Digital business brains invited to pitch bright ideas

Digital entrepreneurs and tech-innovators are invited to pitch their ideas in a Dragon’s Den-style contest.

South Tyneside Council is staging the Tech Challenge 2017 competition, encouraging businesses and individuals to come up with digital solutions for the manufacturing sector and showcase their skills ahead of the development of the International Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Nissan, Dyer Engineering and Cell Pack Solutions are among the manufacturers who have taken part in a research project coordinated by Digital Catapult Centre North East & Tees Valley to identify challenges currently facing the sector.

Entrants are invited to submit an idea to address those challenges and those shortlisted will have to pitch before a panel of judges from both the technology and manufacturing sectors.

The winner will receive £5,000 cash to progress their solution, a year’s free office space at award-winning One Trinity Green* and a mentoring package from BT plus a hotdesk at the BT Infinity Lab in London. There will also be several runners-up prizes.

Councillor John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “ICT and digital is one of our priority sectors and we are looking to position the area as innovative and efficient in developing technology solutions for the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors.
“The development of the International Advanced Manufacturing Park will present an excellent opportunity for digital and tech businesses in the region to showcase their capabilities to manufacturers.

in terms of job creation and attracting inward investment and we are really looking to nurture and grow this sector within the Borough.

“We already have several flourishing tech companies based at One Trinity Green which is growing into a vibrant community for this sector and we’d like to tap in the talent of more entrepreneurs with this competition.

“The prize is superb and would be a real springboard for any business.”

The competition is open to businesses which are less than two years old and individuals including graduates.

Applicants will be asked to submit an application form outlining their idea before the deadline of Feburary 19. Those shortlisted will then have to pitch before the panel of judges.

Will Pryke, head of BT’s Infinity Lab, said: “BT has a rich history of engaging with startups and encouraging innovation so this competition was one we were keen to be involved with.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for a business or individual to showcase their ideas and I’m very much looking forward to meeting the competitors as part of the judging panel.”

For further information on the competition, visit