London Tech Week: Fifth birthdays and tech talks

Ben Clayton

23 Jun 2016

Harvard was out and about again yesterday immersing itself in London Tech Week, with some of the team splitting their time between two tech hotspots in East London. Just a few of the highlights include 21st Century Lego and a tour of Tokyo. We also found out what Citymapper, Shazam and Not on the High Street all have in common – do you know?... Starting in Moorgate, we were celebrating Tech City turning five (where has the time gone?!) at a big old bash in WeWork. Now, if we think back far enough, we might just remember our fifth birthdays…and let us tell you, it was nothing like this! This had all the style, innovation and buzz that you’d expect from a Tech City event. So being our curious selves we spoke to many of the entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups demoing the latest, smartest tech on the scene. We heard about “the 21st century answer to Lego” from Sam Labs, playing with toys that teach coding and creativity; caught up with Pavegen about the most interesting applications of their electricity-generating flooring (it was a Pavegen ‘road’, in case you were wondering!); and had a tour of Tokyo, thanks to Visualise’s VR technology. This, plus short talks from the Chair of Tech City and some of the communities’ biggest start-up success stories, meant we left feeling really quite inspired. In the words of Eileen Burbidge, “Over the last five years, Tech City has put London’s tech scene on the map” – and we couldn’t agree more. It’s played the most incredible role in accelerating the growth of the UK’s digital economy. It was a privilege to be part of the celebrations – happy birthday Tech City! Meanwhile, over in Shoreditch, other Harvard bods attended the General Assembly’s “Intro to the London start-up scene”. Led by Lora Schellenberg, Marketing Lead at General Assembly and Co-Managing Director at Girls in Tech UK, we were given some insider tips on how to break into the rapidly growing tech scene in London. There were big shout-outs to some of the biggest tech companies today which began life as a start-up in London including Citymapper, Shazam and Not On The High Street – cue the applause! Very inspiring stuff. The session provided some clarity on venture capital, angel investing and crowdfunding. It was another great opportunity to learn about Tech City UK and how it laid the foundations for the start-up scene here in London. If you are a start-up looking for some advice, or if you are not sure how to break into the tech scene, attending one of these sessions will really set you on your way. And the good news is, there’s two more days of #LDNTechWeek events to go!