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Wales’ Biggest Digital Event Attracts Global Experts as Full Agenda is Announced

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Tech leaders from Silicon Valley, Paris, London, Africa, India, Berlin, Brussels and Barcelona are set to tackle tomorrow’s big issues at Digital Festival in Cardiff, as organisers Innovation Point announce the final line-up.

With an exciting mix of interactive workshops, panels and keynotes now confirmed, the founding editor-in-chief of Wired, the CEO and founder of Starling Bank, app engineers saving millennials money, established fintech leaders at GoCompare and a Silicon Valley investor are just some of the names businesses can learn from at Digital Festival, organised by Innovation Point in partnership with Welsh Government.

The international tech event, headline sponsored by fintech pioneer GoCompare, returns to Cardiff on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 May 2018 for its sixth year. Digital Festival will welcome more than 2,000 delegates to the iconic Wales Millennium Centre. Online ticket registration for the event is open at www.innovationpoint.uk/digital-festival with 70% of available tickets already sold out.

Keynotes from big names in the tech world will be delivered from the main stage, including speakers from BT, Sony Europe, TechUK, the UK’s Department for International Trade, British Blockchain Foundation, the Office for National Statistics, the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, Accenture Digital, Garmin and BBC sharing their insight into how the latest innovations can impact on the way organisations operate.  A series of workshops will explore how megatrends like 5G, artificial intelligence and digital privacy can benefit businesses across the UK.

David Warrender, CEO at Innovation Point said:

‘Disruptive solutions to today’s challenges are emerging from the Welsh digital scene more and more, and Innovation Point is central to supporting growth in the region. These exciting updates to our agenda reflect our intentions to support start-ups, incubate ideas and put tomorrow’s tech mavericks in touch with those who have been there and done it.’’

Some of the festival highlights include:

Introducing the Welsh Digital Women

In this year of anniversaries marking milestones for females, Digital Festival is appealing for public nominations to celebrate inspiring Welsh women, breaking the mould and making names for themselves in the tech scene. Ten winners will be revealed at the festival, when Barclay’s Eagle Labs host an exclusive lunch surrounded by the women driving digital industry in Wales, and share their career highlights, the challenges they’ve faced and what advice they would give women starting out on a similar path. Submit your nominations by clicking HERE

Start Up Challenge Sessions

Three start up challenges- set by GoCompare, EdTech 50 and PA Consulting- will seek to solve contemporary challenge from farming to finance, by means of AI and disruptive digital technologies. Winners will receive support to fast track the development of their ideas, mentoring from industry leaders, access to growth accelerators in Wales and the chance to win free office space for three months.

Jackson Hull, chief operating and technology officer at headline sponsor GoCompare, said:

 “We’re excited to offer a unique opportunity for start-ups and talented individuals to get hands on, world class mentoring to help develop their ideas and business.

The winner of the GoCompare ‘Start Up Challenge’ will win mentoring from Lee Griffin, President and Founder of GoCompare. Lee has a wealth of experience as both an entrepreneur and Welsh business leader, and is one of the most knowledgeable people in the country when it comes to growing a tech business from a start up to a national brand.”

The Start Up Zone

With over half of last year’s audience identifying as an SME, the festival has introduced its first Start Up Zone. Businesses less than three years old and with a team of three or less can apply to exhibit in front of investors and mentors, with 20 places available. Selected start-ups will share the space with experts showcasing the latest tech products and services, on-hand to explain how they can add value to organisations of all sizes.

Emerging Tech Zone

Sponsored by CEMET, this zone will house innovations in disruptive technology for festival goers to experience.  Inventions on display include AR driven advertising, the VR keeping children safe on railway crossings and the return of Evoke Education’s Moe the monkey, a character introducing augmented reality to schoolchildren.

Lunch with London Stock Exchange

You are invited to join Emma Titmus, regional manager from London Stock Exchange, as she provides insights into how LSEG are helping support growing technology businesses through their scale up journey. This working lunch is an interactive opportunity for Digital Festival goers to learn more about how to get ready to raise finance with London Stock Exchange.

Tour the city’s latest co-working space

Hop on a free shuttle bus to attend an off-site panel discussion and workshop at The Maltings’ Space2B, where five Welsh start-ups across a variety of sectors will discuss their journey to creating a meaningful brand.

The line-up includes Alex Jenkins owner of Kin&Ilk and the Social Agency, travel blogger Portia Jones of Pip in the City, CEO of Digital Profile, Dan Lewis and founder of Talenbe, Victoria Wood. Find out where they started, the challenges they encountered building a digital brand and their plans for future growth.

The potential to pitch

BeTheSpark are giving five up-and-coming entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business idea, followed by a Q&A session with an expert panel of judges. The winner will benefit from a two-hour mentoring session with a member of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

To apply, contact the BeTheSpark team at [email protected] – closing date Friday 11th May.

Day One – Monday 21st May

A brave new world?  Artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and robotics

From banking to healthcare, this panel will explore how tech is opening doors for companies to transform dated industries, considering the opportunities and risks for incorporating digital tech in business.

How to be oven-ready for that investor pitch

Victoria Hernandez, former CEO of Orange Spain, deal leader at Go Beyond Investments and senior expert to the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 entrepreneurship programme will lead a workshop on building business plans and making them investment ready.

Digital transformation in existing organisations, big, medium and small

In this workshop, festival goers will gain insights into the key prerequisites for a successful digital transformation programme. Considering the best options for big organisations and SMEs, and how to lead the change.

Day Two – Tuesday 22nd May

David Rowan Q&A Session

Attendees with an access all areas pass will meet with founding editor of WIRED magazine, David Rowan in an exclusive Q&A session. On a global quest to meet entrepreneurs, investors and start-ups leading the way in technology-led disruption, David has shared his insights from Melbourne to Monaco, at events including Google Zeitgeist and TED Global.

David Rowan, headline speaker on Tuesday 22 May said:

“At Digital Festival, I’ll be sharing the lessons I’m learning in my intense travels visiting start-up clusters, university R&D labs and venture capitalists.  The future is being built in Shenzhen, Berlin, Tel Aviv and everywhere else that’s on the network. There’s no reason that Cardiff can’t incubate the world-changing digital companies of the future.”

 The world according to smart – how the smart connected world is defining the future of cities, transport, energy, agriculture

From domestic appliances to buildings, wearable tech to autonomous cars, smart agriculture to smart cities – this panel will assess their immense impact on sustainable development and economic growth.

One hundred exclusive Access All Areas passes are available for Digital Festival.  For more information on these and standard free registration, visit: www.innovationpoint.uk/digital-festival