London Tech Week is taking place from 10th to 14th June, celebrating the starring role of UK business in tech innovation, and encouraging us to ‘Be part of the future’.
It will include discussions such as the future of work and how tech is changing the workplace and the LeadersIn Tech Summit, examining the opportunities and challenges of digitisation.
Being not just aware but on top of these issues is more important than ever for UK business as we prepare to leave the EU. Staying ahead of the game is essential to allowing us to continue to compete and trade with our European counterparts.
Whether we leave with a deal or no deal the European markets will still exist, and access to talent, finance, the right investor market and mentoring is more important than ever in this uncertain climate.
Organisations such as Tech london Advocates do an amazing job of championing the sector and ensuring London remains the go to city in Europe if not the world. The Mayor of London is also a huge champion of the sector, highlighting in a recent speech that London is home to more than 750 AI firms, more than twice as many as its closest European rivals – Paris and Berlin – combined!
As a nation, we are certainly leading the way in the fields of tech and innovation. It’s worth knowing – and being proud of the fact – that 36 of the top fintech unicorns (companies valued at over $1 billion) are based in London.
The fintech industry is worth £7 billion to the UK. With 60,000 employees involved it’s certainly a heavyweight compared to France and Germany, who employ 10,000 and 13,000 people respectively.
A couple of fintech success stories include TransferWise, allowing the transfer of money abroad without hidden bank fees and high exchange rates, and Funding Circle, a peer-to-peer business loans service to SMEs – worth checking out if you are starting a business.
And it’s more vital than ever that as a nation we continue to support these innovative businesses that are using technology to make our everyday lives simpler.
Of course, it’s not all about London. Looking at successful and growing tech companies up and down the country, it’s clear that the UK is a pioneer in this sector and showcases an astonishing variety of specialties.
The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 includes Synpromics based near Edinburgh, providing the tech to enable genes to be controlled in the fight against diseases such as haemophilia, and Darktrace, finding inspiration in the body’s own immune system to create a “cyber immune system” to foil cyber criminals.
Clearly, just these two examples show how the ingenuity behind these British tech companies can transform lives.
And London Tech Week is not the only chance to celebrate the success of the UK tech scene this year.
The Turing Fest taking place in Edinburgh in August is billed as “Europe’s best cross-functional tech conference”, with speakers from top tech companies Monzo, the online bank, and accounting platform FreeAgent.
Meanwhile The Tech For Good summit planned for December in London will celebrate the impact of technology for the better, with topics such as positive disruption and corporate responsibility.
If you’re a small business owner and involved in the tech industry, any one of the events listed here is an ideal opportunity to network, learn and celebrate this flourishing sector that we should all be proud of. And if that isn’t enough to be getting on with, check out this excellent list that Russ Shaw, (Founder of London Tech Advocates), pulled together for the Evening Standard.