Sidetrade is a European scale-up company providing AI technology for enterprises to unlock customer value, grow business revenue, and cash flow generation.
Sidetrade has just announced an investment of £30 million, the creation of 70 new tech jobs, and the opening of a new tech hub in Birmingham – the ‘Silicon Canal’ of the UK and Europe (canal refers to the 35 miles of canals across the region).
The hub will be a leading example of how data scientists, developers, and engineers will collaborate on product development, research, education, and community engagement – making a regional, national, and international impact). It’s about making sure we have the support to thrive and compete globally.
But why Birmingham? Here’s my top reasons:
For its location
Birmingham is well connected with London, Dublin and Paris, where we have offices, which makes travelling quick and convenient. Centrally located, the tech hub is ideally situated for R&D staff who travel regularly. The cost of living in Birmingham is also great for our staff who live across the West Midlands: renting, transport, eating out, sports and culture make Birmingham an attractive place to live.
For its talents
With West Midlands universities producing quality graduates, the region has talented people to meet the needs of innovative tech firms like Sidetrade. It is no wonder, then, that Sidetrade has chosen the region to step up its expansion plans.
And it’s not all about university grads! There’s a thriving tech meet-up and coding scene, meaning we can discover talent from a variety of places. 40% of Birmingham’s population is under 25 years old.
Our lead application engineer, Luke Hennerley, opted for an apprenticeship with Microsoft when he was 16. He has worked with us to create the Code Academy – a new, rapid way of providing cutting-edge training and jobs creation for aspiring people in the West Midlands. It’s making a positive economic and employment impact in the region. We are convinced that a more diverse workforce is important to bring fresh minds into the tech sector. Diversity drives creativity and innovation.
For its growth potential
The Silicon Canal has an impressive history of innovation (photocopier, cooker, x-ray scanner, mass spectrometer, first commercially available computer, the heart pacemaker), and an even richer future. Birmingham’s strong start-up and scale-up culture make one of the most innovative and robust places in the UK for growing tech businesses.
The region also has good network for tech businesses, international businesses, consultancy firms and a thriving ‘meet-up’ culture where coders, data scientists, cyber security experts and every type of tech expertise can network at grassroots events and talks, and enjoy shared learning. There are a few tech umbrella associations too, providing a voice for the tech ecosystem. And with the new 5G regional test bed, networking for business will become more connected and faster.
I want Sidetrade to be part of Birmingham’s present and future. Grasping the full benefits of AI technologies and creating an open dialogue between industry, academia and the public sector have been key objectives of the Department for International Trade, and Sidetrade is proud to be making positive contributions with social and economic benefits for all.
The UK Government’s Department for International Trade made a great video about our news – check it out here.