Tech in the North East: Best new startups in 2018 | Tech News

From market disrupting car insurance apps to poverty eliminating software, 2018 has already proven to be a massive year for all things tech in the North East.

With the release of the Tech Nation 2018 report which showed the North East digital cluster creating more startups than the rest of the UK, here’s our take on some of the region’s brightest prospects which are set to make a big impact on the UK in the coming months.

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Following a highly successful CrowdCube campaign earlier in the year, which saw the business net in excess of £800,000 worth of investment, Durham-based honcho is on the verge of launching the UK’s first ‘reverse auction’ marketplace for car insurance.

The app allows insurers to bid for consumers’ business, competing to offer the best value package in real time. Insurers pay honcho £1 for the right to bid, enabling them to reduce premiums for consumers.

They’re members of our Digital Union network and we’re very excited about the impact they’re going to make.


Having successfully piloted its product, this new revolutionary online service to combat poverty is ready for Blast off!

Led by Robert Webb and Andy Cox – and inspired by Martin Burt’s Poverty Stoplight in Paraguay – the new UK-wide service will help organisations better understand the needs of deprived people in their communities and help them tailor their services.

Using a web-based methodology or app, individuals and households take a visual survey to produce a poverty map that allows them to see the details of their poverty on a dashboard.

Participants select images, categorised as red, yellow or green, that resemble their reality for each poverty indicator. Through its geotagging capabilities, the app can then generate poverty maps for entire communities which allows stakeholders to make targeted efforts and to better channel resources in a joint effort to eliminate poverty.

SIGNAL sits well with the innovative work coming out of the tech sector in the region and is a great example of the vision our tech entrepreneurs have right now.


globalbridge recently confirmed that it had signed a major deal with software giant Sage and we believe they’re in pole position to galvanise the UK’s education sector.

After a successful pilot launch, Sage is the latest organisation to use globalbridge. The platform allows students to showcase their diverse set of skills and engage with businesses in a completely new way and the likes has never really been seen before.

globalbridge is now building relationships with government, education, Digital Union members and sponsors and business leaders and is well on its way to help fulfil its ambition of helping plug the UK’s skills gap.

The Newcastle-based company has already agreed national deals with employers and universities, as well as Middlesbrough Council who are looking for new ways to help students understand what skills are needed to flourish in the modern world.

Employers and universities want to find talent earlier but are struggling to find the best way to engage with schools and students. Universities equally have a priority to recruit. The traditional way of travelling up and down the country to careers fairs to attract students I believe is outdated and having safe digital platforms like this is the best way to identify future opportunities but also to allow equal opportunity for all.

Nebula Labs

One of our friends here at Generator, Paul Lancaster of Plan Digital UK and Newcastle Startup Week pitched Nebula Labs as a tech company to watch out for in 2018 and it’s easy to see why.

The software company ran by cofounders Dylan McKee and Nic Flynn describe themselves as an ‘engineering-driven app and platform development company’.

Although they’ve only recently launched, they’ve been heavily involved in the North East tech sector for a number of years, winning numerous awards and working with a bunch of startups on the Ignite accelerator programme based at Campus North including Gym Plan, formerly known as Fit Gurus.

They created the free ‘Newcastle Startup Week’ mobile app for the five-day festival that took place this month which included a full speaker schedule, Twitter and Instagram feeds plus an innovative heat map which let visitors see where all the action was throughout the week to encourage more networking and movement around the city, especially on evenings.

They have also been shortlisted for two Dynamo North East awards. They’ve got off to a storming start, have a wide range of exciting projects in the pipeline and have a very bright future ahead of them.

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