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Manchester Must Nurture Digital Talent to Hit the World Stage

Article date: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 12:54 GMT

Manchester hosting firm UKFast

Manchester has the potential to be a world leader in the technology industry, but the whole city must come together to encourage the digital and entrepreneurial talent before it moves to London.

At a round table debate covering the topic of entrepreneurialism in the region, a panel of Manchester business leaders issued a rallying call to the rest of the town to keep hold of local digital expertise and promote the city's start ups.

FutureEverything's Julian Tait, said: "The North West is a region of digital talent and creativity, but this talent and creativity needs to be recognised, nurtured and supported to enable the region to reach its full potential.

"Manchester needs to see its place on the world stage and strive to be equal and better. It needs to develop programmes that enable the best talent from our universities to stay, build and prosper."

Lawrence Jones, CEO of Manchester hosting firm UKFast said: "I have long championed Manchester as the next Silicon Valley and we can make it a reality. It is our responsibility - business leaders, local government and educational institutions - to do all we can to encourage start up firms and young digitally-minded people to stay 'up North' to help with this growth as the pull of London is as strong as ever."

Tim Langley, CEO and founder of CANDDi explained the urgent need to rectify the current situation in the city: "Manchester seems to be confused and drifting at the moment. There doesn't seem to be any coherent strategy or vision for the city. Manchester has, and has always had, plenty of grass-roots activity to encourage."

Hannah Lucas of Manchester's Investment and Development Agency, MIDAS, disagreed, and described the progress that has been made in the city: "There are various incubator spaces that are popping up to help start up companies by, for example, offering them very cheap office space, like the scheme at the Manchester Metropolitan University. This puts them in the middle of like-minded people, where they can share knowledge and get the collaboration that helps in the early stages of a business."

Tait summed up the call to build Manchester's technological future, he said: "Most of all it needs to be recognised that we are in a different world than we were ten years ago, the velocity of opportunity is faster, we are more networked and in this environment we need to be agile, opportunistic and less risk averse."

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