London tech week 2018 lifts off

The fifth annual London Tech Week is under way, with Europe’s largest crowdsourced digital festival expected to attract 55,000 people. With a stronger emphasis on social impact, we offer some of 2018’s highlights.

sadiqkhanltw2018All eyes turn to London tech this week, as close to 55,000 people descend on over 200 events across the UK capital, with conferences, summits, expos, gala dinners and parties forming London Tech Week 2018.

There’s been no shortage of anxiety in the London tech in the past two years, as businesses voice their concerns about the likely impact of imminent Brexit on the digital economy. Talent, investment and business confidence remain top of the anxiety list.

Despite the Brexit backdrop, data shows that the UK remains the top Euro hub for tech investment, attracting almost three times more venture investment than any other European country in the past two years. London is the beating heart of that vibrant economy, attracting more than 80% of all VC money since the Brexit vote.

Correspondingly, London Tech Week continues to expand. What started in 2014 arguably with more hope than expectation has become one of the key festivals in the world’s tech business calendar.

2018’s event overall is championing ‘change makers’ – companies and people that “challenge the status quo and embrace technology to shape the future”. At the core is a new group of 30 change makers and events that highlight the social benefits that come through digital innovation.

Two-thirds of the 30 lead for-good projects, including Stemettes founder Anne-Marie Imafidon, Open Bionics co-founder Samantha Payne and Techmums founder Dr Sue Black.

“Change makers for us are all about putting a spotlight on those individuals that use technology to drive transformational change in business, society and life,” LTW event director Zoe Osmond told DigitalAgenda.

Many of the change makers will be seen on event platforms across the week, with their agendas on diversity, skills, impact investing, financial inclusion and more well covered.

The majority of the events taking place are crowdsourced beyond the core events laid on at the centre, with more still beyond the official paid-for listings. Some events cost to go, but most are free to get in.

The week overall is guided by a group of 25 ambassadors – advocates of entrepreneurship and innovation.

London Tech Week highlights

Monday 11 June

CogX – Tobacco Dock – 4,000 hear 300 speakers at the UK’s leading Ai festival
Demystified – why there aren’t more women in tech (fully booked)
LeadersIn Tech Summit – The Times – the week’s headline thought leadership event
Prince’s Trust Gala Dinner – Tower of London Pavilion – black tie fundraiser

Tuesday 12 June

AR and VR World – ExCeL – enterprise-focussed convention
CogX – Tobacco Dock
Future Edtech 2018 – Inmarsat – tech for higher education
FutureFit – Plexal – startups and sports innovators
How to Sell in to the UK Public Sector – techUK – navigating the procurement process
LeadersIn Tech Summit – The Times
Smarter London Together – Endeavour Square – Transport for London summit (fully booked)
TechXLR8 – ExCeL – tech week’s main expo event
Transparency, trust and the future of tech – CBI/Sharing Economy UK – building customer trust in the modern economy
Tug Life IV – Protein – what the collision of creativity, media and tech means for humans

Wednesday 13 June

Ai Summit – ExCeL – largest event for Ai business
AR and VR World – ExCeL
Best of Nordic and Baltic (Fin)Tech Summit – Barclays Rise – matchmaking event
Edtech 50 awards celebration – London Connected Learning Centre
Future Edtech 2018 – Inmarsat
Getahead – Omeara – how to get ahead without burning out
TechXLR8 – ExCeL
Tug Life IV – Protein
Tech Night Party – Shoreditch Town Hall – featuring a ‘unicorn rodeo’

Thursday 14 June

Ai Summit – ExCeL
AR and VR World – ExCeL
Flatiron School Official Opening – WeWork Finsbury Pavement – panel discussion
FutureFest Forward – Nesta – AI and creativity futures
Future of Work Summit – Facebook London – skills gap and automation debated
TechXLR8 – ExCeL
Tug Life IV – Protein

Friday 15 June

Goodnight Disruption – Space 4 – CoTech party
GovTech Summer Drinks – Central Working Victoria
Tug Life IV – Protein
Wonder Women – Plexal – tech diversity and inclusion conference

Saturday 16 June

Smart City Happy Hour & Hack Day – White Collar Factory

Sunday 17 June

Epilepsy meets Tech – Plexal – War on Epilepsy tech for good event

London Tech Week happens from June 11-17. More information at