Cream of Norfolk's tech industry on lookout at Cambridge launchpad
PUBLISHED: 09:23 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:25 07 December 2018
Emma Kindred @eightyone
A handful of Norfolk's most promising tech companies have taken to the road to promote and forge new partnerships with like-minded businesses and investors in Cambridge.
The Eastern Launchpad Event saw 50 start-ups, investors and influencers from Norwich and Cambridge come together at the Bradfield Centre to network and pitch for future relationships.
Sean Radford, founder of running app TrainAsOne said Norfolk needed to shout more about the industry-leading companies the county hosts.
“We’ve got companies doing things no one else in the world is, some of the agri-tech companies could quite literally save the planet,” he said.
“But people think of Norwich as being so far away. Yet it’s under two hours to London. In the tech hub of the world, San Fransisco, it’s two hours from one end of the bay to the other, so London to Norwich isn’t far at all.
“Four or five years ago Norwich wasn’t seen as a tech hub, but that’s starting to change.”
TrainAsOne analyses users’ body metrics, as well as running gait, and combines this with data about the weather and the users’ behavioural patterns to create a training schedule to prevent injury and improve performance.
Mr Radford, who has been working full-time on the business for three years, said: “I think being so close to Cambridge is an advantage to businesses. They have traditionally had a great reputation because of the university, but Norwich is a great city and lifestyle but with lower costs, and that attracts talent.”
The team of three at TrainAsOne, based near Dereham, have over 11,000 users with a 15% uptake in the service month-on-month.
The event was organised by business consortium TechEast, whose chief operating officer, Tim Robinson, said: “Cambridge has successfully established itself as an international and European focal point for tech innovation over the last 40 years. It will take some years before Norwich reaches that level of maturity so meanwhile it’s important for Norfolk businesses to connect with opportunities on their doorstep.
“Working corroboratively with Cambridge and leveraging the support available there is an important ingredient for growth, and one that is a new phenomenon.”