Nottingham is a city that is constantly evolving, with new developments in technology helping to shape its future. In this blog, we explore how tech is transforming Nottingham and the ways in which it is making the city a better place to live.
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The History of Nottingham’s Tech Scene
Nottingham has a long and varied history when it comes to technology. The city was once at the forefront of the industrial revolution and was known for its textile manufacturing. In more recent times, Nottingham has become a hub for tech startups and is home to a number of leading tech companies let’s take a look at how tech is transforming Nottingham.
The early days
It’s hard to believe that Nottingham’s tech scene is only just over a decade old. The first ‘start-up’, NGD Systems, was founded in 2003 by two Nottingham University graduates, James Whatley and Richard Jones.
The pair had the vision to create a technology hub in the city and soon set up their first office in a disused warehouse on Market Street. From these humble beginnings, NGD Systems went on to become one of the UK’s leading hosting providers, before being acquired by American company Equinix in 2015 for £75 million.
Nottingham’s tech scene has come a long way in a short space of time and is now home to over 1,000 tech businesses, employing around 11,000 people. The sector is also growing at twice the rate of the city’s economy as a whole and is now worth an estimated £1 billion per year.
The dot-com boom
The early history of Nottingham’s tech scene is often associated with the so-called ‘dot-com boom’ of the late 1990s. This was a period of rapid growth in the internet and technology industries, which led to a significant increase in the number of tech companies and startups being established. Many of these companies were based in Nottingham, attracted by its relatively low cost of living and its central location within the UK.
During this period, Nottingham’s tech scene was dominated by web design and development agencies, as well as a few early ecommerce startups. Most of these companies were small-scale operations, with only a handful of employees. However, they laid the foundations for Nottingham to become a major center for tech innovation in the years to come.
The post-millennium slump
The early 21st century was a tough time for Nottingham’s tech scene. The city was hit hard by the global economic downturn, and many of its biggest tech companies closed their doors. But, in recent years, Nottingham has been making a comeback. A new generation of entrepreneurs is taking advantage of the city’s rich history and excellent infrastructure to build a thriving tech community.
Nottingham has always been a city of firsts. It was the first city in the UK to have a public library, and the first to have a municipal ambulance service. In more recent years, it has been at the forefront of the green energy revolution, with plans to be completely carbon-neutral by 2030. And now, it is home to some of the UK’s most innovative tech companies.
One of Nottingham’s most successful tech startups is CityFibre, which is bringing ultrafast fibre broadband to cities across the country. Another is RedEye, which is using artificial intelligence to revolutionize retail customer service. And then there’s Raytail, which is using data analytics to help businesses improve their marketing campaigns.
These are just some of the ways that Nottingham’s tech scene is making a difference. With its rich history and cutting-edge infrastructure, Nottingham is well-positioned to become one of Europe’s leading tech hubs.
The Present Day
Nottingham is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the UK, and this is only set to increase in the coming years. The population of the city is young and tech-savvy, and they are passionate about making a difference. Nottingham is a city that is on the rise, and it is thanks to its thriving tech scene.
The rise of the ‘tech hub’
Nottingham has long been a city associated with industry and innovation, and in recent years this reputation has only grown. As well as being home to two world-renowned universities, the city is now also known as a major center for tech start-ups and entrepreneurs.
This transformation has been driven in large part by the rise of so-called ‘tech hubs’ where small businesses and start-ups can access shared office space, resources, and networking opportunities. One of the most successful of these hubs is EcoHouse which was set up in 2013 and is now home to over 50 businesses.
Nottingham is also benefiting from strong links to the ‘digital economy’ which is estimated to be worth £118 billion to the UK as a whole. The city is home to a number of major employers in this sector including Experian, Capgemini, and KCOM.
With its central location and excellent transport links, Nottingham is ideally placed to continue its transformation into a leading tech hub. Thanks to initiatives like EcoHouse and its strong links to the digital economy, the city is poised for continued growth in this exciting sector.
The city’s ‘unicorns’
In the past decade, Nottingham has nurtured a number of technology startups which have gone on to be extremely successful. These businesses – known as ‘unicorns’ in the tech world – are now valued at over $1 billion each, and between them they employ thousands of people in the city.
