December 22, 2022

Payful named in Prolific North's 25 Tech Companies To Watch

Prolific North can today reveal a brand new 25 Tech Companies to Watch list, showcasing the innovative start-ups emerging from across the North's thriving tech ecosystem.

Sponsored by The Candidate and compiled with the help of PreSeed Now founder and early-stage start-up expert Martin SFP Bryant, the list was exclusively revealed at an event last night to a room filled with talented tech entrepreneurs at Colony Jactin House in Manchester.

Although the list is not definitive or a ranking, it shines a spotlight on some of the incredible early-stage companies across the tech world doing phenomenal things. Whether it's using tech for good to tackle transport issues, addressing student loneliness or using AI in extraordinary ways - innovative ways to use tech are booming in the North.

At the event last night, guests united to take a first look at the list, network and socialise, and hear from industry leaders.

They included Praetura Ventures Operational Manager Colin Greene, Matillion co-founder Ed Thompson, FinTech North co-founder Julian Wells, Tech Nation's Client Engagement Director Liz Scott and Leif Radford, Data and Tech Recruitment Director at The Candidate.

The event kicked off with a welcome from David Prior, who set the scene for the North's tech sector followed by Leif Radford, Data and Tech Recuitment Director at The Candidate.

Praetura Ventures Operational Partner, Colin Greene, then took to the stage. Prior to joining Praetura, Greene provided an overview of his career after working for some of the biggest tech companies including NCR, Intel and Apple.

Now working for Praetura Ventures, the venture capital firm has had incredible growth with a portfolio of more than 29 promising companies. His key advice to tech start-ups was to "embrace the chaos", as most successful companies are those who don't panic in challenging circumstances, whether that be within Covid, cost of living crisis or beyond.

Following the reveal of the top 25 tech companies and a short break, David Prior was joined on stage by the four industry-leading panellists.

During the panel session, Matillion's Ed Thompson explained how he often looks back at the tech unicorn's own early-stage days with "rose-tinted glasses" and really enjoyed growing the company. On his advice for those companies at the beginning of their journey, he said having ambition, finding staff and retaining them was key. "You have to have a fantastic culture laid down on day one of the company."

Following an overview of the incredible work Tech Nation does to support tech companies across the UK, from start-up right through to scale-up, Client Engagement Director Liz Scott said the national network nutures talent through its growth programmes, one-to-one support and workshops.

Leif Radford, Data and Tech Recruitment Director at The Candidate, then provided an overview of talent in the tech world. For tech companies to attract talent, offering flexibility and allowing staff to work where and when they want has become more important.

For Julian Wells, Director at Whitecap Consulting and FinTech North, he explained how the fintech ecosystem has boomed and how FinTech North was an "accidental entrepreneurial story" emerging from Leeds Digital Festival to showcase the sector.

On advice for start-ups, he said as there is uncertainty within the economy at the moment and deals are starting to slow down, "make sure you have a good story around your growth".

"Investing in your employees" early on is crucial, added Leif Radford. "Those first 30 employees are the most important."

Tech Nation's Liz Scott said it's all about ambition. Early stage tech companies shouldn't be afraid to say they might be the next £50m business in the next five years.

With a final piece of advice from Ed Thompson at Matillion, he told the room full of tech companies that there is plenty of capital out there for those great start-ups with interesting stories.

A link to Prolific North's original article and full list can be found here: