News | Round-up January 31

Showcasing local tech-talent 

As part of the final stage of DigitalCity’s ten-week Accelerator Programme, seven tech businesses from the Tees Valley pitched to an audience of investors, funding managers, business support partners and local authorities. 

The businesses were made up of: 

  • OptiMe – A workplace wellbeing digital platform for employees  
  • Get Me The Designer – A virtual styling app  
  • MSKPredict – An AI-based software aiding diagnosis in musculoskeletal conditions  
  • 540 Studios – A video production company  
  • Yoga Mike – An online yoga platform with resources for children and adults  
  • A Bonehead’s Home – A graphic designer offering branding, illustration and print  
  • The Northern Nanny – A digital app making safe, in-home childcare more accessible 

Scott Watson, DigitalCity Sector Growth Manager said: “Supporting digital and tech businesses is in the DNA of DigitalCity. While this recent cohort are all at different stages on their business journey, we think that they have bags of potential and will make a significant contribution to the future success of the digital sector in the Tees Valley.” 

The showcase was the final stage of 10 weeks of interactive workshops led by industry experts covering everything from legal requirements to PR skills.  

Are you an early-stage tech company in the Tees Valley that’s looking to develop an innovative product or service? Applications for the next Accelerator Programme taking place this March are now open 

Google’s latest ad changes 

Have you noticed something different about your Google searches this week? 

In 2019 Google announced that search results on mobile would be undergoing a refresh; with the way adverts appeared in search results changing. 

Last week Google rolled the feature out on desktop too.  

Adverts now appear similar to organic results with a simple bold ‘Ad’ label next to the websites URLs as opposed to the favicon, which appears next to organic Google search results. 

In Mabo’s latest blog, Head of Development, Peter Calvert, said: “The general consensus from those in industry and those who chose to respond to Google’s public announcement of the new design on Twitter are all reaching the same conclusion – the ability to distinguish between ads and organic results continues to become more difficult. 

“It could be argued that since Google must display when a result is an advert, the decision to include the website favicon is geared towards making organic results look more like an ad, rather than vice versa. Either way, we have the same end product – results that are difficult to distinguish between paid and organic, which I believe will truly benefit businesses using Google Ads’ Expanded Text Ads.” 

Blink and you’ll click it.

What are your thoughts? 

Tees Tech awards now open 

The Tees Tech Awards entries are now open. You can enter in any of the following categories: 

  • Company of the Year  
  • Best Small Business  
  • Innovation Award  
  • Tees Tech Partnership  
  • Digital Transformation  
  • Exporter of the Year  
  • Newcomer of the Year  
  • Tech for Good Award  
  • Individual prizes for Business Leader of the Year, Tees Tech Ambassador and Tees Tech Rising Star.  

Entries are open to companies based in the Tees Valley including: Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool, Wynyard, Redcar, Cleveland, East Cleveland,
Stokesley and Darlington. 

Deadline is 5pm, Monday March 9 and the awards will be held at Wynyard Hall on Thursday April 23. 

Find out more here. 


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