Northern Max 3 – The cohort and the case study

Boosting the digital sector in Bradford

specialist support to grow and scale

The 2020 Cohort and Case study

We had some truly talented start ups and upcoming new businesses signed up for Northern Max 3! Read our case study to find out how Northern Max helped them shape and build their business. Even in the midst of a global pandemic!


Northern Max Accelerator is a business support programme built around ten workshops, guiding the entrepreneur through from the ideas stage to being able to pitch to a panel of investors.

The overall aim is to help companies in the digital sector to grow and develop the reputation of Bradford and the Leeds City Region as a hub for the technology community.

Northern Max 3 was the third time the successful programme was delivered to start-up businesses; this time with most of the delivery online due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Northern Max 3 was delivered by Greenborough Business Management’s 10×10 accelerator programme in partnership with Bradford Council and AD:VENTURE. Like all AD:VENTURE’s support programme it was open to eligible businesses in the Leeds City Region that are up to three-years-old and was free to those who took part.

The ten workshops covered the themes of:

  • The business model
  • Goal setting
  • Route to market & marketing
  • Profiling the customer
  • People and resources
  • Partnerships and collaborations
  • Finance
  • Funding and growth
  • Pitch training and experimentation
  • The business plan

As well as the workshops, participants were invited to join five ‘masterclasses’, which for this cohort were all also delivered online. The fortnightly masterclasses had a focus that aligned broadly to the workshop that preceded it. They consisted of an hour long “interview” with a specialist thought leader, or inspirational business person, with the opportunity for questions.

The specialists included Jag Panesar, the founder of Xpand Digital Media, a Bradford based marketing agency, who spoke about the trials and tribulations of starting and growing a digital business in the area, and Professor Sankar Sivarajah, the head of the School of Management at the University of Bradford, who talked about the circular economy.

As well as redesigning the course due to Covid-19, the organisers added some additional benefits, including an extra optional workshop run by one of the participants, Live More Offline, which promoted digital health and well-being, and the sharing of template documents, such as non-disclosure agreements and T&Cs.

And to encourage collaboration between the participants, they were even sent chocolate brownies! The cakes were delivered before workshop number 8, so they could all have a shared coffee break experience.


The key aims of Northern Max are:

  • Grow the digital sector in Bradford to create jobs and increase profitability
  • Establish Bradford as the place to develop your digital business
  • Increase collaboration, supply chain and innovation opportunities
  • Boost digital capabilities of new and growing business
  • Embed a legacy of success for the digital sector

The individuals taking part were given the opportunity to pitch for potential investment at the end of the 10-week programme at the Grand Finale: Live Pitching Event.


Twenty one companies were supported through Northern Max 3. They were chosen after a formal diagnosis process (this time held via Zoom), with 15 companies given full support as above, and a further six given a reduced service including access to recordings of the course materials.

Overall, 13 new jobs were created. Seven businesses were supported to bring a product to market; four were successful in applying for AD:VENTURE grant funding totalling £14,481.00, and one was supported to apply for a £50,000 Bounceback loan.

Many of the companies forged formal and informal collaborations, such as sharing best practice, sharing contacts and plans to bid collaboratively for tenders.

For some businesses hit hard by the impact of Covid-19, such as those in the events sector, the programme has helped them ride the worst of the storm and survive, with future plans for expansion.


“The Northern Max3 programme was great, and I’d have found it even more valuable earlier into my business life.  Although I’ve obviously got a lot of experience in business, I thought that the range of workshops within the programme was great.”

“The programme opened by eyes to a number of things that I hadn’t even considered but which are turning out to be really useful – it’s opened my eyes to what I didn’t know. It was really useful to learn from the real-life experiences of the workshop facilitators.  They always seemed to have relevant experience to draw on to help us. And the weekly calls with my mentor have been great – he’s helped my understand what we’ve learned and he’s given me some sound advice.”

“The course content was great, and I really enjoyed being able to share experiences and questions with the other participants in the break out rooms. My mentor was really flexible – we spoke every couple of weeks and he was really helpful.”

“Even though we were a virtual group, we bonded incredibly well, and it has been great to see collaborations emerge as well as opportunities that the programme opened up within wider business networks. Having a mentor within the programme to provide 1:1 advice was highly valuable. I’m grateful to have been part of this programme, particularly at such a time of change and uncertainty. The programme has created a connection as a group of fellow entrepreneurs and a wider community.”

