AN entrepreneur is taking the first steps to bringing a slice of Silicon Valley success to Lancashire.

Joe Petrie, from Haslingden, has been developing Scriverto AI, a natural language processing system, which aims to aid writers looking to turn around articles in record time.

Now he has secured $10,000 in sponsorship from Amazon and a university professor is assisting as a technical advisor.

The tech writer’s inspiration came when he was asked to pen a piece by a PR company two years ago and found the process to be a grind.

He said: “The very first version of Scriverto was written on an old laptop. Since then there have been many versions.

“Now it runs in the cloud so any number of people can use it on the internet.

“If you can halve the time it takes for a writer to generate an article that has a huge commercial potential.”

Currently the Salford University graduate is on the lookout for investors to take Scriveto forward, through the likes of the Small Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Before now, after graduating from two business schools and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, he has worked for blue chip firms like Siemens and Philips and is often called in to advise tech start-ups.

He added: “If we can nurture emerging tech entrepreneurs and encourage local wealth to invest, the sky really is the limit. Manchester is already heading that way but Lancashire has some catching up to do. I would love to turn Blackpool into the Seattle of Europe.”

He can be contacted at or online.