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Startup jobs multiply as Tech Valleys ambition takes off in Wales

Jobs in digital tech in Cardiff have grown by almost a third over the last three years, as Wales builds on its heritage of advanced manufacturing and innovation to build one of the UK’s thriving tech clusters as revealed by the Tech Nation Report 2018.

[aoa id=”1″]Startups are flourishing in the Welsh capital which has embraced high-tech industries and the startup culture is now pushing out into the valleys. Last month, the Welsh Government said it would invest £100m over ten years to make Blaenau Gwent and the wider South Wales Valleys a global centre for emerging technologies. The programme, to be called Tech Valleys, will create around 1,500 jobs over the decade.[/aoa]

Photo credit: Thomas Jackson

Tech Nation on Tour arrived at Tramshed Tech on 11 October when entrepreneurs, founders and tech ecosystem experts will assemble to debate the opportunities for developing startups in Cardiff and the surrounding area. Tech Nation sees Cardiff as a crucial node in the development of a national network to encourage ambitious entrepreneurs and startups right across the nation.

Margot James, Digital minister, said:

“These fantastic new figures show the Welsh tech sector is booming and a new generation of exciting and entrepreneurial tech startups are creating jobs and prosperity across the country. Our investment in Tech Nation’s new hub in Cardiff will help more firms access the skills, creativity and business training they need, and help the whole country capitalise on its world-leading talent in advanced engineering, electronics and aerospace.”

Gerard Grech, chief executive, Tech Nation, said:

Cardiff has all the ingredients to make a world-class tech cluster and it is great to see the companies that have been created here making significant progress, as well as attracting attention from investors. The UK economy is seeing big changes but Cardiff illustrates that the connections between innovation, engineering and the new digital tech economy will help to future proof the UK as we the digital tech sector pushes further into all corners of the country.”

Data on Cardiff was presented by Tech Nation’s insights team which formed a discussion on the challenges faced by local entrepreneurs and startups. Panel members will include Mark Woods, CTO and co-founder of Amplyfi, an artificial intelligence company;  Nicholas Fern, DevOpsGroup; Julie Woods-Moss, advisor to Boston Consulting on AI and previously CMO at Tata and Tracey Cooper, chief executive of Public Health Wales.

Photo credit: Thomas Jackson

Cardiff has seen a flurry of fundraising activity in the last year with companies racing to become Wales’s first unicorn. In October 2017, one of the world’s biggest insurers, Aviva, bought a majority stake in robo-investment startup Wealthify. Wealthify CEO Richard Theo is the HM Treasury Fintech Envoy for Wales, working closely with Tech Nation. DevOpsGroup, the software consultancy, raised £3m from BGF in June this year and Amplyfi, the AI company which helps businesses monitor threats, has also secured multi-million pound backing. Hot on their heels are a new generation of tech startups including Delio, We Build Bots, Bipsync and Backbase. Delio joined the Tech Nation Fintech programme in September and Veeqo, from Swansea, joined Upscale in January.

Cardiff is developing a reputation for expertise in cybersecurity and in August Cardiff University was named as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, the first institution in Wales to be given such a status.