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Get your new starters up to speed with practical project briefs & design sprints, delivered by our partners hedgehog lab, Orange Bus and Gospelware, along with soft skills workshops & networking events. 

To find out more click here.

  • Breakfast Networking

    25 Jan


    25 Jan

  • Brand Sprint Masterclass

    30 Jan

  • Digital Union Manifesto

    31 Jan

  • Investment Readiness Masterclass

    22 Feb

  • Ladders Sunderland 2018

    28 Feb

  • SEIS + R&D – Blu Sky Masterclass

    20 Mar

  • Recruitment Masterclass

    22 Mar

Breakfast Networking

25-01-2018 08:30 Sunderland Software City Building

Thurs 25 January, 08.30 – 10.30
Sunderland Software Centre

Our first of 2018 Digital Networking theme will be ‘Events in 2018’. We will have a guest attendees doing lightning talks about their upcoming events in 2018 and dates for your diary. From free workshops, masterclasses to summits, annual conferences, and masterclasses.

Are you running a great event, conference, summit and want to shout about it? Come along and chat to us about how Digital Union could help raise your profile, and share your event details.

If you’d like to present a lightning talk at this event, please get in touch with Rachel Peacock at


Sign Up – Breakfast Networking

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25-01-2018 10:00 The Toffee Factory

In the second installment of the Music Masters series, we proudly present ‘GET THE GIGS’, a day-long event tailormade for artists, managers and promoters who aspire to make their mark in the music industry live sector in 2018.

In conjunction with a handpicked panel of experts with a breadth of experience in the industry, we will offer an insight into all things ‘live music’.

For artists, we will offer sage advice on the logistics and protocols of putting a tour together, practical touring routes, and budgeting meticulously.  We will also discuss how to effectively approach promoters with your product.

For promoters we will look at how to build up a roster of live artists on your own and the precise art of planning gigs and curating tours, as well as the intricacies and do’s and don’ts of dealing with national booking agents.

Whether you are a performer, promoter, or an artist manager, within this masterclass, you will acquire the knowledge to adequately curate your own events and tours, or become a viable option for existing events, agencies and tours. Alongside this, our panel will offer an insight into industry etiquette, ensuring you appear professional to booking agents and venues alike when looking for gigs.


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Brand Sprint Masterclass

30-01-2018 09:30 1 Salters Rd

Generator are pleased to announce our Brand Sprint, delivered by Wonderstuff.

Focus, Fast.

Start the clock and prepare to focus on your vision. These 3 hour sessions are dynamic and productive. Designed to delve deep, they explore and draw to the surface, the key information required to define your organisation’s brand and vision.

With paper, pens, phones and people, we work through your business’s Vision, Purpose, Values, Audiences, Personalty and Competitive Landscape. The results of the sprint are captured and documented during the session, so you are ready to go the minute the clock stops.

The sprint helps clarify not only what you do, but how you do it, why you do it and who will be interested in what you have to offer. The session will help you understand the value of your brand to your business, with the results informing how you develop the nature and culture of your business and how your product, service or experience attracts, communicates and retains customers.

The sprints are suitable for startups, scale-ups and well-established businesses.



The day takes the shape of 2 x 3 hour sprint sessions, held at Wonderstuff in Gosforth. You can select either the morning or afternoon session when you register. The session is suitable for 1-2 participants from your organisation, facilitated and supported by 2 of the senior Wonderstuff team. (One of you must be a decision-maker for the organisation).

09.30 – 12.30 Sprint 1 (registration from 09.15)

13.30 – 16.30 Sprint 2 (registration from 13.15)

About Wonderstuff.

Wonderstuff are a team of brand and design strategists based in Gosforth, helping organisations to understand, clarify and communicate their brand. They have been working with ambitious SMEs across the UK for a decade – creating powerful brands, effective design and engaging communications – all with the aim of realising brand vision.

‘Digital Futures’, Generator’s business support programme, is designed to meet the business development needs of the North East’s creative and digital businesses. This programme is part-funded by England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. Places at this event are FREE OF CHARGE for creative and digital businesses from North East England, thanks to ERDF funding.*


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Digital Union Manifesto

31-01-2018 08:30 Northern Design Centre
As part of our commitment to members and the creative, digital and tech sectors in the North East, Digital Union will release its first Manifesto in April 2018.

We’re inviting members to attend and discuss the challenges faced and potential solutions for the sector in the North East. Some of the areas we will be discussing include: work space, investment, access to talent, skills and business support.

We see this as a call to action for the local authorities, LEPs, and educational institutions to ensure they are doing as much as possible to support and promote the growing North East tech sector but also to outline what the priorities are for us at Digital Union to campaign on and bring to the fore.

To encourage everyone to participate, we will be running the event as an ‘open space’, which will allow everyone to have a say. At the end of the session we will feedback key headlines that will be taken forward by the Digital Union Manifesto task group, who will develop key themes and the final manifesto itself for launch.

