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Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur relocates to North East

Tech company Kunasan has relocated to County Durham to become part of the North East’s rapidly growing technology sector.

Paul Mawson, a North East-born entrepreneur, was based in Silicon Valley, then moved his company from Colorado to Sedgefield in the hope of bringing a new sleep aid system Frequen-ZZZ to market in the UK

Mr Mawson, who is originally from County Durham, spent 10 years working in California before deciding to move back to his home county last year.

His company, Kunasan Ltd, is now based at North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield, where it is currently developing its flagship product, Frequen-ZZZ — an innovative tech device which aims to help users beat insomnia and get better sleep.

During his time in the US, Mr Mawson spent time researching frequency stimulation devices and it was here that he developed an interest in sleep technology, leading to the idea for the Frequen-ZZZ product.

Kunasan Ltd initially opened a virtual office at NETPark, but operations expanded so rapidly that within a month the company moved into a physical space within NETPark Plexus.

Mr Mawson claims that the move was party inspired by the UK Government’s Global Entrepreneur Programme, which promoted the region as a thriving tech hub.

He said: “I was invited to attend a talk at Innosphere Colorado in July 2017 given by Dr Alan Lowdon of the DIT Global Entrepreneur Programme and visiting professor at Durham University and chair of the Innovation Board of the North East LEP.

“He explained that the North East’s technology sector was thriving and that it was the perfect time to relocate my business to the region.

“I had been considering moving back to the UK and saw this as the perfect opportunity to bring my business back home.

“Following advice from Invest North East England I viewed a number of different spaces, but as soon as I viewed NETPark Plexus I knew it was the right location for me.

“I didn’t want to work in a city centre, as I’m much more creative when I’m in the countryside.

“I was also encouraged to see how many tech and pharmaceutical companies there were at NETPark and knowing I could get support from the local business community was a decisive factor in choosing the location.

“Business Durham also facilitated an introduction to CPI (Centre for Process Innovation) on NETPark, who we are working with to help develop our product further, alongside Sarah Morehead at Northumbria University’s School of Design and Newcastle based Octo Design to ensure our sleep system, Frequen-ZZZ, is ready to launch in 2020.”