The co-working experience in Hull's new digital hub

The co-working experience in Hull's new digital hub

With the nights getting longer and Christmas drawing nearer it's already been two incredible weeks since we moved into our beautiful new home. For those of you who haven't visited us already or aren't familiar with the world of the co-working I thought I would give you an insight into the experience inside Hull's new golden digital hub. Background

To begin with I'll start with a little bit about myself; I graduated from university last year and now work as a member in C4DI's team. Soon after graduating it became apparent to me that I really wanted to launch my own startup in the tech sector. As a philosophy graduate - I have had a lot to learn about business (and am still learning!). After doing a lot of research it became apparent to me that digital hubs were the place to be since they offered an environment most conducive for rapid learning, discovery, support and ultimately (hopefully), success.

CipherSent launches


C4DI member David Ripper has been working on a very exciting project called "CipherSent". What has been really interesting is that other members have been involved and the project only happened with the help of the C4DI member team! We are seeing this happen more and more with people collaborating on client work and also startup ideas. So, what is Cipher Sent? Have a read below!

"Secure Matters Ltd, a software solutions company based at C4DI in Hull, has just released its first service. CipherSent makes secure file transfer simple. You can transfer sensitive data securely, simply, and quickly. To anyone, anywhere."

David Ripper, the founder of Secure Matters, explained that having worked with a few organisations that were struggling to make sure sensitive data was transferred securely he decided that there was a simpler way. “Existing solutions can be time consuming because there are a lot of manual steps in the process. They can also be insecure because either the manual process leaves room for error at different points, or because they’re relatively complex to use. This can lead to people ignoring the system because it’s too onerous.”

CipherSent makes the process simple by automating it as much as possible. People just login, upload the files to be transferred, and then enter the details of the recipients. Files are always encrypted from the moment they start uploading. Strong one time passwords are automatically generated and sent to the recipients via SMS. A link to the files is sent via email. Files are automatically restricted so only the recipients can access them, and they’re automatically deleted from the service after no more than 30 days.

Secure Matters has used local companies to help with the creation of the service. Fellow C4DI members have been commissioned to develop the service and design the web site. David says “It’s important to us to use local skills where we can. Keeping the supply chain local means we can work closely with our suppliers to deliver high quality services in a short timeframe. C4DI is a great environment to meet other startups and small companies involved in the technology sector. As a member we were able to easily access the right skills and experience to take CipherSent from an idea to a live service.”

If you want to learn more about CipherSent visit the website at, call them on 01482 240770, or drop them an email at hello at

Man's life transformed after falling into shark infested water


'Days that Made Us’ is a creative project run by C4Di member, My Pockets. The project challenges people to choose and describe the one day of their life that made them who they are. The most recent phase of the project has worked with members of the Merchant Navy in Hull. The stories include a man who fell into shark infested waters and watched his ship sail away over the horizon, a teenage boy who bought a gun to shoot his own father and a seaman who fell in love and never returned to the ocean.

These stories have been supported by Roots and Wings, Hull Libraries, Untold Stories and the James Reckitt Library Trust.

For more incredible stories click here

The collaboration effect - catalysing innovation


To learn about collaboration I left C4DI, Hull, for the day to explore Do it Day - an annual event where hundreds of marketeers and digital experts come together to try and solve huge problems in one day. Here's a review of the event and some useful concepts and ideas that could drawn from the day, which you can apply to your own business. The event was a prime location to see what can be achieved through collaboration and various team dynamics. The tasks varied, greatly, and ranged from IBM's technology challenge which aimed to get children into technology through wearables, to Visa's challenge - aiming to help children understand finance.

C4DI Trees

C4DI Trees

After an early start and some exercise, battling my way through torrents of Londoners in the underground, I arrived at IBM's head office, where the event was to be held. Drafted into a team of around 15 members, I helped promote our campaign - a product of the former 'Plan It Day' event; "Trees for Trees". The aim of the campaign was to plant 10,000 trees (a whole forest) in just one day.

By taking a picture of a Tree or sending in a drawing to the 'Heart of England Forest team' using the tag #TreesforTrees the project ensured that as many members of the public would get involved in the action as possible. For every picture that was sent in a tree would be planted in the rapidly growing forest.  In addition, any submissions would become part of the virtual forest on the website and displayed on a huge digital billboard in Piccadilly circus during the day. For more information visit the web site

As mentioned earlier, many of the projects being run on 'Do it Day' were conceived initially in the Plan it Day' phase. Through brainstorming, collaboration and idea sharing teams of digital professionals created incredible projects from the briefs that were given to teams on the day. Not only were these campaigns created in record time, they probably would have eaten huge amounts of time (and other resources) to make in a more stagnant, traditional environment. The variety of perspectives and fields helped generate a buzz of ideas that led to the rapid concept generation that made the Do It Day campaigns possible. Many of these projects would not have come to fruition without this type of environment. Traditional working environments can often lead to narrow and sluggish idea generation phases since they often do not have the resources or the fresh perspective s that can drive creation through the cross pollination of ideas.