“The programme was really good – massively helpful.  It was a great refresher in the fundamentals of business and has helped us to scale up. My mentor has been brilliant.  I cannot speak highly enough of him.”

“I wanted to learn from experience and that’s exactly what I got!  I found the programme very engaging and easy to follow. The courses and masterclasses had the right level of information to challenge one to expand the boundaries of their thinking and often times go back to the drawing board.  Russell and the rest of team also flavoured the programme with their excellent delivery and great content.”



Some of the participants details can be viewed below – Take a look to see what kind of businesses were supported.

FOUNDER: Alex La Via

61% of managers feel they can’t switch off from digital technology. Whether it is distractions getting in the way of focused work, late night scrolling impacting sleep or social media impacting wellbeing, it all comes down to habits.

Live More Offline supports employee wellbeing, focus and connection by delivering knowledge and tools to change to digital habits. They deliver engaging training via online workshops, live workshops and talks.



Want to get in touch?

FOUNDER: Jo Addison

Kiddieholidays aims to provide ideas and inspiration for parents about the best holidays and days out for babies and toddlers.

I work with holiday companies, cottages, holiday parks, gites etc to promote them to my audience of parents with babies, toddlers and preschoolers.





Want to get in touch?

FOUNDER: Rachel Mather

Bid Management Consultant with 10 years’ experience supporting teams to produce winning responses to secure £90m EU/K funding and grants for the public, private and VCSE sector.

Specialisms include working with businesses (micro-multinational) to develop and implement effective systems and process to improve their ability to identify and produce winning tenders.



Want to get in touch?

FOUNDER: Verity Clarke

Aubergine is a virtual PR and content agency specialising in food, tech and health. A unique network of dynamic, senior PR experts specialising in food, health and tech headed by former journalists (BBC, Channel 4 News).

Winner of Best New Agency at the PR Moment Awards 2019 and nominated for Best Boutique Agency, Best Media Relations and Best FMCG Campaign 2020 (announced March 2020)

A boutique agency that offers a tailored, personal approach from a senior team, passionate about creating news campaigns that get cut-through with the media.



Want to get in touch?

FOUNDER: Andy Stoner

An award winning specialist electrical safety company. We operate nationally working alongside a vast array of letting and estate agents.

Our aim is to offer a streamlined simple route to electrical compliance. Our extensive knowledge and team of skilled electricians ensure a smooth efficient process from first contact with our amazing office staff to completion of the job.

“A Personal Approach With A Professional Service”




Want to get in touch?

FOUNDER: Neil Brearley

Namdev is a multi-product organisation specialising in automated reception systems, audio visual facilities management products for business, educational establishments and residential care.

We have several years expertise in touchscreens, multi-touch software, visitor management and access control, sensory and immersive spaces, scent delivery and wireless infrastructure.

We span a wide array of products that will assist with the smooth running of property facilities.



Want to get in touch?


The Other Person Consultancy is a brand, design and software development company with offices in Saltaire and Leeds.

We are known for helping our clients increase their impact with the people they need to connect to – emotionally, efficiently and economically.

We have worked with some of the most trusted brands in the world and through thoughtful design and bespoke software development, we have helped their businesses grow.



Want to get in touch?

Northern Max Accelerator

To find out about other support for business in Bradford,

contact Ravinder Panesar, Tel: 01274 434177

We can also help you with…













Ready to start your AD:VENTURE?

Register your interest and one of our advisors will be happy to help…







Terms & Conditions

Data Protection Act 1998: The above information you provide may be stored in both manual and electronic formats until 2033.  It will be held to facilitate the services we provide to you or your business and to assist with record keeping, statistical and research purposes, statutory purposes and to facilitate ongoing communication.  Information may be shared with our funders and organisations delivering services on their behalf where it is necessary in the interests of increasing your businesses enterprise prospects and to measure the impact and success of the project.  A full list of these funders and organisations is included below.

Marketing Permissions.  We would like to keep you informed of services and business support that we think may be of interest to you and your business. If in the future you’d prefer not to receive information from us please email and we will ensure you are removed from any future marketing correspondence.

