April 2, 2019
Sintons law firm, based in Newcastle, provides legal advice to many of the tech companies in the region. The specialist tech team understands this sector in depth and has the backing of a full service firm with the expertise to advise on the whole spectrum of matters a tech business will need.
Lucy Carlin, senior associate and tech sector specialist, says: “Businesses from this region are truly helping to change the face of tech on a global scale. It’s a real privilege to be supporting these change-makers.
Karen Simms, head of Sintons’ company and commercial team, continues: “We know that businesses in this sector can scale extraordinarily quickly. Our experience means we can foresee issues before they arise; it is this practical advice which sets us apart as a leading advisor in this field.
My team and I always look to go beyond the legal, and that approach seems to really resonate with clients in the tech sector.”
Two of the region’s most inspiring female entrepreneurs came together to devise a means of tackling the growing mental health crisis, creating a platform to help start-ups and founders manage and overcome stress, anxiety and depression.
Lizzy Hodcroft and Emma Reilly have founded Myndr, a collaborative peer-to-peer mental health platform to allow users to take better control of their mental health. Initially it is operating via email, but an app is in development alongside the creation of a full calendar of courses, workshops and social events.
Both Lizzy, a former North East Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and Emma, creator of the Brave & The Bold clothing brand, have been open about their own battles with mental health and their inspirational approach to creating Myndr, which launched in January and is already winning plaudits regionally and nationally.
Lizzy says: “With more increased awareness around mental health these days, we believe we’re arriving at just the right time.
“Our goal is to get people to use our technology where they can access a dashboard, track and monitor their progress and join our peer to peer events, both online and at locations throughout the North East.”
Lizzy adds: “Working with Sintons has given Emma and me the opportunity to engage with our customer. Both Karen and Sintons have given up their time, office space and knowledge to help us succeed and that means an awful lot, especially to get on board when Myndr was simply an idea.”
Traditional training for businesses has been delivered in the same way for many years, such as via webinars or lecture-led training sessions, but SUB 10 recognises the potential to do things differently.
Peter Stephenson and Angela Ross have combined their expertise of working in training and e-learning with businesses like Airbus, Allianz and Vodafone to wholly disrupt the accepted means of doing things by devising 10-minute digital learning modules to convey information in an interactive way.
The business, based at PROTO, was launched in January this year and is using cutting-edge technology including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create its training modules, and will make use of games and quizzes that can be done on mobile devices to help with learning.
As well as working with the business community globally, SUB 10 is also supporting the next generation of tech talent on a local level, through partnerships with Newcastle University and Gateshead College.
Angela says: “I have worked in this industry for 20 years and there is a definite need for change. We want to create something which is creative and engaging with learning underpinning everything, and on which employers can see a return on their investment. We will create personalised, flexible, interactive modules, which are a big move away from the 60 minute sessions that have historically been offered.”
Reflecting on the company’s experience working with Sintons, Peter adds: “It was really important to us to create solid foundations when we started SUB 10 and getting a great legal team in place was central to that. As well as a wealth of experience and knowledge, Lucy convinced us from our first conversation that Sintons really understood what it was like to be a start-up and the issues we face.
“It is not all about charges in the early days, they are just as happy to have a cup of tea and offer advice as well. The added bonus of terrific PR support really does mean that we think of them as part of the team. We hope that relationship continues to grow with us.”
In its first year in business, retail technology company Shoptimised has become a recognised name internationally for its pioneering work in product feed optimisation and price comparison software.
Having not been able to find the exact software it needed, South Shields-based Shoptimised devised its own platform for PPC professionals, which has seen it win clients in 15 countries around the world.
Shoptimised recently ended its first year 32 per cent ahead of its business plan and is targeting further international growth, including its first foray into the United States. John Cave, co-founder of Shoptimised – who previously launched successful PPC business Biddible – says: “The vision for the business has always been to make feed optimisation simple and accessible, and we wanted to create the software to make that possible. It was a case of scratching our own itch – we knew what we wanted to do, but the platform that was exactly what we wanted wasn’t available, so we built it ourselves.
“We have built up a decent footprint in the UK and are in countries around the world, and we have organically gained a number one ranking on Google for product feed optimisation.
“Working with Sintons, Lucy quickly understood our business and aims and was clear and direct in her advice from our first meeting. We are grateful for the support of a specialist advisor who clearly understands the nuances and complexities of the tech sector.
“The fact Sintons is a full service firm with an array of top class lawyers means that a business like ours can continue to use them as our advisor at all stages of our growth and development.”