Canterbury has all the right ingredients to become a tech powerhouse in the years to come, according to the city’s leading digital entrepreneur.
Writing in the Canterbury Journal today, Ben Fitter-Harding argues that it stands uniquely placed to harness the energy and talent to drive the digital revolution in south-east England.
He said: “Packed to the hilt with young adults studying a broad spectrum of disciplines and home to the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge and the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury has made great strides getting connected in the last few years.
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“There’s internet access worthy of the name ‘super fast,’ and there’s a rail service to the capital worthy of the same.
“Canterbury isn’t a place lost to some old world order, a frieze of time gone by.
“Its creative and cultural heartbeat give it a foundation to be at the very centre of what’s coming next, and if this trend continues we all stand to benefit from the growth and prosperity that will result.”
Ben’s own firm Dodgems and Floss, based in a former shop in St Peter’s Street, is among those leading the way.
In the past he created a technology startup, turning it into a multi-million pound company.
The University of Kent also offers tech startups the chance to grow and develop through its Innovation Centre at the Canterbury.
Prof Richard Scase, a business expert and keynote speaker based at the university, believes that the city’s new tech firms herald the future for the Canterbury economy.
He said: “I am hopeful for the new young digital entrepreneurs that are more and more appearing on the Canterbury business scene.
“They seem to have realistic assumptions based on well-grounded research evidence of their business prospects.”
The University of Kent could also play a key role in helping to develop young talent and give them entrepreneurial skills they need to succeed.
Jenny Campbell, one of the judges on the BBC show Dragons’ Den, says Britain is returning to a time when people dream of running their own businesses.
“UK entrepreneurship is flying,” she said. “And there is so much support for it. It’s fantastic.”