Planning to launch a tech startup? Then you could do worse than locate your project in the North and Midlands of the UK. Now, before you tell me I’m mad, and shouldn’t we all be rushing to OpenCoffee in London to guffaw loudly with trustafarians about startups, consider this: theNetStart is a new project being put in place to establish an ecosystem for startups, working with public sector bodies Yorkshire Forward, Creative Sheffield, Leeds Met University and Sheffield Hallam University. The project is being lead by no less than Lee Strafford, the former founder of ISP PlusNet who made a very good exit to BT in January 2007. He is joined by Marco Potesta, also formerly of PlusNet, and noted tech analyst Ian Spence. The project also has a Facebook Group called Project Sahara. Refreshingly, theNetStart will employ the distinctly industrial revolution era concept of The Cooperative. Let’s see Silicon Valley work that one out. Perhaps one of the biggest innovations will be an improved interface to the regional VCs and Angel networks for startups – badly needed in my view across the whole of the UK. I hope to learn more about it all when I meet up with the people involved soon.