Bradford Council
Business Enterprise Fund
Calderdale Council
Craven Council
Harrogate Borough Council
Kirklees Council
Leeds Beckett University
Leeds City Council
Leeds Trinity University
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Make It York
Mid-Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
Prince’s Trust
Selby District Council
Wakefield Council
University of Bradford
University of Huddersfield
West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
West Yorkshire Combined Authority (as the accountable body for Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership)

As Data Controller, Please see below statement for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Privacy Notice for the Purpose of Data Collection for ERDF

The UK is updating its data protection legislation and it will come into force on 25 May 2018. The new laws aim to update current data protection legislation including the Data Protection Act 1998, increase the privacy protection of all UK and EU citizens and reduce the risk of data breaches. It will apply to all public and private organisations processing personal data.

The EU Common Provisions Regulations (CPR), and Article 6 of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Regulation require the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), as the managing authority for the programme, to monitor and evaluate ERDF-funded activities. In order to conduct monitoring and evaluation (including the summative assessment) and to ensure compliance, the collection of personal data is required.

Who is the data controller for ERDF personal data?

The MHCLG ERDF Managing Authority is the controller for all personal data required to help deliver the ERDF programme under the terms of its ERDF Funding Agreement.

The MHCLG ERDF Managing Authority will be processing personal data in the ERDF programme according to the following lawful basis:

Article 6(1)(e) of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

‘processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller’.

The lawful basis for controlling or processing `special category’ data under ERDF is:

Article 9(2)(g) GDPR

“processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, on the basis of Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject;”

What personal data will be collected?

Depending on the nature of activities of the ERDF-funded project and the indicators listed under each activity, the following information for each direct or indirect beneficiary where these are individuals may be collected:

• Name of contact point within a business (in some cases property owner) engaged with or individual engaged with;

• Address

• Postcode

• Phone number

• Ethnicity

• Disability

• Email address

• Labour market status prior to receiving support and 6 months after receiving support

• Duration of support

• Intensity of support

• Pay details

MHCLG may collect special category data on ethnicity and disability.

Who will my personal data be shared with and how will it be used?

Your details will be stored securely and retained in compliance with GDPR and the new Data Protection Act. This information will be used to evaluate this project and to report to the European Regional Development Fund for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

Your details will be used to support the ERDF programme research and evaluation activities. MHCLG will need to share all or some of your personal data with the national evaluator of the ERDF programme. In some cases, the national evaluator, i.e. independent external contractors commissioned by DCLG, may use the contact details to contact a sample of direct or indirect beneficiaries for the purpose of the National Evaluation of the programme. It is likely that the survey methodology will need to incorporate a variety of approaches in order to maximise the survey response rate (for example, telephone survey, written survey, and e-mail survey) – hence the need for a variety of contact details required for each participant. MHCLG may also need to share with other government departments and the European Commission where this is necessary to test the robustness of the data gathered or to inform the National Evaluation.

MHCLG will not give any personal data to any other organisation unless needed for the purpose of the evaluation and will instruct them not to use it to contact individuals for any reasons not connected with the purpose of the National Evaluation of the ERDF programme 2014-2020 or other matters directly relating to the evaluation. If MHCLG has to pass on the data, it will only provide what is needed, and if possible will remove the details that might identify individuals personally. MCHLG will not transfer personal data outside the European Union, to third countries or international organisations.

MHCLG will not keep your personal data for longer than it needs but as a minimum, will retain data for two years after the closure of the 2014-2020 ERDF programme in line with the European Regional Development Fund document retention guidance to ensure MHCLG meets reporting obligations and to demonstrate compliance with EU


Individual’s rights

ERDF participants cannot claim the following rights in terms of ERDF personal data:

• right to erasure (“right to be forgotten”)

• right to portability of their data

The data collected is your personal data, and you have the right, subject to lawful data requirements:

• to see what data we have about you;

• to ask us to stop using your data;

• to ask us to delete your data, or to correct your data if there is no longer a justification to process it;

• to lodge a complaint with the independent Information Commissioner (ICO) if you think we are not handling your data fairly or in accordance with the law. 

Automated decision making

Your personal data will not be subjected to automated decision making

Contact Details

You can contact the ICO at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Tel: 0303 123 1113


If you would like further information about the programme and your personal information please contact the ERDF Programme at: