Leeds is a strong choice for tech companies setting up in northern England. With nine universities in the area, there’s no shortage of new skills and ideas – in 2022 alone, Leeds-based startups raised almost £300 million in investment.
According to a UK government report, Leeds is seeing one of the country’s strongest growth rates in terms of employment. Nor is there any shortage of big-name employers, with the city also housing the headquarters of the NHS, Sky and Channel 4.
So, which tech companies in Leeds are doing the most exciting things? Find out in this guide.
Top tech startups in Leeds
Founded in 2019, Slingshot Simulations is a spinout startup from the University of Leeds. It develops software for digital twins, which are simulations or models that test a product or idea before implementation. Slingshot Simulations aims to help tackle the threats of climate change with “Compass Engine”, a tool that collates both public and proprietary data to simulate and analyse scenarios.
As of 2023, Slingshot Simulations has raised over £3 million in funding.
Another spinout from the University of Leeds, NIQS develops medtech for diabetic individuals. Its technology is unique in being non-invasive, achieved through the use of a material designed by NIQS itself. The interaction between skin and this material is what makes it possible to gain a measurement of blood sugar levels. NIQS plans to take this technology beyond glucose measurement and apply the same techniques to monitor other chemicals.
In 2021, NIQS was selected as a Deep Tech Pioneer by Hello Tomorrow, and voted one of the top three student startups by Creator Fund.
Top hardware and engineering tech companies in Leeds
Zest specialises in creating and installing electric vehicle chargers. It offers commerical landowners (and councils) a managed service that delivers revenue but also helps to attract drivers of electric vehicles. Expect a growing number of restaurants, hotels and car parks to take advantage.
Zest’s longer-term aim is to make EV chargers more accessible for everyone, and in doing so encourage more people to use electric cars. The company is supported by the UK Government’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, and recently signed a deal with London’s Hackney Council to install 2,500 EV chargers across the borough.
Platform Kinetics is an engineering company specialising in custom sensors and software for biotechnology. Its goal is to provide research groups with the technology they need to implement their experimental designs. One example based on something we will all be far too familiar with: lateral flow tests. Here, it worked with Soma Bioscence to create an app that would work with its saliva-based lateral flow device.
With a diverse range of clients, it should be no surprise that Platform Kinetics take a multidisciplinary approach: it has experience in bioimaging, optical techniques, and electronic and software development. It has worked with several universities and working groups, including the University of Oxford and DSTL.
Top B2B tech companies in Leeds
Hark specialises in IoT networks, offering solutions for companies who want to connect and analyse their industrial assets. It has a strong focus on energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, claiming to work exclusively with ethical suppliers. Its framework is designed to work without protocol, vendor or device limitations, providing a future-proof structure to reduce waste in the long run.
In 2019, Hark won the “Top Northern Star” award at the Northern Tech Awards, and it is one of Microsoft’s Gold partners.
Klaxon is a mass-notification service for companies to quickly notify employees of important news. That doesn’t merely mean SMS messages: it can simultaneously send alerts to voice, email, Microsoft Teams and more. Beyond simple notifications, Klaxon’s software also provides businesses with the ability to select specific groups of employees and notify them across a range of different services.
So, why use Klaxon when you could send out mass comms yourself? It boils down to speed of messaging, reduced complexity, greater efficiency and the overall goal of reducing costs of damages. Bad things happen, so it’s best for affected employees to know about it immediately – no matter where they’re working.
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