Inspired by the ethos of SxSW, I headed to Digital Shoreditch, held here in London and loosely following a similar structure (but obviously on nowhere near the same scale).
I thought it was a remarkable effort. Think of the practicalities of creating a London-based event during the week. The price to speaker ratio: you need a very high calibre of speakers to draw attendees and to justify senior industry people taking time out of the office. It's an expensive business. Network opportunities after the sessions are vitally important, so you need to build around that. The duration and number of talks scheduled (as well as time allocated for questions) should make the most of the brilliant speakers, because that's what attendees are paying for.
In summary: they were off to a good start.
At Shoreditch my highlights included:
- Saul Klein, from VC Index Ventures. He led a panel about global learnings from the international startup communities.
- Tarah Feinberg CMO and NY Managing Director, KITE addressed the topic of big brand's incubator space/the future of branded incubators.
- And of course Eric Van der Kleij, Head of Level39 Tech Accelerator and CEO, UK Tech City, was great. He explored the topic of how the UK should be planning for future technologies in business and the wider economy. He echoed Steve Case in defining the important relationship between governments / legislation and startups - described as one of the key themes for the future of tech.
I enjoyed the insight into London's unique startup culture that I experienced at Digital Shoreditch - it was a great platform to facilitate that discussion and showcase what the city is capable of.