviting employers to help them better prepare young people to enter the Creative and Digital Industries.

Sheffield College is making a focused effort to engage more closely with creative and digital businesses in the region and is hosting a short event which we hope people will consider attending. The event is on Tuesday, 17th May, 4:00pm – 5:30pm in the Sheffield College City Campus Boardroom. Parking is available on site and
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Universities create Sheffield Data Science Forum

The first event of this new network is on 4th May.

The new Sheffield Data Science Forum aims to provide a catalyst for networking and the sharing of knowledge between industry/business practitioners, academics and students on topics related to Data Science. The Forum is organised by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University for data professionals located within the city of Sheffield and surrounding areas. The first
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A Gremlin in the Works

Author and games enthusiast Mark Hardisty tells us about his book due out in May.

Gremlin started life in 1983 as a small computer game retail outlet, opened on Carver Street in Sheffield by entrepreneurs Kevin Norburn and Ian Stewart. Kevin and Ian had cut their retail teeth working for Laksys in the city and identified that interest in home computers was growing amongst young people, but that the availability
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