Nottingham’s first ‘unicorn’ was Games Workshop, a tabletop gaming company that was founded in the city in 1975. Games Workshop is now worth over $2 billion, and is one of the biggest employers in Nottingham, with over 1,000 staff working at its headquarters.
Another successful Nottingham-based tech company is Sumo Digital, a video game development studio that was founded in 2003. Sumo Digital employs over 600 people in Nottingham, and its games include hits such as LittleBigPlanet 3 and Forza Horizon 3. The company was valued at $1.2 billion in 2018.
Other notable ‘unicorns’ from Nottingham include social media platform Viralwoot (valued at $1 billion) and data storage firm Center Parcs (valued at $2 billion). These businesses are proof that Nottingham is a thriving hub for tech innovation, and they are helping to transform the city’s economy.
The future of Nottingham’s tech scene
Nottingham has always been a hotbed of technological innovation, from the early days of the industrial revolution to the present day. In recent years, the city has been at the forefront of the UK’s digital economy, with a growing number of tech startups and scaleups calling Nottingham home.
Now, as we move into a new decade, Nottingham’s tech scene is poised for further growth. Here are some of the trends that we expect to see in the coming years:
-More investment in early-stage startups: Nottingham has already seen a number of VC funds and angel investors make bets on the city’s startup ecosystem. We expect this trend to continue in 2020 and beyond, as more investors look to tap into Nottingham’s vast pool of talent.
-An increase in corporate innovation: As traditional businesses face mounting pressure to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world, we expect to see more and more corporates investing in innovation hubs and accelerators in Nottingham. This will provide a much-needed injection of capital into the city’s startup ecosystem.
-A rise in cooperative working spaces: Nottingham is already home to a number of coworking spaces, but we expect this trend to accelerate in the coming years. These shared working environments provide ideal networking opportunities for startups and scaleups, as well as for established businesses looking to tap into new talent pools.
-More focus on sustainability: With pressure mounting on businesses to operate in a more sustainable way, we expect to see a greater focus on environmental issues from Nottingham’s tech companies. This could manifest itself in everything from an increase in renewable energy projects to a reduction in e-waste.
The Transformation of Nottingham
Nottingham has been transformed by technology in recent years. The city has been given a new lease of life by the development of new buildings and the regeneration of old ones. There are now more opportunities for people to live, work and play in Nottingham than ever before.
The city’s infrastructure
Nottingham is a city undergoing a digital transformation. The growth of technology companies and the city’s infrastructure is driving this change.
Nottingham has been investing in its digital infrastructure for some time now. The city has fibre optic cables running to almost all of its homes and businesses, and it was one of the first cities to roll out 5G connectivity. This investment is paying off, with the city attracting a number of tech businesses.
One such business is Iris, a provider of artificial intelligence (AI) services. The company has set up its headquarters in Nottingham, attracted by the city’s strong digital infrastructure. Iris is just one example of the many tech businesses that are helping to transform Nottingham into a digital powerhouse.
The city’s talent pool
Nottingham is a city in the East Midlands of England, known for its medieval history and industrial heritage. In recent years, it has been transformed by the rise of the digital economy, with many tech start-ups and innovative businesses choosing to set up shop here. This has led to a boom in jobs in the tech sector, and Nottingham is now home to a thriving community of tech talent.
There are many reasons why Nottingham is an attractive proposition for tech businesses. The city has a long history of innovation, dating back to the Industrial Revolution, when it was at the forefront of textile production. Today, Nottingham is home to two universities which are producing world-leading research in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) and bio-sciences. The city also has a strong track record in supporting entrepreneurship, with a number of incubators and accelerators providing vital support to start-ups.
Nottingham’s talent pool is growing rapidly, thanks to the influx of students and professionals from all over the world who are drawn to the city’s thriving tech scene. This multiculturalism is one of Nottingham’s great strengths, and something that makes it an exciting place to live and work. If you’re looking for a place to start or grow your tech career, Nottingham should definitely be on your radar.
The city’s culture
Nottingham has a thriving nightlife and is well known for its numerous bars and clubs. The following list includes some of the most popular nightspots in the city:
-Dirty Little Secret
As well as being a great place to party, Nottingham is also home to a number of cultural attractions. These include: