Rachel Elnaugh

Rachel Elnaugh

Tech innovators to headline Wales for Digital festival

The fifth annual Wales for Digital event in September will have a new festival feel taking in investors, innovators, smart cities and street food.

Some of the world’s leading tech innovators have been announced in the first wave of names being brought to Wales for Digital (18 - 19 Sep), in a schedule set to take in the internet of things, investors, talent and smart cities.

The fifth annual event, headline sponsored by Welsh fintech pioneer GoCompare, will welcome 2,000 delegates - a mix of innovators, investors, doers and makers - to a new home at Tramshed Tech & Tramshed in Cardiff. 

The festival will be filled with keynote speakers, panels, workshops and roundtables on the digital developments that will shape tomorrow’s world.

Start-ups will have the opportunity to tell their tale to investors looking for the next big thing from a stage set in a cinema, while workshops on AI, 5G, digital manufacturing, growth finance and an investor breakfast will take to the water on a boat sailing from Cardiff Bay down the River Taff.

Pendyris Street, the road immediately outside the venue - just five minutes’ walk from Cardiff Central train station- will be closed to traffic, with an Expo taking place in 13 shipping containers. A selection of street food traders will be pitched up bringing tacos (and more) to the tech-heads.

David Warrender, the chief executive at Innovation Point, said: “Hugely exciting innovations are emerging from the Welsh digital scene on a regular basis and, as the Tech Nation 2017 report cited, we’re central to driving growth in the region.  Bringing these brilliant speakers to share their tales from the top is a smart way to fuel the fires of the dreamers that might want to get investment for their big idea and learn from what these keynotes have seen and done.”

The first keynotes announced include:

  • Jacqueline de Rojas, techUK’s president, Computer Weekly hall of famer, non-executive director of Rightmove and adviser for the Department for Exiting the EU, will headline one of four keynote sessions over the two day event focusing on talent, skills and the future of work.
  • George Berkowski will share his experiences in Insuretech and Fintech and ‘How to Build a Billion Dollar App’. George is the chief product officer at GoCompare.
  • A panel sharing first-hand experience from investors and entrepreneurs on how people with big ideas can bag investment will include former Dragon’s Den star and Red Letter Days entrepreneur Rachel Elnaugh. She will be joined by  ‘The Grumpy Entrepreneur’ David Murray Hundley; managing partner of White Horse Capital and chair at The Accelerator Network, Ian Merricks; Giles Thornley of Finance Wales and Emily Close, an Investor at Albion Ventures.
  • Inma Martinez, considered by Fortune and TIME as one of the world’s leading digital media strategists, built the first A.I. platform for personalising mobile data services and is currently a Venture Partner at Deep Science Ventures.  
  • The next phase of Internet of Things as the creation of business value- not just the number of connected devices- will be tackled by Matt Webb. Matt’s the managing director of R/GA Internet of Things Venture Studio UK, a start-up accelerator in London focused on new breakthroughs in the space.

The full agenda taking in further keynotes, workshop, panels, roundtables and more will be announced in the coming weeks by Innovation Point, the digital innovation company organising the event on behalf of Welsh Government.