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Gateshead training startup wins place on prestigious $25k Microsoft programme

A start-up business based in the North East whose redefinition of corporate training is helping to transform the market has become one of a handful of UK businesses to secure a place on a prestigious global Microsoft programme.

DU Member SUB 10, which only launched in February, has been accepted onto Microsoft for Start-ups, having impressed senior figures at the global technology leader with its unique approach to corporate training and focus on emerging technologies to revitalise traditional practices.

The business, based in PROTO, will be able to access a vast range of benefits through being part of the scheme, including $25,000 of Azure cloud space for a year, access to software for developers and invaluable support and advice from Microsoft.

SUB 10, founded by Peter Stephenson and Angela Ross – both of whom have significant experience of working in training and e-learning, and count Airbus, Allianz and Vodafone as past clients – was created to make training more engaging and accessible. Its offering of 10-minute digital learning modules, to convey information through interactive means like games and quizzes, and its use of cutting-edge technology including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), has already won significant plaudits.

Having been accepted onto the NatWest Accelerator programme – a six-month programme for high-growth entrepreneur-led businesses looking to scale – SUB 10 now looking to take its first steps into becoming an employer, and is looking to add back-end developers, learning experience designers and animation and graphics specialists to its team.

It has established strong links with local academia, having given a four-month placement to Derianna Thomas, a Masters student in computer game engineering at Newcastle University, which will count as part of her certification, as well as working with business media students at Gateshead College to create a social media strategy for the business.

SUB 10 is also receiving ongoing legal advice from Sintons, a specialist law firm in supporting tech businesses in the North East, with senior associate Lucy Carlin assisting Peter and Angela since pre-launch.

Peter said: “It has been a whirlwind few months since we launched, there are so many opportunities for us out there, and to be accepted onto the Microsoft for Start-ups programme so soon into our journey is incredible. It is geared towards businesses with real potential for high growth and we are absolutely over the moon that Microsoft clearly share our ambitions for SUB 10 and believe we can grow to where we want to be. It’s very exciting, especially with so few companies selected each year.

“We are now, only five months in, ready to look at creating jobs and building our team and are actively looking to speak to people who are passionate about growing the North East’s digital and tech reputation even further. Derianna has been such a huge asset to our team, we have such talented people in this region and we are very pleased we are able to work with such highly esteemed places as Newcastle University and Gateshead College in providing opportunities. The future is very exciting and we are well placed to take advantage of whatever comes next.”

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