LONDON TECH WEEK HIGHLIGHTS 2019
Tech fever gripped the capital this week during the sixth annual London Tech Week.
Led by founding partners Informa, London & Partners, and Tech London Advocates, the week has grown to become a festival of more than 300 events, with 58,000 attendees participating over the week.
We were busy from start to finish, from the opening ceremony on Monday morning through to the BBC’s live broadcast to close out the week on Friday.
Here are some of our highlights from a phenomenal week that showcased the strength, vibrancy and vitality of London and the UK as one of the leading global centres of technology innovation and advancement.
London Tech Week kicked off on Monday morning with the Prime Minister Theresa May signalling the government’s commitment to the tech sector. The PM took to the stage at the launch event in Plexal at the heart of Here East and used the platform to pledge a further £205m to UK technology plus 2,500 spaces on AI and data master’s degree. The Prime Minister then met scale-up technology business located on the Here East campus and cutting-edge technology from the likes of McLaren, Moonhub and Bird.
Manish Madhvani, co-founder and managing partner at GP Bullhound, spoke at the opening ceremony alongside fellow tech leaders Priya Guha of Merian Ventures and Cindy Rose, UK CEO of Microsoft, to discuss the state of play for the UK tech sector, the climate for investment and how tech hubs influence innovation on a national scale.
CogX, the festival of AI and Emerging Technologies, kicked off in earnest on Monday morning with a keynote from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. CogX is the UK’s largest festival of AI and emerging technology and brought over 500 speakers and 15,000 delegates to the spectacular surroundings of Kings Cross and the newly developed Coal Drops Yard with speakers including Matt Hancock MP, Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, and Richard Curtis.
Multiple broadcasters including BBC London News, Sky News, BBC World Service and Channel 4 were covering the event, conducting interviews with speakers and CogX co-founder Tabitha Goldstaub.
Russ Shaw and Tech London Advocates had an action packed week including dozens of events and interviews including a superb session at Bloomberg’s Sooner Than You Think summit in Westminster to discuss London’s future as a leading tech hub on a global scale.
Moderated by Giles Turner, European Technology Editor at Bloomberg, Russ was joined by Jo Bertram of o2, Sherry Coutu CBE and Ronan Harris of Google, to discuss the challenges and opportunities that London faces in becoming a global tech leader.
Strava co-founder and chairman Mark Gainey flew in for the first two days of London Tech Week to participate in the opening ceremony and a series of interviews. He spoke to Sky News about London’s emergence as a globally significant tech centre and explained the importance of the UK as Strava’s largest international market outside the US with more than 5 million regular users.
Head of Level 39 Ben Brabyn hosted the Innovation, Investment and Economy stage at CogX 2019, where he was at the heart of the proceedings at the three-day festival.
Dr Graeme Malcolm OBE, CEO and co-founder of M Squared visited Number 10 as part of London Tech Week, following the announcement that experimental quantum science is set to become a commercial reality with committed investment hitting a £1 billion milestone.
And to close out a stellar week, the BBC Breakfast broadcast live from Plexal at Here East for a London Tech Week special. Presenter Ben Thompson interviewed Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East, Andrew Roughan, managing director of Plexal, Russ Shaw, Tabitha Goldstaub, Bethany Koby, co-founder of Tech Will Save Us, alongside Here East tenants Bird, Fiit, MoonHub, and Eagle Labs showcasing their innovations and products. A fantastic end to an exciting week!