Category: Startups

Bristol Technology Festival to return in October.

Bristol Technology Festival (BTF) is back for its third edition from October 10th to October 15th 2021. The city will host over 50 events with themes spanning the breadth and depth of Bristol’s growing tech and digital sector. The current plans are to hold the events in a hybrid model with a selection of online talks and others at limited capacity venues.

BTF was born in 2019 with a mission to showcase the sheer scale of technology that had been developed in the local ecosystem, whilst sharing the stories of those entrepreneurs, engineers and creatives behind the tech with the people of the city and further afield. Last year’s festival hosted 53 events, attracting over 5,000 attendees dialling in from places as far flung as Singapore and San Francisco. The target for 2021 to reach an even greater audience.

Bristol has a long-standing history of tech innovation and the ecosystem is booming, with the most productive tech talent in the UK (TechNation 2019). It feeds industries all over the world with breakthrough engineering and digital innovation. The region is famed for its creative approach to technological challenges, and was recently recognised as the best city for startups in the UK outside of London, with notable companies including IMDb, Graphcore, Ovo and Dyson.

Whilst 2020 was undoubtedly a challenging year for everyone, it has underlined the importance of technology in our lives and demonstrated how it can help connect us. BTF 2021 will seek to capture people’s hopes and predictions for the next decade, exploring the prevalent questions such as: in what ways will technology influence how we live and work? What impact will the tech cluster have locally, and globally?

BTF is coordinated by a group of volunteers from across the ecosystem including representatives from Hargreaves Lansdown, Newicon, TechSPARK, and Engine Shed. Events throughout the festival are crowdsourced from organisations across the city. These include tech companies, public bodies, schools, community interest groups and charities. Events are open to people in the tech sector, business leaders from across sectors, visitors wanting to know more about the region, and anyone wanting to know more about the city’s digital industries. Some of events include:

Engine Shed will host a launch of the festival alongside Deloitte Digital to bring together key people in the sector to understand how tech will support the growth of the city in the future.

For the 9th consecutive year, TechSPARK will host their annual SPARKies awards. The awards will gather 500 people to shine a light on the very best people, products and companies that make up the tech sector in Bristol, Bath and the broader West of England region.

FinTech West will host their annual fintech Summit to deep dive into the latest innovations, connect business in one of the UK’s key fintech communities.

2021 will also see the launch of the Festival Community Partner initiative where businesses across the city show their support by becoming one of 50 community partners, with all money invested into giving the festival a long term sustainable future.

Softcat has become the headline sponsor of the festival in 2021. Rob Parkinson, CIO at SoftCat says “We are delighted to be involved in the 2021 Bristol Technology Festival. Bringing together local technology communities and shining a light on all the innovation the region has to showcase is an important way to drive collaboration and industry growth.

“The last 18 months have been tough for many industries but technology has come through as an enabler and has made many re-think how they interact and do business. As the impact of technology continues to grow forums like the Bristol Technology Festival have never been more important and we are pleased to be supporting it.”

Visit the Bristol Technology Festival website.

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West Midlands bootcamps to create opportunities for Black women to get into tech.

The Founders of Niyo Enterprise are empowering black women through technology by kick starting the ‘Black Disruptor’ Accelerator. Sponsored by the West Midlands Combined Authority, Niyo Network has secured a contract to facilitate Accelerator Bootcamps that are uniquely designed for the benefit of Black female business founders and Black females changing to careers in tech within the West Midlands. The first of these bootcamp accelerators will be launching in May 2021.

Black women are still heavily under-represented in IT & Tech roles; in comparison, across other occupations, their level of representation is 2.5 times higher (according to BCS chartered Institute for IT). The Black Disruptor Accelerator programme has been designed to specifically target this issue head on by taking on women who would not be able to afford learning to help them develop skills in AR & VR by offering training and providing job readiness for the tech industry for free.

Find out more about the ‘Black Disruptor’ Accelerator.

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Tramshed Tech expanding into Swansea

Tramshed Tech, the organisation powering tech spaces, support and skills across Wales, has announced plans for a new space in Swansea.

Building on the success of the Tramshed in Cardiff, the new space will be located in Swansea’s iconic Palace Theatre.

The Palace Theatre has played host to performances by the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Morecombe and Wise. Now it will receive a new lease of life, creating a hub for the tech community in Wales’s second city.

Scheduled to open in 2022, the Palace Theatre will be transformed into a modern, flexible workspace for young and growing businesses. Linking up with Tramshed’s current Cardiff location, this Swansea space will create a network across the South of Wales, and continue to support the development of the tech and creative sectors that have grown rapidly across Wales.

Find out more about Tramshed Tech’s plans.

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C4DI’s second incubator launches in May

Building on the success of C4DI in Hull, the organisation is set to launch their second incubator next month.

Located in Northallerton, the new facility will be officially opened on 11th May during Hambleton Business Week.

C4DI Northallerton is an exciting new digital hub focused on helping tech companies grow and traditional businesses innovate within the agriculture, food processing and digital sectors.

Unique to C4DI’s model is the way in which traditional business is brought together with fast tech startups and scaleups through custom innovation programmes and startup incubation. This gives the traditional business access to skills and expertise it never knew it needed and gives tech companies unrivalled supply chain and mentor access.

One of the best things about the C4DI is the community of talented people it creates. From designers to hardware specialists, technologists, marketeers and developers, everyone works together to help businesses become more successful.

It is based on the district council’s new Treadmills development where the former Northallerton prison is being redeveloped into a centre for retail, business and leisure.

Read more about C4DI Northallerton.

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INVENT 2021 is open for applications

Northern Ireland’s most exciting competition for innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs is back with a new and improved prize fund and brand new awards categories.

INVENT 2021 is officially open for applications, with an increased prize fund of £47,000 and a £25,000 first prize for the overall winner.

Organised by science and technology hub Catalyst with headline partner Bank of Ireland, INVENT is an annual celebration of the brightest new business ideas in the region, which supports, showcases and rewards the local innovations and proof of concept ideas that have the greatest commercial potential.

Categories for this year’s awards have been refreshed to resonate with global trends and help capture great ideas from across the full spectrum of innovation in Northern Ireland, while also aligning with the clusters Catalyst believes will drive the local economy in future.

Find out more about INVENT 2021.

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