This week, we at Business News Wales are thrilled to interview Imogen Bunyard, who is a speaker at the 2018 Digital Festival which will be taking place on the 21st & 22nd May at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.
Imogen COO, Qadre, most recently co-founded blockchain consultancy Zerado, alongside providing an executive lead for projects and operations for its subsidiary company Disberse. Previously, she project managed the world’s first significant financial blockchain project, authored a report for the Welsh Government’s Financial & Professional Service sector, influencing huge investment into the region, and led operations and projects as part of the team at Ariadne Capital. Imogen additionally provides digital strategy advisory at board-level to several NGOs
Q: Hi Imogen, tell us a little bit about yourself and Qadre
A:Imogen is a blockchain pragmatist, but has been a promoter of the Welsh technology and investment sectors for many years – working with public and private sectors to promote internal excellence and strong external relations with the rest of the UK. Qadre is an organision bringing trust to the digital world through enterprise solutions – built on Qadre’s blockchain technology Plug.
Q:What is it that attracted you to the Digital Festival?
A:We have been a part of the past two events and a long-term supporter of Wales’ digital revolution. The Digital Festival does a fantastic job of show-casing the best and brightest in the technical ecosystem, and why it’s a fantastic region to operate from.
Q:Which speaker are you most excited about seeing at Digital Festival?
A:Matthew Melling of DIT – trade is going to be so critical for Wales and the UK as a whole to establish ourselves as a technological leader in post-Brexit Britain.
Q:Where do you see Wales’ tech scene ten years from now?
A:Specialised in a few niche technologies and industries, for example RiskTech, and integrated into the international landscape.
Q:What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
A:Recognising a specific need in a certain time and place, then having the courage and ability to implement that vision in the real-world.
Q: What one quality does every entrepreneur need to succeed?
A:The passion and drive to follow that mission through, but the awareness of when to adapt and evolve.
Q:Any advice for anyone in the early stages of, or considering, starting their own business?
A;Make sure you start with a real need here and now – being early or late is as good as being wrong… and never follow the money!
Q:What can we expect from your session at Digital Festival?
A:Firstly, that blockchain is not the solution to everything. In fact it’s not a solution for most things – it’s a very simple distributed cryptographically-enabled databases that is uniquely good at only a couple of things. However, if you break it down to its core principles, you find a technology that is extremely good at enabling accountability, transparency, and immutability – something which we have lost in the ever-increasing blurring between the digital and physical worlds. Secondly, we will take a look at real use-cases – those being tested and those being implemented. Blockchain isn’t sexy, but once you get past the hype, it gets very interesting…
Q:What do you predict will be the biggest tech development within the next 10 years?
A:I think the biggest thing we’re likely to see is the integration of technologies – to date, many of the trending technologies have been funded for siloed R&D – which significantly limits the value we can derive from them. Blockchain, for example, is simply a database when developed independently – by integrating data analytics, IoT, and machine learning, this technology can reach real people and operate independently – removing enormous manual costs and empowering people.
Q:Lastly, describe Digital Festival in three words.
A:Innovative, informative, and aspirational!