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Technology Ecosystem Acceleration and Market-Making South Yorkshire

The TEAM SY project will fund and deliver a broad range of programmes to support startups and SMEs in the South Yorkshire region. Whether you need help setting up a new company, or if you’re ready to integrate artificial intelligence into your business – we’ve got you covered. The TEAM SY project is fully funded by the ERDF, Capital Enterprise and Barnsley Council, meaning your involvement is at no cost to you or your business.

To become part of our community, or get updates on new programmes and opportunities, fill in this form and we’ll get back to you soon! You’ll only receive relevant updates and your details will not be shared outside of the TEAM SY project.

Meet the team

Get to know the people who make up TEAM SY!

Connect with us and keep up to speed with the South Yorkshire tech ecosystem. 

Team of TEAM SY

Deputy CEO

Darren Balcombe 

Darren Balcombe is Deputy CEO of Capital Enterprise and TEAM SY lead. He is an experienced ecosystem builder specialising in strategies to help businesses thrive and grow. He has contributed to innovation and entrepreneurship projects across various startup sectors spanning Europe, U.S.A & Asia. He believes in the power of technology to make a positive difference and is always looking to work with like-minded people to support the development of ideas that can make a positive impact.On most weekends he can be found pedalling or running along various B roads.

Digital Ecosystem Lead

Tracey Johnson

Tracey Johnson is TEAM SY’s Digital Ecosystem Lead. As a Creative and digital business strategist, project director and founder with many years of experience in the digital, technology and creative industries with a wide knowledge of these sectors locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Tracey is also manager of the DMC, a landmark hub for the creative and digital industries. It’s home to over 50 businesses and a huge number of lovely people and activities. Tracey can usually be found with coffee and her two cats, Velma and Nancy.

Super Connector

Ceri Batchelder

Ceri Batchelder is one of TEAM SY’s regional Super Connectors. Ceri’s interest in technology and innovation has developed throughout her career – from her time as a researcher at Harvard University, to being a tech scout at a medtech multinational and then a director of a creative & digital agency. A natural networker, she loves to connect people to make new projects happen and deliver impact. In South Yorkshire, you’ll find her building partnerships with stakeholders across the region, especially tech start-ups. Look out for Ceri on the golf course!

Super Connector

Laura Bennett

Laura is one of the TEAM SY regional leads (maternity cover for Samantha Deakin). Laura lived for four years in rural Peru where she was Director at a fair trade social enterprise working with indigenous women’s weaving cooperatives. More recently, her career has focussed on designing and delivering incubation and acceleration programmes for early-stage founders in the North of England. The thread connecting these disparate occupations is a passion for economic development and a love of connecting people and building communities. Laura is in the writing-up stage of her PhD at Sheffield University Management School, where she is researching the development and sustainability of entrepreneurial ecosystems. She has got two dogs, two pre-teen stepchildren, and two toddling twins, all of which keeps her busy. In her downtime, she likes nothing better than a dog walk through the woods.

Super Connector

Samantha Deakin

Samantha is one of the TEAM SY regional leads. She is currently on maternity leave following the birth of her second daughter in summer 2021. Samantha has been engrained in Sheffield’s startup ecosystem for many years, launching Startup Weekend Sheffield in 2012, and regularly hosting events to support the startup community. She has a wealth of experience in coaching early-stage, high-growth potential technology startups in the UK and across Europe. Samantha was the co-founder of Campus Capital, a dual-purpose company that actively invested in early-stage startups and also aimed to increase students’ knowledge about venture capital and investment.

Project Manager

Kim Holland

Kim is the TEAM SY Project Manager, managing a range of support programmes and accelerators across South Yorkshire. Kim is a project management and business development professional who has represented organisations of all shapes and sizes. Her career began in health and wellbeing, managing physical activity projects in the local authority. Since then, Kim has managed projects in the private, charity and education sectors. As a born and bred Sheffielder, she is especially proud to support tech innovation in SY. Outside of work, you might spot Kim hiking through the Peak District, horse riding in Greno Woods or playing basketball around the country.

Project Coordinator

Georgina Burton

Georgina is the TEAM SY project coordinator, coordinating the number of pre accelerator, accelerator and support programmes being delivered across South Yorkshire by the TEAM team. Georgina has been working within the startup ecosystem for a while with a background in supporting startup incubators and accelerators in the North. When she’s not working you might find Georgina taking a dip in one of South Yorkshire’s outdoor bodies of water or enjoying all the good food and drink Sheffield has to offer.

CFO/Senior ERDF Programme Manger

Carly McNally

Projects and Contracts Manager

Ben Hawley

Ben Hawley is a project and contracts manager on the TEAMSY programme. He has years of experience helping start ups do just that. Having worked with a huge range of businesses and across multiple sectors, Ben has a great depth of knowledge. Ben is a self-confessed nerd and loves any form of new tech, taking it to bits to find out how it works, and putting it back together again (hopefully with not too many left over parts). He loves to travel and has been to every continent apart from Antarctica, but that’s on the ‘to do’ list.

Communications and Marketing Manager

Matt Snowden

Matt Snowden is Communications and Marketing Manager on the TEAM SY programme. Part of the Barnsley delivery team out of the DMC and Enterprising Barnsley, as well as being involved in URBACT Transfer Network, Tech Revolution. Matt is always happy to shout out about just how great Barnsley and South Yorkshire is, being a proud Yorkshireman fuelled by Yorkshire Tea.
In his spare time Matt is an avid Leeds United fan and loves to be out and about on his road bike.

DMC Experience Manager

Samantha Jones

Samantha Jones is the DMC Experience Manager at the DMC based in Barnsley. Sam brings a wealth of experience from working with Enterprising Barnsley and is lead project officer in the URBACT Tech Revolution Transfer Network. Sam delivers the positive experience at the DMC, from where TEAM SY is located in South Yorkshire. Sam likes nothing more than taking her dogs Oscar and Alfie for long walks and is currently spending all other spare time planning her upcoming wedding.