Philip Piper joins Business Cloud to discuss the future of Manchester's Technology sector

Philip Piper joins Business Cloud to discuss the future of Manchester's Technology sector

 On Friday – 17 February, Philip Piper, Search Director of IT Digital & Change in England joined Business Cloud’s panel of tech entrepreneurs and industry experts to discuss what the future holds for Manchester’s technology sector.

The discussion was lead by Editor of Business Cloud, Chris Maguire and speakers recapped the significant growth in Manchester’s technology scene, whilst covering ground on the need for increased collaboration between industry leaders and entrepreneurs to fuel growth in the industry.

The first panel of industry leaders noted that while there has been significant growth in Manchester’s technology sector, which saw a £4m investment to fund two new tech hubs in the city, there is still a need to strategically invest in growth through early training and education to narrow the skill shortage gap, and increased creation of new business to attract talent from surrounding regions.

The second panel of renowned entrepreneurs in tech highlighted how there is still a struggle to attract start-up funding, drawing attention to the reality that more stakeholders need to invest in business concepts and prototypes from digital entrepreneurs in order to drive innovation and growth in the industry.

Danny Manu, Founder of Mymanu – a wireless headset for language translation - discussed how challenging it was for him to attract funding for his product, so much so that once pitched his idea to a person he met at one of London's airports. Jamil Khalil, CEO and founder of Wakelet – a content sharing platform – controversially name-checked business leaders in the room who had rejected his proposals. These and other entrepreneur testimonials drew attention to how failure to invest drives innovation away from the North and stifles local business growth within the sector.

The two panels were then followed by a Round Table forum, where Philip Piper spoke at length about the gap between supply and demand in regards to talent, which in turn fuels inflated salary expectations in the market.

                Phil Piper at Manchester's 2017 business cloud event

“In a sector that is rife with skill shortages, where candidates have little need to be active in market, business owners and recruitment leaders have a duty of care to investigate the motivation behind such salary expectations,” he said, adding, “Employers must question whether such demands match up to the candidate’s skills, experience and previous salary, because failure to do so will only feed the vicious cycle whereby business remain reluctant to invest in digital innovation due to salary rate inflation.”

Business leaders and entrepreneurs then had the opportunity to discuss potential avenues for collaboration to foster growth in Manchester’s technology sector, with many citing upskilling programmes and the increase of willingness to invest in innovation as the key to unlock the doors of opportunity.

    Attendees at the Manchester Business cloud event

When asked for comment on the event, Phil Piper said: “Delighted to have had the opportunity to join Business Cloud’s panel to discuss the future of Manchester’s technology sector. Not only did the panellists provide keen insight into how business owners and tech entrepreneurs can collaborate to increase opportunities for growth, but the attendees also offered thought-provoking questions on how to drive technological innovation in the North.”

“I look forward to seeing how the ideas provided will be implemented and developed in the days to come.”

 

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