All in all, it was an exhilarating day - by combining the abilities of everyone attending we managed to achieve some truly spectacular things. Seeing the sheer caliber of projects and the varied approaches of each team was fascinating. Trees for trees surpassed over 10,000 tweets and attained the project goal of getting a whole forest of 10,000 trees planted in just one day. The success of Do it Day is a testimony for the effectiveness of collaborative workspaces, as found in C4DI, which foster leaps in innovation. This experience has proved to me that with the right type of culture and people you can create some really amazing things. I can't wait to get involved in all the projects that will arise from our very own digital hub over the next few years.

#TreesforTrees - a wonderful way to save the world.

Dee - Community and Project Support







The New C4DI - Member Preview


Last Thursday afternoon we opened the doors to the new building for a special member preview of the ground floor of our new home. Over 100 people attended the event, including a few journalists and over 150 scrumptious C4DI branded cupcakes (thanks to Anna from Nibble - the new @TheDock Café). After donning a pair of 'trendy' blue booties our members were guided through the ultra-modern reception area and unleashed; free to explore the different areas making up the ground floor. Cupcakes at the preview dayPreview Que






Taking a left at the reception takes you through to the meeting zone, outfitted with comfy sofas and stylish meeting booths this area is the perfect place to have a quick meeting, coffee break or chat.

Meeting zone - chairs Meeting zone - booths

Straight through the meeting zone is the bored room. Unfortunately Jon, with his army of cupcakes, won't be a permanent fixture however, with a generous seating capacity and a great view of what will be the amphitheatre area the bored-room doesn't fail to impress.

John Bored room

Quiet zone - previewOn the other side of the meeting zone is the co-working space. A fantastic open area that is perfect for the type of collaboration that form the building blocks for great startup ideas. There's also a separate quiet zone - for those time you need a bit of space to really focus, as well as a large studio space for events, keynotes and startup - pitches.

Dane Mortimer, Insight Lead at Force-7, a youth marketing and research agency said; "First impressions of the ground floor area is that the design looks to me as if it will lend itself to harnessing the collaborative spirit of working that has been established at C4DI beta.

We're really looking forward to using the studio spaces to supplement the work we do."

During the preview the new building really came into its own, springing into life and warmly accommodating all the guests - it's a great insight into how the building will feel when the doors officially open later in November and we all really look forward to moving in (some members have already made themselves very comfortable!).

Co-working space preview Jim in the co-working space







If you love the C4DI culture and want to know more about us or are thinking about joining please don't hesitate to get in touch with me on

The Digital Awards


The first KC and Hull Daily Mail Digital Awards have been heralded as a real success. You can read about the event and winners here. The evening was spent on the top floor with amazing views, food and people to celebrate the digital talent within the city. We were delighted to welcome the Director General of the BBC, Tony Hall as well as Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology Correspondent, who hosted the event.

A very special mention goes to Dave Keel, the C4DI Chair who you all know has worked tirelessly to promote the C4DI and the digital sector in the city and beyond.

Dave received the very first Digital Ambassador of the Year, sponsored by KC and the Hull Daily Mail. Congratulations!


Novel industry solutions created by Hull’s flourishing digital community

IMG_6384 v2 small

IMG_6384 v2 small

Hi, I'm Dee - the newest member to join C4DI's talented team. I have had experience working in a variety of industries, ranging from project management to teaching. It's going to be great working with everyone, supporting the community and getting immersed in the innovative projects we run. You can read my full bio here. C4DI is at the heart of Hull's digital economy. With a flourishing community of over 180 members, drawn from a wide array of fields across the digital sector, the synergies arising from our collaborative environment have secured new business opportunities and even, in some cases, solved some industry-wide problems! We've picked out just a few of our favourite member quotes for you below.

Andy Mcmillan, Training and R&D - Escada Systems Europe says;

"At C4DI we brought new products to market in record time to solve an industry-wide problem. Our product will increase the accuracy and reduce maintenance of sensors that are used in the packaging industry. This was made possible because of C4DI's collaborative working space."

Matt Gibson, Accounts Executive - Studio Kiwi says;

"The access to support, advice, and mentoring added to the networking potential, diversity of skills, and knowledge that is available at C4DI helps our business to grow. It is a privilege to be set in such a vibrant and beautiful location within the City of Hull."

C4DI's community  is always growing and we've had some incredible talent join us this month. Read all about our newest members like Hull born and bred trader 'Dean Melton', social media guru 'Joanne Brady' or Francis Osih an entrepreneur and founder of 'Betamenu' (as well as many others) below.

From the end of November 2015 we will be running tours around our new home, every Friday, so if you would like to come and visit, meet any of our fantastic members or simply just try a cup of our famous coffee please do get in touch and email me on

Without further adieu please say hi to our brilliant new members:



Joanne Brady - freelance social media manager "I help SMEs set-up and develop a social media presence through a variety of methods from regular weekly consultations to full-on daily management. I also write content for websites and blogs, and have a pretty good knowledge of SEO. I enjoy collaborative working and see C4DI as a way of meeting like-minded professionals. I'm always happy to help with any questions about social media."



