TechNorth aims to double the number of workers in the sector from 200,000 to 400,000 by emulating the success of the capital’s digital hub.
The scheme has £2m-a-year Government funding and will be established by a handful of key people from TechCity.
Their job will include turning TechNorth into a globally-renowned name, creating a one-stop-shop for finance for members and organising pitch days in northern cities for investors from London,
The Sheffield Hallam MP launched TechNorth - part of his Northern Futures project - at the Electric Works in Sheffield city centre with Baroness Joanna Shields, who helped build Facebook outside the US before being hired by Government.
He said: “We have to learn somehow to be greater than the sum of our parts, otherwise we be unable to compete with the mega-cities around the world.
“In the tech sector there’s a feeling that the bright lights and big ideas seem to constantly happen in London.”
Speaking directly to the audience he added: “I hope that in the future you won’t feel the route to success is down there.”
Baroness Shields said: “TechCity in London is the fastest growing cluster in the world and it happened with a little bit of care and attention from Government. “TechNorth gives you power in numbers to organise pitch days and bring investors to you.”
The plans also involve ‘up-skilling and inspiring a tech-savvy workforce’ and pooling ideas and resources.
The TechNorth team would choose a chief executive and a location for a headquarters, although much of its work could be done remotely, Mr Clegg added.
In Sheffield, digital industries provide two-fifths of employment in the city. The Electric Works is home to 33 firms, while Sumo Digital, an independent game development studio, employs more than 170 development staff.