Q&A: Strategic Partnership Team

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The Digital Isle of Man Strategic Partnership team was created in 2020 with a core focus of improving relationships with industry, facilitating and tackling barriers to business growth and attracting new business to the Isle of Man, in collaboration with industry.

No two days are the same for this busy team, and to find out more we caught up with them to hear what attracted them to the role, what surprised them about it, and what their typical day looks like.


What interested you most about working for Digital Isle of Man?

Cathryn: I’d have to say the variety offered by the role, from relationship building to strategic planning for the sector and also seeking and supporting new businesses relocating to the Island. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the incentives available and share this with industry who often aren’t aware.

Abby: I completely agree, it was the variety that the role brings – exciting sectors, some maturing, some just emerging, being able to support the growth of the Isle of Man and the businesses that call the Island home, and connect in with a wide cross section of business on the Island and further afield.

Karen: I’d say it was interest into the Digital sector and a personal interest in blockchain, eGaming, esports and IoT. Not to mention the prestige of working for a government agency.

Tony: Agreed, for me it was simply a fascination with the interesting sectors we support, particularly gambling and cryptocurrency.


What has surprised you most about the role when you started?

A: The opportunities for learning and developing in the role, with access to a wide network across all of Government as well as the private sector, there’s always opportunities to get stuck in and learn something new and work on important initiatives that benefit the Island as a whole.

C: I was impressed with the opportunities and flexibility to work with wider government on different projects and the opportunity they can bring to learn and offer more support to the wider public – and make a difference.

K: Honestly, it’s the variety of some of the businesses we work with that are considering the Isle of Man as a base. It can be anything from the creation of a post-production house working with the BBC to a project where NFTs could potentially be used to solve the housing crisis in Africa!


What does a typical day look like in your role?

A: A typical day can be anything from account meetings with on-island businesses, working through areas in which we can support their growth and creating action plans to feed in to their goals, to writing papers and business cases to develop a new initiative which will support economic growth in digital sectors. Almost daily, we are speaking to people who are considering the Isle of Man as a new home for their businesses and working through a transition plan to ensure their smooth landing on the Island. Each day is truly different and we often have to pivot quickly to manage priorities as they emerge.

T: Exactly, there’s always something new happening, always new opportunities, new developments in tech and new and interesting verticals in the sectors we work with. 


What do you enjoy most about what you do?

A: I love the problem-solving element of my role and going that extra mile for our stakeholders. This allows me to build strong, lasting relationships and provide a vital and inclusive link between the Island's Digital sector and Government

T: Meeting entrepreneurs with new and interesting business models and ideas and helping them bring these ideas to fruition.

C: It’s the people aspect for me; working with multiple stakeholders across very different industries (although often connected by nature of the technology) and also within both public and private sector. The diversity of the role with the multiple projects, development of strategies you can be involved in executing – all with the aim of supporting industry and success of the Island whether that’s problem solving or assisting to bring about change – all requiring building relationships and managing multiple stakeholders to bring about the best result for everyone.


Where do you feel you have made a real difference to a business?

C: Being a central point of contact into government and therefore being able quickly reach out to the right people and assist businesses with challenges they are experiencing or questions they may have, and making it easier to resolve.

A: Solving problems for our business stakeholders stands out to me too, achieving something for them, removing barriers that supports their business growth or a business goal, this brings a high sense of satisfaction and a great feeling of giving something back to our business community.

C: Definitely, and also assisting new businesses relocating to the Island, supporting them from the initial idea and exploring the Island as a new home, to setting up and relocating. Supporting them through COVID challenges and restrictions to land and get started as smoothly as possible has often been a daunting and laborious process, but it’s fantastic to be able to support.

T: Given that I have a particular focus on supporting eGaming companies, it’s helping them to understand their options as far as licensing is concerned, explaining regulations and how they can comply with them. This often then means making introductions to potential partners such as CSPs, Lawyers and datacentres to support these new businesses on their journey. We’ve built great relationships with the Island’s ancillary businesses and that’s something we’re really proud of.

K: What Tony said! But also being able to help create and implement new strategies and procedures to enhance/adapt our way of working.  Our business development approach through the pandemic has been very different to how we would work normally, attending conferences and events in our target market locations and we’ve had to adapt to allow us to still be able to approach potential opportunities without setting foot outside our door.



We're currently recruiting for a new Strategic Partnership Manager.

This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a variety of people, across exciting and expanding digital industries and be an integral part of shaping the Isle of Man's strategic direction for its digital ecosystem.

Applications close 16th September 2021.

For more information and to apply, follow this link.