Some of the world’s leading tech innovators have been announced in the first wave of names being brought to Wales for Digital (18th-19th September 2017), in a schedule set to take in Internet of Things, investors, talent and smart cities- all served with a side of street food.
The fifth annual event, headline sponsored by Welsh fintech pioneer GoCompare, will welcome 2,000 delegates - a mix of innovators, investors, doers and makers - to a new home at Tramshed Tech & Tramshed in Cardiff. The festival will be filled with keynote speakers, panels, workshops and roundtables on the digital developments that will shape tomorrow’s world.
Start-ups will have the opportunity to tell their tale to investors looking for the next big thing from a stage set in a cinema, while workshops on AI, 5G, digital manufacturing, growth finance and an investor breakfast will take to the water on a boat sailing from Cardiff Bay down the River Taff.
Pendyris Street, the road immediately outside the venue - just five minutes’ walk from Cardiff Central train station- will be closed to traffic, with an Expo taking place in 13 shipping containers. A selection of Street Food traders will be pitched up bringing tacos (and more) to the tech-heads.
The first keynotes announced include:
● Jacqueline de Rojas, techUK’s President, Computer Weekly Hall of Famer, Non-Executive Director of Rightmove and adviser for the Department for Exiting the EU, will headline one of four keynote sessions over the two day event focusing on talent, skills and the future of work. In her role with techUK, Jacqueline’s ambition is for the UK to seize its position as a digital nation of significance by leveraging its digital opportunity and skills. She’ll talk about how she believes that to achieve this, all geographies and demographics across the UK must be included and we must strive to equip the UK with the very best infrastructure and supportive business legislation possible.
● George Berkowski will share his experiences in Insuretech and Fintech and ‘How to Build a Billion Dollar App’. George is the Chief Product Officer at GoCompare. He has built and sold businesses in manned space flight, online dating, transportation and mobile apps. Previously he was Chairman of MIT’s Enterprise Forum in the UK and led the product team at the taxi hailing app Hailo, launching the app in 13 cities and helping drive the first $150 million in revenue before acquisition by Daimler in 2016. He also founded DeepAR.ai, an augmented reality technology platform that enables any app or website to add Snapchat-like masks, lenses, filters and special effects with a simple software development kit.
● A panel sharing first-hand experience from investors and entrepreneurs on how people with big ideas can bag investment will include former Dragon’s Den star and Red Letter Days entrepreneur Rachel Elnaugh. At just 24, Rachel created the business from scratch on a shoestring, but after million pound profits, awards and TV fame, was forced into administration. Since then, with her book ‘Business Nightmares’, she’s become one of the world’s leading experts on the entrepreneurship journey. Rachel will be joined by ‘The Grumpy Entrepreneur’ David Murray Hundley, a LinkedIn European Business Leader of the Year, CEO of Adaro Red and founding member of one-time $22bn valued Commerce One, alongside Managing Partner of White Horse Capital and chair at The Accelerator Network, Ian Merricks, Giles Thornley of Finance Wales and Emily Close, an Investor at Albion Ventures.
● Inma Martinez, considered by Fortune and TIME as one of the world’s leading digital media strategists, built the first A.I. platform for personalising mobile data services and is currently a Venture Partner at Deep Science Ventures. Inma now leads a number of A.I. and data projects in smart cities, intelligent homes, precision livestock farming and human analytics for product innovation and she’ll share her vision for how technology can make the future development of the places in which we live better.
● The next phase of Internet of Things as the creation of business value- not just the number of connected devices- will be tackled by Matt Webb. Matt’s the managing director of R/GA Internet of Things Venture Studio UK, a start-up accelerator in London focused on new breakthroughs in the space.
The full agenda taking in further keynotes, workshop, panels, roundtables and more will be announced in the coming weeks by Innovation Point, the digital innovation company organising the event on behalf of Welsh Government.
David Warrender, the Chief Executive at Innovation Point, said: “Hugely exciting innovations are emerging from the Welsh digital scene on a regular basis and, as the Tech Nation 2017 report cited, we’re central to driving growth in the region. Bringing these brilliant speakers to share their tales from the top is a smart way to fuel the fires of the dreamers that might want to get investment for their big idea and learn from what these keynotes have seen and done.”
Jackson Hull, CTO at headline sponsor GoCompare, said: “As one of Wales’ biggest tech companies, Digital is the perfect event for GoCompare to be at the heart of. We’re excited to see the agenda take shape and to meeting the next wave of Wales’ disruptive start-ups and scale-ups, alongside innovators and investors from across the world, right here in Cardiff.”
Registration is live and free at http://www.digital-festival.co.uk/
Travel times to Digital from:
● London Paddington – 2 hours 7 minutes
● Reading – 1 hour 35 minutes
● Swindon – 1 hour 6 minutes
● Bristol Parkway – 43 minutes
● Bristol Temple Meads – 46 minutes
● Bath Spa – 1 hour 21 minutes
Digital (www.digital-festival.co.uk) is a two-day event for industry, innovators and investors. The event is a dynamic mix of interactive workshops, round table discussions, pitches, expos, networking and street food and is attended by the movers, shakers, doers, and makers of the tech industry.
Each year, the event attracts a global audience of individuals and organisations that come together to push boundaries in business and drive innovation. The key themes of this year’s event are The Internet of Things (IoT), Security, Smart Cities, Talent, and Investors.
The event is being organised by Wales’ digital innovation company, Innovation Point, on behalf of Welsh Government.
Delegates can use #ImGoingToDigital on Twitter to find out who else is attending 2017’s event.