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Bruntwood announces sponsorship of Leeds Digital Festival as Platform tech incubator officially launches

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Bruntwood is sponsoring Leeds Digital Festival 2018 and will officially launch its new tech incubator at Platform on the festival’s opening day.

Leeds Digital Festival, now in its third year, takes place from April 16-27 with over 100 events celebrating the very best of digital technology in Leeds, from medtech, gaming, data and coding to start-ups and careers.

Platform’s tech incubator will officially launch on Monday, April 16th with the building also being a key venue for several of the festival’s events. The launch celebrations will include a pitch event for companies shortlisted for a free desk, a high profile roundtable discussion focussed on ‘accelerating growth in the tech sector’ which includes leaders from across Leeds’ digital and technology community and an evening reception from 5-8pm.

Bruntwood joins as an executive sponsor of the festival alongside cap hpi, Sky Betting and Gaming and 8 Outdoor with premier sponsors being Leeds City Council, the University of Leeds and VST Enterprises.

Craig Burrow, director of Bruntwood in Leeds, said: “Leeds is already an innovation powerhouse, a leading location for digital tech innovators, but only through strong and determined partnerships will it be able to fulfil its huge potential and grow, compete, drive jobs and further investment. 

“Our support of Leeds Digital Festival is founded on our commitment to help the city drive this ambition and to make this great city region even greater. That’s why we’re proud to support this year’s Leeds Digital Festival to further strengthen Leeds’ position as a centre for tech and digital excellence and we’re delighted that Platform will play a prominent part.”

Platform’s tech incubator has been designed to support startup and growing businesses. It provides coworking and office space for organisations of up to 20 people, centred around shared spaces to facilitate collaboration between neighbours and encourage new ideas to flourish. The tech incubator also runs a comprehensive business growth support programme in partnership with specialist national and local partners and includes access to finance and talent, as well as offering business mentoring and expert advice.

Since opening in November 2017, Platform has proved to be a popular location for businesses of all sizes with many digital and tech firms having already moved in, including mHabitat, Synap, Kwizzbit, Cloud Sense Solutions and LightStart.

For the building’s initial launch, Leeds Beckett University art students, graduates, staff and practising artists created a digital artwork Four Words: Technology, exhibited on the giant LCD media wall in the building’s reception.

This nine metre high media wall will also play a prominent role throughout Leeds Digital Festival displaying a new thought-provoking exhibition, curated by digital artwork platform CuratorSpace, showcasing existing and emerging screen-based artists.

Stuart Clarke, Leeds Digital Festival director said: “We want to work ever more closely with the city’s leading tech organisations and we’re delighted that Bruntwood is not only joining our incredible roster of sponsors, but also opening up Platform as one of the festival’s venues.

“The tech incubator at Platform is a great addition to the city’s assets and exists to help grow the sector by encouraging effective partnership working and to boost innovation in digital skills and technology.

“We have an achievable ambition in Leeds and the wider city region to effect the convergence of entrepreneurship and innovation and so create a greater number of high-quality jobs and further business growth. Leeds Digital Festival therefore not only celebrates our brilliant businesses and individuals, but also champions a sector which is becoming increasingly important in accelerating our economic performance and wellbeing.”

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