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The InnoTech Summit 2013 Highlights

By Oleh Naumko - from InnoTech Summit, London.

On Friday the 26th of April 2013, Lemberg Solutions’ MD visited The InnoTech Summit 2013 (held in London, UK). Here are some of his thoughts on the most impressive speeches and the issues they highlighted.

More than 200 delegates - investors, tech entrepreneurs, government officials, legal and accounting professions - took part in the InnoTech Summit 2013. The latest technologies, UK startups and market trends were discussed during the Summit. Sanderson Jones, the charismatic host of the event, was bursting with jokes and puns, keeping all the visitors entertained in between serious discussions.

UK startups

Rohan Silva, government adviser, discussed UK Government’s impact on technology. He mentioned steps that the UK Government takes to promote London as a high-tech hub on par with Silicon Roundabout in the USA: introduction of entrepreneur visas, opening of Google campus, Open Data Initiative, accessible policy makers.

Edmund Truell, investor and pension fund manager, let his crisp sense of humor shine and send the audience giggling, however he did not fail to mention that budding entrepreneurs should treat him seriously since “you are the brains, I am the money”. Mr Truell criticised the UK as a country with too little ambitions inhabited by people who are too keen to sell early “I have a company, sell it for £3 mln , buy a fast car, relax. Why not grow it to £300mln? People do not want to risk £3mln to get £300mln”. He criticised EU (and UK in particular) Venture Funds for bad performance. The two important advantages of US Venture Funds are, in his opinion:

  • they invest much more into less startups; on average a US VC fund invests 5.5 times more per company than a UK VC fund;
  • time-to-market is crucial, speed is equal to success.

He admitted that the British may be technologically brilliant, while having poor business and sales inclination. He attacked UK bureaucracy that defends status quo, and complicated HR/hiring/dismissal process in the UK that hinders capitalist efficiency.

Big Data trend

A troika panel of Jacqui Taylor (flying binary), David White (Import.io) and Will Lovegrove (Datownia) discussed Big Data, one of the biggest tech trends of 2013.

Import.io strived to solve a problem of how to bring together people who want to use data, and those who know how to access data (the developers). Because Web originally  was based around the idea of documents, not data, nowadays we are often left with need to scrape documents in order to extract data from them.  The philosophy of Import.io is to democratise access to data. Will Lovegrove’s Datownia project is all about collaboration using existing technologies - Dropbox and cloud DB. After the experts expressed their views, audience asked hard questions: e.g. whether the owners of data actually want their data to be scraped?

Jacqui Taylor agreed that there exists a general discrepancy between offline and online law, and offline law is not really adequate in today’s fast-changing world where many things have gone digital. And Will Lovegrove mentioned that privacy of data is a very vague concept in today’s world where big players stealthily collect lots of data from unsuspecting customers: “each of you probably ticked a box on User Agreement with Amazon or Apple, but did you actually read all 50 pages of it? Did you thoroughly check what data you allowed them to use and how?”

Google Trends

Rob Wells, a techie comedian from Google UK, made the audience laugh with his humorous presentation on Google Trends. What we search for reflects the importance of the people/events/things in our lives. Having such a huge amount of data, no wonder Google can make lots of interesting, useful, or perhaps just funny, conclusions. It probably comes as no surprise that search for “vodka+hangover” peaks at Friday night and Sunday morning respectively.

Making networking easier

On a side note, networking at conferences is not always easy: when you are in front of 150-200 random people, how can you know who is relevant? Sometimes event organisers provide participants with a helpful website or mobile app as is the case of ADMERICA! conference guide (iPhone app for the ADMERICA! conference). But more often they are not overly concerned, and this is where third-party apps come in handy. EventBrite portal suggested installing the Bizzabo  application which lists participants linking to their LinkedIn profiles. This definitely helps, about 50 people registered at bizzabo for InnoTech 2013. Another interesting project promoted at InnoTech4013 was Shpare that uses algorithms to analyse information on LinkedIn (and optionally Facebook and Twitter, as well) and automatically matches relevant people at the event.

About Lemberg

Lemberg is a UK mobile and web development company with strong client base in the UK, Europe, and the USA.

Starting from 2007, Lemberg has been helping leading design and marketing agencies, start-ups, innovative businesses deliver brilliant digital solutions for a number of the world’s biggest brands.

Our goal is to go beyond clients’ expectations: as a technology partner, we take the responsibility for implementing the most ambitious, creative and innovative ideas.

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