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Welcome to the August LCR Digital, Creative & Tech round up

Here we share some of the fantastic businesses we are home to; the good work being done in nurturing our talent pipeline; all important funding and opportunities relevant to your business; and helpful (online) events happening for you. Please contact our Digital & Creative Champion for details on any of the below at helen.cross@growthplatform.org
Shout Outs
Fantastic to see the growth and expansion of Wirral based Evoke Creative includes acquisition of Liverpool based app developer Apposing to bring their ‘in-store and in-pocket’ offering under one roof. Read more here.
Liverpool digital firm, and LCR Tech Climber, Collabco is joining forces with Canadian owned Ready Education and Netherlands based Stucomm to become the world's largest student engagement platform provider. Read more here.
Congratulations to the Liverpool City Region based Betmate, a social gaming platform which allows users to play against each other, which has received backing from a syndicate of angel investors. Read more here.
Channel 4 has released the first look at Help, a new drama featuring Liverpool’s Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham with funding and support from Liverpool Film Office through its Liverpool City Region Production Fund. Read more here.
Skills and Talent
Student Opportunities in the workplace
Edge Hill University is looking to develop close working relationships with leading organisations to help students develop real-world skills in industry whilst supporting your workforce and project planning. 
If your organisation is in a position to offer opportunities such as:   
  • Work-Related Placements (short term to year long) – students carry out specific roles that support business functions within your organisation; either remotely or at your premises. 
  • Live Project Brief – an opportunity for you to present a real-world business problem for students to develop fresh and creative solutions.   
Register your details here or contact Caroline Toop on Toopc@edgehill.ac.uk  (by 17th September).

Peer Networks - sector specific cohort
Peer Networks is a free peer-to-peer support programme designed for Liverpool City Region-based SMEs. The programme includes 18 hours of interactive groups sessions which will be delivered by trained facilitators (in this case from Assentiv) using action learning techniques. Each participating business can also access a further 3.5 hours of one-to-one support with an expert business adviser scheduled to suit their needs. Find out more here.

Seven questions to ask when selecting directors for an early-stage growth company
Founder & Managing Partner at Better Boards, Dr Sabine Dembkowski, shares insights into setting up a board and selecting directors in an early-stage growth company. Find out more here.

Skills Brokerage Service
Our team of impartial Skills Brokers can help you to access funding, local grants and government incentive schemes to help up-skill or re-skill your employees. We can also look at how apprenticeships can up-skill your current team. Access up to 70% of funding towards training costs. Find out more here.
Opportunities
Tech Zero toolkit
Tech Zero is a group of innovative UK tech companies, working together to fight the climate crisis, accelerate progress to net zero and help consumers make greener choices. Get started on your journey to net zero with the Tech Zero toolkit. The toolkit aims to demystify climate jargon and make it easier for companies to measure their emissions and set a net zero plan. Find out more here.

Northern Tech Awards
Once a year the Northern Tech Awards shine a light upon the technology ecosystem in the North of the UK, celebrating innovative technologies and leading businesses developed in the region and recognise those who have contributed to their success. Deadline to enter 20th September. Find out more here
Funding & National Bodies
Year On Evaluation: LCR Music Industry Support Fund
The Music Support Fund was a welcome source of funding to the Music Sector in the Liverpool City Region at the start of the first national lockdown (2020). In total, 52 local music businesses were supported through the fund with grants of up to £5,000 per business.

As well as speaking to the recipients about how they have put their funding to great use, an evaluation of the impact of this fund was carried out by the LCR Combined Authority which has now published the report here.

Start-up finance advice 
The LCR Finance Hub was set up as the single access help point for SMEs in Liverpool City Region to access external funding. If you're new to funding a business and don't have external support in place, then contact the team about how to access the finance you need to grow your business. Find out more here.

Games funding
Opportunities brought to you by ukie - the national trade body for interactive entertainment. Find out more here.

New Markets 2 ERDF Programme
Our New Markets 2 ERDF Programme is due to finish at the end of 2021, so now is a great time for businesses in the City Region who are looking to grow to apply. We have supported over 240 businesses so far and can potentially provide a grant of 35%, of the cost of commercial services or professional advice for work costing up to £7000. Find out more here.
Spotlight the Digital & Creative Board
The LCR Digital & Creative Board is the voice of the city region’s digital, creative and tech businesses. It is driving improvements for the sector through business growth initiatives, skills and talent retention and developing the space, place and infrastructure to help the sector flourish. 

You can read about who is in on the LCR Digital & Creative Board here and we welcome your views via helen.cross@growthplatform.org. The next meeting is the 21 September, and we will be following this up with a community update in early November to reflect on the challenges and success of the sector and the work the board has been doing to support businesses in the City Region.
Events
Women in Innovation Awards briefing event 24 August, 10:00am-12:30pm
This Innovate UK programme was launched to address the under-representation of women engaging with Innovate UK, to get more women with excellent ideas innovating in UK businesses, and boost the economy. Attend the briefing event to find out more. Register here.
 
Green Games Summit 20-21 October
Bringing the international games sector together to share knowledge, discuss and shape the industry’s approach to the climate crisis and sustainability ahead of this year’s, UK-hosted, COP26. Register here.
Access previous Growth Platform events via our YouTube channel
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