Providing meaningful support to all applicants Our partners

With partner support we can encourage and celebrate early stage founders throughout the region to increase the number of startups. Supporting them to ensure that they are sustainable and grow into successful startup stories, employing staff and supporting the regional ecosystem for years to come.

Strong partnerships should be mutually beneficial to help you to achieve your own business goals whilst supporting early stage founders and improving the regional ecosystem for everyone.

We offer bespoke partnership opportunities, and we are delighted to work with a range of partners.

Contact for more information on partner packages.

Newcastle University Business School

SkillUP High growth award sponsor

Newcastle University Business School is a triple-accredited Business School with a first-class reputation for academic excellence. We are the gateway to Newcastle Helix, a £350m global centre for urban innovation in the heart of the city.

We offer Executive Education programmes that allow you to combine work with study, embodying our strategic aims so you are prepared for a future you can shape. Sustainable development is at the heart of our education and you will be able to measure your actions and impact against the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We are looking to recruit the next generation of responsible leaders from the North East who can demonstrate their potential to have a positive, sustainable impact on society and the economic recovery of the region. We are committed to supporting individuals who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and ask searching questions about what kind of society and economy we want to create.

Newcastle University Business School believes in Lifelong Learning and continuous professional development and is delighted to be the SkillUP High Growth Award Sponsor.

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StartUP and ScaleUP High Growth Award Sponsor

As the North East’s top ranked commercial law firm, we’ve been helping growing businesses achieve their goals for years. Partnering on the Start-up and Scale-up Growth Awards allows us to give businesses a legal boost.

Whatever you want to achieve, we’re here to help make it happen. We provide responsive, practical advice to help you:

  • set up your business
  • fund new projects
  • protect, exploit, buy and sell IP
  • introduce or develop new technology
  • buy, sell and manage property
  • grow, scale or sell your business
  • recover debts and resolve disputes
  • look after your employees
  • protect your family’s future

We offer initial meetings without charge to explore solutions to your queries.

Speak to Alex Craig today on 0191 211 7911 or find out more about our small business support.

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SkillUP StartUP ScaleUP Social Impact Award Sponsor

PNE support businesses to start, grow and thrive in an ethical and sustainable way; from helping people access the skills and funding they need to start their own business, to empowering organisations to grow sustainably.

The next generation of businesses will play a leading role in shaping our communities and environments for the better. By sponsoring the Social Impact Award, we want to give a platform to start-ups and individuals who are passionate about making an impact for people and places across the North East and beyond.

Claire Priestly

SkillUP and StartUP Partner harris 21

Collaborating with business owners and individuals, Claire helps save tax, supports business growth and gives early stage founders the confidence they need when taking their first steps in business.

Claire is a huge advocate of giving back and is the reason why she is supporting founders on Day 1 and Day 2 of The Awards.

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Yvonne Gale

Accelerator partner NEL Fund Managers

Yvonne is the CEO of NEL Fund Managers, the North East’s most active business investor, providing financial products to small and medium-sized businesses right across the region. 

Yvonne and the team support Startup Awards North East as their local expertise and meaningful advice is valuable for founders planning to take their startup to the next level.

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Stephen Hall - Tax Partner

ScaleUP headline partner Deloitte

Stephen Hall is office senior partner at Deloitte in Newcastle. He has worked for the firm for 25 years where he has advised many public and private sector organisations on all aspects of direct tax. 

Stephen and the team are passionate about the North East and supporting ambitious, early stage founders so they can become the employers of the future, 

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Entrepreneurs' Forum logo

ScaleUP Partner The Entrepreneurs' Forum

The Entrepreneurs’ Forum’s vision is to create a vibrant environment where entrepreneurs feel empowered to create and grow their businesses, innovate, take risks, move forward and fulfil their ambitions. Whether you’re just starting a business or a seasoned entrepreneur we think you’re more likely to succeed by seeking support and advice from others. We are backing the Startup Awards North East as we want to offer the insight and experience of our network to help grow the next generation of north east entrepreneurs.

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British Business Bank


The British Business Bank is a government-owned economic development bank. Our core mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively. 


We help those businesses to prosper, grow and build the UK’s economy, by providing finance at three key stages of development.


  • Starting up: Start Up Loans for businesses to get up and running
  • Scaling up: equity capital, most commonly, for businesses with ambitious plans for growth
  • Staying ahead: debt finance, most commonly, for businesses whose plans for expansion are more modest

Businesses apply for finance through our partners, who, because they work with us, can lend and invest more, especially to younger and faster-growing companies.


Startup partner Teesside University

Teesside University is dynamic, energetic and innovative and we’re growing others to be the same with over £270m invested in our Middlesbrough campus just 5 minutes walk from the train station. 

We generate and apply knowledge that contributes to the economic, social and cultural success of students, partners and the communities we serve. Through education enriched by research, innovation and engagement with business and the professions, we transform lives and economies.

We have been proud partners of the Awards for a number of years, as making meaningful connections and developing relationships between students, startups and businesses powers regeneration within the region. With our recently launched Assembly Hall at the heart of the University to act as a collaborative space for businesses and startups to work together and thrive, we support the Awards to unite businesses at all stages, throughout the North East.

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Proud Partner Tees Valley Business Club

Tees Valley Business Club is a voluntary organisation bringing regional businesses together to support growth and share knowledge. The membership consists of organisations of various sizes and includes established businesses as well as start-ups. We actively encourage engagement between business leaders and members regularly feedback the benefits of learning from other business owners’ experiences. 

The Club has a clear desire to support start-up businesses and help them to access the experience of established business leaders. By partnering with the Startup Awards North East we hope to promote the region and encourage networking amongst our leaders of the future.

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Sunderland University

Proud Partner University of Sunderland

Startup Awards North East provides a meaningful next step for many of our enthusiastic and passionate early stage founders. 

Having being partners in the awards for many years we have seen our student and graduate entrepreneurs confidence, skills and contacts grow, because of their engagement with this event. Alongside the opportunities for early stage founders, the awards also highlights other business support opportunities the University of Sunderland offers including our impactful Graduate Internship scheme which supports local SME’s to recruit our Graduate talent. 

The North East needs initiatives like these awards that celebrate our new businesses as well as the collaboration with the business ecosystem - we can’t wait to see the ideas and energy that the 2021 events will bring.

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startup awards supporters


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