You might be familiar with Silicon Valley or Silicon Glen or even Silicon Roundabout, but have you heard of Silicon Canal?

Boats in Birmingham canals
photo credit: Houston Ruck / Flickr

Birmingham became famous in the 19th century as a city of canals. They played a key part in it its development during the Industrial Revolution as it become one of the great industrial cities of England. Many of those industries have since declined and disappeared but Birmingham itself is now undergoing a resurgence and reinventing itself as a technology centre.

Birmingham: The City Built for Entrepreneurship

It has become a popular choice of location for startups. There’s a broad number of technology companies that now call the city home and they offer wide variety of services. Whether you are looking for a guide to website design or need cutting edge software engineering you will find companies that can meet your needs – easily.

With rents much cheaper than London and still only a short train journey away if you need to attend meetings in the capital it offers good value for tech entrepreneurs looking to stretch as much value as possible from limited capital.

Not only that, but it also has a number of incubators such as Innovation Birmingham Campus, Boxxed, and the BizzInn. So it is easy to find tech friendly work space designed for the flexible needs of new ventures – plus all the necessary support for getting your startup off the ground.

Supportive Startup Community

There is a young and vibrant tech community in Birmingham with regular networking events such as Fusion, Tech Wednesday and Birmingham Entrepreneurs Meetup. These events create great opportunities to meet like minded individuals who may become your mentors, investors, suppliers, supporters, partners or employees.

There are also a large number of Universities and Colleges with STEM Programs that ensure a constant stream of new talent to keep the community vibrant and on the cutting edge of the latest technologies.

The breadth of areas that the startup community covers is truly inspiring. From companies like Geospatial Insight which provides cutting edge tools for the analysis of satellite, aerial and drone imagery to Smart Antenna Technologies which has developed wireless systems for the cellular market covering a range of devices from smartphones and notebooks to the IoT devices and connected cars.

This broad cross section of industries and technologies creates a highly diverse workforce and a business culture that supports lateral thinking. It makes it easy to find companies that can partner with you to help your business move forward.

Silicon Canal monthly meetup
photo credit: Silicon Canal

Cultured

Birmingham itself also offers a broad and diverse choice of cultural activities which is also very important at creating an urban environment where your employees feel comfortable. This is especially important in the technology sector where the opportunities are immense and the competition for talent is fierce. Being able to provide the cultural experiences that your young employees will want in their off time is an important part of creating an environment where they will feel comfortable and not want to leave for greener pastures.

All told Silicon Canal has a lot to offer to entrepreneurs looking to build a business and create an environment where their people can achieve their personal as well as business goals.