Business Boost | 28 September 2016 - by KCOM

Awards celebrate digital excellence as tech boom beckons

Hull and East Yorkshire’s thriving community of tech talent has been celebrated at an event that threw the spotlight on the area’s exciting digital opportunities.

The Hull and East Yorkshire Digital Awards, staged by the Hull Daily Mail and KCOM, underlined the depth and variety of local tech entrepreneurs and innovative digital businesses in a region powered by best-in-Britain connectivity.

Keynote speaker Kate Russell, a leading technology journalist and presenter of BBC Technology programme Click, said the area had a remarkable opportunity, with Hull’s year as UK City of Culture looming.

“Hull is one of my favourite cities on the planet, not only for the culture and the people but for the amazing drive in the digital industries here. There is so much happening,” she told the awards evening at Hull’s spectacular new open-air amphitheatre, Stage @TheDock, next to the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub.

“We’re here to celebrate all the emerging digital talent in Hull and East Yorkshire and this amazing venue is an incredible place to do that.

“One of the reasons why Hull and East Yorkshire is so attractive to digital companies is the speed of your connectivity – one gigabit connectivity, thanks to event partners KCOM. I think you should put a sign up at Hull’s train station saying ‘don’t bother going back to London, we have one gigabit connections going to all of our businesses’.

“The vibrancy and innovation that is enabled through that connectivity really plays out, nowhere more so than at C4DI in the Fruit Market, which will be the hub of activity throughout Hull’s year as UK City of Culture.

“The world is going to be looking at you in Hull and this place is about to go ‘boom’ in terms of technology and innovation.”

The awards recognised digital excellence by companies ranging in size from software development company Arc Studios, founded just two years ago, to consumer health giant RB.

Event host, David Keel, Global Innovations Director of Hull-based Sonoco Trident, a worldwide leader in digital packaging, said the event recognised excellence in a “whole new industry that is globally relevant, socially relevant and commercially relevant to Hull’s industrial and cultural revolution”.

He said Hull had a fabulous opportunity from the digital economy, which employs 50,000 people locally and generates almost £7bn in turnover, at a time of unprecedented investment and cultural renaissance.

“Has a city ever been so confident, so ambitious and so blessed?” he asked.

KCOM’s Executive Vice President Gary Young told guests KCOM’s multi-million pound investment in fibre broadband was vital to Hull’s prospects. “Ultrafast connectivity is key,” he said.

“That’s why we’re committed to making our city and region the best connected in the UK.”

Hull and East Yorkshire Digital Awards winners 2016:

Best Digital Innovation, sponsored by Hull College

Best Mobile app, sponsored by Spencer Group

Young Digital Person of the Year, sponsored by Wykeland
Will Kebble

Best e commerce, sponsored by PwC
Bronx Menswear

Best Hardware, sponsored by HBP Systems

Best Global Reach, sponsored by University of Hull
Spencer Group

Best Digital Start Up, sponsored by Sonoco Trident
Arc Studios

Best Digital Marketing Communication, sponsored by Bondholders
Fred Marketing

Best Emerging Technology, sponsored by The One Point
Hull Coin

Best Use of technology within education, sponsored by Siemens
Hull Children’s University

Digital Awards winners: under the spotlight

Innovative products from app development firm Sauce and engineering firm Spencer Group meant they were among the winners at last month’s Digital Awards.