Newcastle startup scene reaches 'critical mass'

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Think about technology startup hubs in the UK, and the Silicon Roundabout and Tech City in London come to mind.

But Newcastle has quietly built a reputation among entrepreneurs as the place to launch their businesses. A city once dominated by heavy industry offers not just an alternative, but for a growing number it is the preferred location over an over-crowded capital.

Many of the startup founders come from all over the UK and abroad to participate in the country's first £1m accelerator programme, Ignite 100. But almost as many stay because of lower costs of living and a tight-knit network of fellow entrepreneurs and investors.

"We are at the point where we've got critical mass in that there's a group of startups that feed off each other," said Richard Exley, an investment manager with NorthStar Ventures. "There is a sense now of building something rather than just being a part of something."

Produced by the BBC's Franz Strasser.

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