In my role as an Engagement Specialist at Tech Startup Sunderland, I reach out to the good folks of Sunderland to find those individuals that would love to step into the world of tech with their own business ideas. 

We want the people and the local economy of Sunderland to thrive. To help with this, we support the city's tech sector through the Tech Startup Sunderland programme. Our free programme provides free tailored support to those looking to launch a tech business. This support ranges from confidence coaching and idea generation; right the way through to launching the business. 

But how do we get the word out there?

Idea Generation

Last month we managed to get right in amongst the locals for two days of the absolute best conversations and interactions.

Tech Startup Sunderland took to the main stage of Sunderland's high street, the Bridges Shopping Centre. I joined our Community Hub Manager, Katie Mitchell, and Skills Specialist, Jess Sawyers. We tag-teamed a stand with all of our promo materials on show, eager to make some noise surrounding the opportunities we have on offer. We wanted to create some familiarity with the people of Sunderland, something that hasn’t been the easiest to do since COVID.

Over the days that we were there, we were able to speak to a huge number of people, many of whom were keen to learn more about Sunderland's tech sector and the free support that Tech Startup Sunderland can provide. We were very lucky at how easy it was to talk tech in Sunderland at the moment. This is all thanks to the 5G Smart City project, the Esports training facility coming up and the Sunderland Digital Careers programme raising aspirations among students.

The range of ideas that were generated from this short two-day period was outstanding. We had teachers and lecturers considering new ways of online teaching; parents looking for alternatives to further education in the hope that their kids would have a larger variety of pathways; students, designers, developers and more! In general, the response was very positive and people seemed genuinely delighted to hear about what we were doing. It also helps that I am a total chatterbox and wear a lot of colours, so hopefully, it made us seem more approachable.

Since this promo event, we have been onboarding several people onto the programme, inviting them to our online Community Hub space to meet our team and other like-minded individuals, and introducing them to the next stage of support that we offer.

What's Next for Tech Startup Sunderland?

We hope to set up our stand in more community spaces in Sunderland to encourage more of these inspiring conversations. We are trying to guide people away from thinking that their ideas aren’t worth being heard, especially when all we hear is passion and potential that’s waiting to be tapped into.

As well as this, we also have a number of free events in the calendar. We have our Cost of Living Innovation Challenge coming up at the end of September. Then on the 13th of October, we have our Music Tech Meetup happening in partnership with Eddie Scott who is launching his own music platform. These events will be some great opportunities to meet our Tech Startup Sunderland team, network with others and bounce ideas. 

Final Thoughts

A big "thank you" to the promo team at The Bridges that posted our photo on their socials to let people know we would be on site, and a special mention to Kim Stringer, who made sure that both days went smoothly and with ease, without them we wouldn’t have had this brilliant opportunity.

Thanks to you too, for tuning in to read my second blog. The last time I wrote a blog was through the eyes of a fresh newbie to the organisation, new to the world of tech, new to this flexible way of working, now it's coming up to a year that I’ve been here. How time flies! Honestly, I can hand-on-heart say it has been the best year in my working career.

If you would like to chat more about our upcoming events, or if you have a tech business idea that you want to explore, please get in touch at: roisin.scott@sunderlandsoftwarecity.com