In July 2017, the digital tech sector employed approximately 169,000 people across eight cities in the North alone. Even Burnley, a former mill town with a population of just 73,000, is home to around 100 tech businesses. Investment in such companies has risen 916% from £19.8m in 2007 to £201.2m. Now that is a ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

We’re regularly impressed by the constant flow of innovative new ideas on the marketplace. That’s why we’ve compiled our top 5 list of northern startups to watch

Airtime Rewards

With the aim of reducing smartphone bills for users, Airtime Rewards set out to acquire discounts from retailers to get buyin for their app. As Tech Nation’s first selection to attend their fintech programme in September 2018, the startup aims to completely transform loyalty card schemes. Airtime’s headquarters is based in Manchester and already have the likes of Waitrose, Missguided and Evans Cycles signed up.

Beatstream Media

Beatstream is a live musicstreaming app, developed with the intention of transforming bars and clubs into satellite venues. With the manta of ‘never miss a gig again’, a Beatstreamsubscription allows listeners and DJs to stay connected to any live event, from anywhere. The app has had financial backing from Communicorp UK, and Clint Boon is now their Artistic Director.


In a doorstep economy such as ours, Beelivery is destined to be a success. The ondemand grocery service relies on crowd-sourced drivers, and promises deliveries within just 90minutes. Since launching in January 2015, Beelivery have been growing at a rate of 15% each month and now operate in more than 80 towns and cities across the UK.


Removing the necessity of an expensive desk phone, line rentals and sticky contracts, CircleLoop offer an online system that allows the user to take their work number with them wherever they go. With almost 1,000 users since launching in November 2016, CircleLoopcan sync up to your CRM and productivity software, offering complete flexibility.

VST Enterprises

As Tesco found out in October 2018, strengthening cybersecurity should be a number one priority of businesses that handle sensitive information. Founded by Louis-James Davis, VST Enterprises developed VCode, which helps prevent fraud and counterfeit across various industries. The company is looking to open global offices in South Africa, Armenia and Asia Pacific and implement their software internationally.

We like to stay plugged into the latest innovations and market developments at ON:iT Recruitment. We strive to keep recruitment simple, and whether you’re looking for jobs in IT or have a vacancy, we can help. Get in touch today on 0161 416 6000 or via our contact form.