The region's biggest annual hackathon, Sync the City, returns for its sixth year and is set to take place from 14-16th November 2019 with participant tickets available from today. The 54-hour event held at OPEN Norwich, brings together the area's budding entrepreneurs, experienced business mentors and technology experts in a bid to win up to £4,000 to launch their idea.
Around 12 teams, consisting of students and professionals, are chosen to build their own digital start-up from scratch, to then pitch the business idea to the public and a panel of expert judges. Developers, designers and innovators of any kind are welcome to pitch ideas and participate in a number of ways.
This year, Sophie Hossack, from leading tech bookkeeping experts, Receipt Bank, has been confirmed as Sync the City's finale keynote speaker and this year's judging panel includes successful entrepreneurs, tech business CEOs and business professionals - the judge's prize for the winning team is £3,000, and the people's choice prize, voted by the audience, will be £1,000.
Fiona Lettice, co-founder of Sync the City and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation at UEA, said "We recognise the growing influence of Norfolk as a hub of start-up and technology businesses, and Sync the City has increasingly become a symbol of the region's success in the sector. Sync the City is a great event that gives entrepreneurs, who may never get a chance, the opportunity to make their idea into a reality."
As Sync the City continues to builds its momentum, key regional leaders, Greater Anglia and Leathes Prior, have agreed a multiyear deal with SyncNorwich and the UEA, to sponsor the event.
Rachel Margerum, responsible for Innovation & Continual Development at Greater Anglia, commented, "Sponsoring Sync the City is a unique opportunity for us to share our expert industry knowledge and support the future generation. We want to expose our staff to different innovative techniques and this event provides an ideal platform for social and collaborative learning. Greater Anglia help people on journeys - that's our mission - and we want to support young entrepreneurs on a different type of journey to innovate, transform and make a difference."
Dan Chapman, Partner at Leathes Prior, said “having enjoyed attending and participating in the event over the past few years we are delighted to be able to commit to the long-term sponsorship of Sync the City. We recognise the huge importance of the technology sector to our local community, the spirit of which is embodied in the growing success of Sync the City. We hope that both our financial support and the support of our lawyers will assist the event in continuing to expand and give the future generation of entrepreneurs a platform on which to develop their ideas.”
Last year, Myles Chingara and Lily Beel, Leathes Prior employees, competed with pitches for start-up businesses. Myles Chingara commented "Sync the City was an invaluable experience which provided me with insight into the world of start-up companies and provided an opportunity to present and exchange ideas with others in a forum unlike any other I have ever encountered. The positive environment partnered with the collective efforts of all involved to produce intricate work made this event worthwhile". Lily Beel's idea Seren, which was a safe space for people effected by mental health illness to meet up, won the people's choice award.
Norfolk County Council, Aviva, Purple Tuesday, Allies Computing, Foolproof and TechEast have joined the key sponsors for the 2019 event.
Tickets are now available - to book https://syncthecity.com/