From Entrepreneurial Spirit to Inclusivity: Paula Byers Talks Tech

As Founder and Director of LimeCloud and Chair of Digital Northern Devon, our steering group member Paula is a strong advocate for the North Devon tech and digital community, and excited about the future of tech in the region.

Recently, we spoke with Paula about the inaugural Tech South West Awards, and what’s most exciting to her about the tech scene in the South West.

She says, “the awards are a celebration of the great tech in the South West region and I believe it’s really important to showcase what we have here.  We have some exciting innovation and excellent organisations that are committed to doing business from the South West because it inspires and enables them to compete on a national and even international stage.

If you go back even five years, the South West tech scene was really hidden and no-one was talking about it, and that’s really changing now with the success of the more developed tech clusters in the region, such as Tech Exeter, Digital Plymouth, TechSpark and Software Cornwall to name but a few. There are so many new clusters coming on the scene now to add to the voice and support their local areas. Seeing the Public Sector support that’s starting to happen is really good, as making sure the infrastructure is in place to support the industry is key.”

Paula also spoke more specifically about the Awards, and which categories she’s most excited about.

She continues: “I’m really interested in the Entrepreneur awards. I think the talent that comes to the fore in these categories is interesting and I always love hearing about people’s journey into tech, as it is often not a straightforward one (much like my own!). 

The Diversity Award is also a subject close to my heart. Much is written about the inclusion of women and ethnic minorities in tech, but it seems that everyone forgets about differently abled people. For example, people with autism working in coding can really add value to the tech sector, but there are many other examples of how being differently abled can actually make you more resilient in business. I’m really looking to see how people are thinking differently and really ‘walking the walk’, so to speak, to pioneer change in the industry.”

While change is being pioneered in inclusivity, Northern Devon is also experiencing extensive development as an area. 

“As a cluster, we’re relatively new kids on the block but we’re finding our feet now and are looking to develop a series of our own events, whilst continuing to support and signpost to others.  We have a number of businesses in the digital tech sector across Northern Devon, both small and large scale, so bringing the digital tech community together so that we can nurture and promote it, is key for us. Being part of Tech South West, and the Awards, is a great way to help us get on the map!”

Find out more about the new Tech South West Awards, and enter by 25th July

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