Francis Osihentrepreneur "I lived in the US and Spain for business school. New to Hull, so my entrepreneurship & VC connections are limited to Barcelona and Berlin.  Starting programming in 2005, I have contributed to startups as diverse as they come along the way.  I am also the founder of Betamenu and Witelist.  Looking forward to assisting and having fun with everyone here!"



Dean Melton - trader "I was born and brought up in Hull. I worked as an Investment Analyst for a Hedge Fund for many years. I left the trading arena 10 years ago and set up on my own, working part time from a home office trading the Stock Indices, Forex and Commodity Markets, when I wasn’t trading; I was the 'house husband', looking after my two children, who having finally flown the nest, leaving me with time on my hands again."



Richard Farrer - Co-founder of Fractal Software & graduate "As a software developer I have experience in .net languages and agile software development, also a keen eye for graphics and UI.  I look forward to tackling the challenges of building a software business at C4DI."



Pat Coyle - director at Rollits "Pat's main role involves leading and managing the marketing function within Rollits. She is the current chair of the East Yorkshire (Humber) IoD branch committee, sits on the Steering Group for Humber Business Week, and is also a member of the committee of Hull Businesswomen's Breakfast Club."



Andrew Downie - R&D manager "Andrew has recently joined RB working as Health Transformation R&D Manager - working across the healthcare brands in areas including connected health and innovation beyond the product. Andrew has a background in biological sciences and has experience in FMCG and pharmaceutical businesses, including AstraZeneca and Unilever."



Josh Cunliffe - Co-founder of Fractal Software & games developer "I’m a recent graduate from the University of Hull, with a first class MEng degree in computer sciences with games development. I am well versed in .NET languages and frameworks, and after a year of working in SEED within the university, can use Scrum to manage and execute projects in an agile manner. I look forward to being able to apply everything I've learned within C4Di!"



Mike Wasling - Director of I.T. "Since joining Rollits, Mike has developed and enhanced the firm's IT infrastructure to support the needs of both the firm and clients. He is responsible for the IT team and helps deliver high standards of IT support and innovation throughout the practice. Some of Mike's key responsibilities include developing and maintaining relationships with IT suppliers and implementing "best of breed" technologies."



Lewis Taylor - Co-founder of Fractal Software "I am a software developer with a BSc and MSc(pending) in computer science from the University of Hull. Proficient in a wide range of programming languages and frameworks ranging from .NET to Python. I enjoy riding bikes and playing bass guitars. Looking forward to building software that matters."

Tech Nation 2016


Today, Tech City UK is delighted to announce that the research phase for Tech Nation 2016 is now underway. Launched by the Prime Minister and Chancellor in February, Tech Nation 2015 was the first comprehensive, community-driven analysis of tech clusters across the UK.

This year Tech City UK is aiming to gain an even deeper insight into the technology startup landscape to discover what digital companies need in order to grow and scale.

In partnership with Nesta and Growth Intelligence, Tech City UK has launched a short survey as part of Tech Nation 2016.

We have the opportunity to showcase our local tech industry with Tech Nation 2016, and feature a couple of local companies as case studies.

Why complete the survey:

  • You can help chart the development of companies powering the UK’s digital economy
  • £1000 worth of tickets for this year’s Web Summit are up for grabs
  • International exposure with the chance to be featured in the Tech Nation report

Please click here to take part! Thank you.

Digitial Utopias Event - January 20th 2015


This is superb news - a brilliant one day event happening in Hull! Digital Utopias is a one-day conference which will inspire and incite debate about how new technologies are enabling creativity across the arts.

What to expect Topical debates will take over the main auditorium where we will celebrate the connections between contemporary digital practice and art and technology histories; examine how organisations are redefining social spaces through networked objects and thinking machines, plus we invite insightful critiques of current art/tech collaborations.

In the studio theatre artists, curators and thinkers will showcase tools and practice covering:Digital sculpture, wearables and smart devices; interactivity, motion tracking and video mapping in dance and theatre; New publishing and distribution methods. In the classroom we will host run two clinics one on what to do with your organisational data and the second on ensuring long term access to digital information through collecting, archiving and preservation.

Speakers The event will feature the following speakers with the full line up and schedule to be announced shortly see for further details Dr Sarah Cook, Lynn Scarff (The Science Gallery), Ruth Catlow (Furtherfield), Ruth MacKenzie (The Space), Memo Atken, Tatiana Bazzichelli, Matthew Plummer Fernandez, Julia Kaganskiy (NewInc), Dr Jennifer Gabrys, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Morgan Quaintance, Sarah Ellis (Royal Shakespeare Company) Irini Papadimitriou (V&A), Extanct, Joanna Ellis (The Writing Platform), Katrina Sluis (The Photographers Gallery), Karen Gaskill (Crafts Council), Amit Sood (Google Cultural Institute), Yes Yes No.

Ticket are £6 and are available now. Book here!

Digital Utopias is an Arts Council event curated by Abandon Normal Devices as a trailblazer event for Hull City of Culture 2017, bringing together a range of Arts Council partners including The Space, AHRC and The British Council as well as artists and cultural practitioners from across the UK and beyond.