London Tech Week Round-Up

Eoin Marsh, June 14, 2019 5 min read

What a London Tech Week it has been! Here at Tech Nation, we attended and hosted an amazing selection of events and got some really invaluable insights into what’s currently happening, and the things that are up and coming in the world of tech.

Our Head of Insights, Dr George Windsor had this to say:

London Tech Week 2019 was focussed on our tech future. Speakers and panelists offered a strategic view on how, as communities, we can build a tech ecosystem that learns from the today, and helps to create an open and prosperous tomorrow.

Here are some of our highlights of what has been a truly awesome showcase of UK tech and innovation.

On Monday Prime Minister, Theresa May, officially opened London Tech Week at Here East.

At King’s Cross the CogX Festival of AI kicked off and the super cool silent disco-style sessions overshadowed the rather damp start to the week!

London Tech Week round-up

Events were hosted throughout the city, including at Rocketspace and RSM.

London Tech Week event at Rocket Space

At Tech Nation, we hosted a roundtable with Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, where we discussed R&D, industrial transformation, IP and international expansion.

The Department for International Trade hosted an event on the South East Asia Market.

Tuesday got off to an incredibly powerful start as Jack Dorsey hosted a talk featuring inspiring stories of entrepreneurs from the Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN).

Jack Dorsey at London Tech Week

As CogX continued on both Tuesday and Wednesday, the highlights included a Teens in AI hackathon where our next generation of entrepreneurs and technologists presented their AI solutions to the UN sustainability goals.

Tuesday also saw the Tech Nation Applied AI scaling programme formally unveiled by Secretary of State for DCMS Jeremy Wright:

“I would urge AI companies to apply for Tech Nation’s new Applied AI 1.0 growth programme which opens today. Those companies selected will benefit from guidance from the UK’s AI leaders.”

Bloomberg’s Sooner Than You Think Conference featured incredible thought leaders from across technology, including a panel of some of London’s Fintech trailblazers.

“We think tech is the future of the UK economy” – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond MP

Wednesday saw a fascinating discussion on the Brits in the Valley panel at Phoenix Court about what we can learn from the US West Coast.

‘Silicon Valley is a machine for running experiments’ – Benedict Evans

The rise of Leeds as a tech hub came to the fore at the ‘Why Scale up in the North’ event.

Sarah Rose, chief consumer and strategy officer at Channel 4 said: “The very fact that we have multiple sites and aren’t just in one location and are broken up is exciting. Many roles we’re hiring for in Leeds are digitally-focused. We’re about creative production, and we hope we foster other business growth as a result.”

The AI Summit in the ExCel Centre was a flagship event of London Tech Week dealing with everything from ethics to AI for good. On Wednesday afternoon Tech Nation’s Senior Insights Manager Diana Akanho spoke on a panel discussing “The importance of female role models in data and AI”

Meanwhile the Pitch at Palace final at St James’s Palace featured some of the best startups from around the country.

Photo courtesy of Heliocor

“Pitch@Palace 11.0 uncovered incredible entrepreneurs from different industries who are tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges” – Elly Zhang of Tech Nation Rising Stars finalists Heliocor

Google for startups hosted a brilliant event on diversity Thursday morning with speakers from Mentorloop, Applied and Work180 where the shortcomings of gender diversity within tech were challenged head on.

“Try really hard to achieve 50-50 in the recruitment pipeline at the early stage” – Heidi Holmes of Mentorloop.

Thursday marked the launch of ‘A Bright Tech Future’ our report on the UK tech jobs & skills landscape which found headline statistics including the 2.1 million tech jobs that the UK now has, and how demand for tech workers has grown 150% in 4 years.

To coincide with the launch, we hosted a Visa Roundtable with powerful insights and inspiring stories from Tech Nation Visa alumni. They were joined by DCMS Digital Minister Margot James and Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes.

The launch of ‘A Bright Tech Future’ at the Barbican included a stellar panel and an extraordinary keynote…

Bonita Harris

“Focus only on what you can control, that might be just the next footstep. There is one powerful thing that you can control: what thoughts you choose to listen to and what you do with them” – Bonita Norris, World’s youngest person to climb Everest and reach the North Pole.

If you want to continue soaking up London Tech Week, check out our Tech Week Timetable for events on Friday and Saturday.

All in all, it’s been a London Tech Week to remember. We would love to hear your insights and highlights, so do let us know in the what we missed @TechNation!

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