London Tech Week is back and it is more diverse and internationally-focused than ever, one of the event’s founders has said.
Now in its eighth year, LTW is an annual event of celebration and networking for the capital’s tech scene.
Speakers and attendees will include founders of some of the UK’s biggest technology companies, ministers and investors.
The festival went virtual for the first time last year under pandemic restrictions and around one third of all participants joined from overseas, widening its reach and driving up attendance.
Russ Shaw, founder of the Tech London Advocates (TLA) trade body and one of the LTW’s founding partners, told the Evening Standard there was no going back. This year the week is a hybrid of virtual and in-person events, and organisers are keen for more people than ever to sign up for the many free events – even if they are not “techies”.
He said: “I don’t think the virtual element will ever go away now. We have worked out how to make networking happen in a virtual space.
“We want international people to engage with the events... London Tech Week is about putting the UK in the spotlight as the third tech ecosystem alongside the US and China.”
Shaw outlined how the week will have three broad themes, many with an international element: tech for good, tech for all, and tech for the economy.
He said: “It’s [the week is] for everyone and even if you’re a non-techie, you’re welcome. Come meet young entrepreneurs; if you’re a business struggling with how to adapt to hybrid working, come to our Future of Work event.... Many of the events are free, or require a very small fee.”
Shaw pointed to the explosion in the London tech scene in recent years, both in terms of investment, the number of successful start-ups, and the number of jobs created.
He added: “We’ve got over 700,000 digital tech workers in Greater London - it’s a high growth sector. The more people we can reach out to, the better.”
Among those list of those attending, includingPoppy Gustafsson, founder of Darktrace, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, co-founder, Klarna, and Eugene Fisher, innovation principal, Farfetch.
Bosses from firms including Extend Robotics, CreditEnable and Career Ear are also among those that will be present for part of the week.
Shaw picks a few events to look out for:
*AccelerateHer – Thursday 23 September - Hilary Rodham Clinton is set to speak at this event which brings entrepreneurs, CEOs and global leaders together
*Global semiconductor industry trends: UK and Taiwan Perspectives – Wednesday 22 – this will see sector leaders discuss why there is currently a global chip shortage, why consumers can’t currently get the cars they want, and what can be done.
*Borough day spotlight – Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 – these events will showcase what is happening around London and how talent is being discovered and nurtured. Events will take place in Newham, Hammersmith & Fulham and Peckham.