Please send as many of your teams and managers along to contribute, as the more input we have, the better.
NB – This is a members only event. If you’d like to join Digital Union and have your say, please contact Rachel Peacock at


Sign Up – Open Space

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Investment Readiness Masterclass

22-02-2018 09:30 Northern Stage

Looking for investment now or in the future? Know you need to produce some forecasts but unsure how or even what they are? Come along to our cashflow forecasting session and find out!

We’re here to talk to you about what investors find important, using numbers to tell your story, and practical uses of cashflows. We do enjoy audience participation, so please come along with any questions you may have and bounce them to us at any point.

This is the first of two BluSky Masterclass sessions, have a look at what’s on offer in the second session below:

SEIS and R&D

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Ladders Sunderland 2018

28-02-2018 10:00

Kick-starting a career is hard. Kick-starting a career in the arts can be even harder, but all is not lost – Ladders Sunderland 2018 begins in February.

Ladders is aimed at helping 18-24 year olds, get a foot in the door. Over 12 weeks, you’ll work with an industry mentor to develop your skills in either FilmMusic or Software Development. You’ll learn valuable employability skills, develop your CV, visit local companies, and build that all-important network.

The sessions take place accross Sunderland in music and film studios as well as Software Centre, giving you hands on experience with industry standard equipment.

Travel expenses can be covered and there are Bursaries up to £500 available for those

Check out our Blog Diaries from the last cohort here

Each course is free, part time and unaccredited.

Course Overview (Dates not current)

How do I apply?

Fill in the short form below. If you’re successful, you’ll be invited for an informal interview, not to assess you, just to say hello and help us shape the course to suit your needs. There’s only ten spaces on each course, so we need to be sure that everything is just right for you.


If you can’t make the full course, you’re still free to attend enterprise sessions, or get on board as a blogger and photographer.

Getting started is easy. Introduce yourself and we’ll get back to you.

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SEIS + R&D – Blu Sky Masterclass

20-03-2018 09:30 Northern Stage

So you’ve heard about SEIS and R&D. Perhaps you even know what the letters stand for. More than likely, you don’t want to know, but you should. The Tax man may well be the real life Bogey man, but it’s time to learn your stuff, and get yourself together. Thankfully, we’ve enlisted the help of our good friends Blusky Tax, to answer all your questions and hold your hand.

They’ll explain how each scheme works, the advantages and risks in both schemes, as well as the all important ‘How do I claim the tax back?’ for R+D. It’s all a balancing act, taking into consideration state aid and venture capital, but we’ll let them explain.

They really know their stuff, winning the Independent Firm of the Year in the 2017 North East Accountancy Awards – beating some substantially bigger competition, so you’re in safe hands, promise. Any questions, just shout, as we love an interactive session.

This is the second of our BluSky Masterclass sessions, have a look at what’s on offer in the first session below:

Investment Readiness

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Recruitment Masterclass

22-03-2018 08:30

Digital Union presents: Recruitment & Retention Masterclass – How to Execute an Effective Strategy.

We invite strategic Business Owners and Directors, who are looking to improve the way they recruit, and retain staff, to a fast paced, interactive FREE workshop that will give you the strategies needed to attract and engage the best people.

We will explore how to create an inbound recruitment strategy that drives top talent to your business, whilst also leaving you with clear techniques for how to create a culture that drives engagement, productivity and accountability. Discussions will be framed by an understanding of the legal requirements that will protect your business and help attract the best candidates.


Facilitators for this session are:

James Blackwell is the CEO of Ronald James, the North East’s leading Digital and Tech Recruitment Agency. Ronald James works with over 75 clients across the North East providing Digital and Tech talent. James has over 8 years experience in the recruitment industry and so is fully equipped to help you maximise your potential.

Jayne Hart is a Chartered member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and owner of The HR Dept Newcastle. She has worked as a HR professional in a variety of roles, since the year 2000. Using her experience and expertise, Jayne helps business owners maximise their productivity and profitability through the effective management of their people. Keeping owners legally compliant with regards to employment legislation and supporting them with their people problems and also their business growth.

Laura Weaving is the MD of Duo Global Consulting. Duo helps growing companies attract and engage the best talent through creation of values driven organisational cultures. With offices in the UK and the US, Duo helps clients around the world increase employee engagement & productivity, decrease recruitment costs, increase revenue per hire and turnaround employee retention, all through strategic people activities driven by a solid company culture.

Schedule of workshop:

Takeaways will include an understanding of:

  • How to position your business in front of the right audience to attract the best talent.
  • How to create a compelling employer brand and unique benefits offering.
  • The key elements of employee engagement, productivity & accountability and how to implement them at all levels.
  • How to use your culture to supercharge talent attraction & recruitment.
  • How to design a meaningful culture that increases employee engagement and staff retention.
  • The characteristics of high performing cultures, and top performing companies – what they do differently and how you can apply these things to your own business.
  • The key legal requirements when employing staff and how this will help protect your business from tribunal claims.
  • How having good HR practices and being employment legislation complaint can attract and retain the best employees.

Refreshments will be provided.

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