1. Is this your first time sponsoring the Big Chip Awards?

KPMG has been a supporter for a number of years, both of this great event and also of some of the interesting suits worn by the awards winners...

2. What made you want to become a sponsor?

It’s the biggest and most respected awards outside of London, honouring the ‘cream’ of the North’s digital businesses. Within KPMG Enterprise, we have an absolute passion and commitment to support and work hand-in-hand with exciting, innovative, fast-growing businesses. The tech sector is a hotbed for such entrepreneurship, so sponsoring the Big Chip Awards – which recognises and celebrates this increasingly important part of the North West's economy – was an easy decision for us.

3. What do you think the Big Chip Awards do for the digital industry in the North?

There’s no doubt that the North’s digital industry is at the forefront of tech innovation. And the Big Chip Awards put the region firmly on the map as a major UK digital destination and player.

4. There is a lot of buzz about making Manchester and other cities in the North a digital hub - why do you think Manchester specifically is being targeted?

Manchester has always had a fantastic creative culture. It is now deploying this into the tech space with fantastic results. The city can draw on its great talent pool, including the city’s five universities with 100,000 students. The city’s major investment to develop the digital and tech infrastructure – including more National Grid supply points than London – makes the city very attractive, as do the strong networks, working space and events which come together to create the perfect platform for a thriving start up scene.

5. What do you think the future holds for digital in the North in the next 12 months?

There are some great tech businesses starting to gain real momentum in the region, which will help increase the bang of the drum for Manchester’s tech credentials. As the cost of locating in London and the South East continues to increase, the region can build on the momentum of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ initiative to further establish the North as ‘the’ digital destination in the UK. We fully support Tech North’s vision to create a northern tech hub to rival cities internationally and double the number of jobs in the tech space. Exciting times are ahead.