From November 9th to November 15th 2020, Bristol will host its second Bristol Technology Festival. With many events that will span the breadth and depth of the city’s tech and digital sector planned to take place both online and at limited capacity venues. 

Bristol’s Technology Festival was born in 2019 seeking to showcase the sheer scale of technology that had been developed in the local ecosystem, and share the stories of those entrepreneurs, engineers and creatives behind the technology with the people of the city, and further afield. The 2019 inaugural festival hosted 40+ events with over 5,000 attendees with the target for 2020 to reach an even greater audience. 

Bristol has a long-standing history of tech innovation and the ecosystem is booming, with the most productive tech talent in the UK(TechNation). It feeds industries all over the world with breakthrough engineering and digital innovation. The region is famed for its creative approach to technology challenges, and was recently determined as the best city for startups in the UK outside of London. 

2020 has been a year where the whole city has faced unprecedented challenges and the importance of community has never been clearer.  This year the Festival will ask the question: what will the next decade see for the Bristol Tech Cluster and how can it help us to build back better from the current crisis?

Bristol Technology Festival 2020 will seek to capture people’s hopes and predictions for the next decade. In what ways will technology influence how we live and work? What impact will the tech cluster have locally, and globally? 

The festival is coordinated by a group of volunteers from across the ecosystem including representatives from Hargreaves Lansdown, TechSPARK, Deloitte and Engine Shed.  Events throughout the festival are crowdsourced from organisations across the city. These include tech companies, public bodies, schools, community interest groups and charities. Events are open to people in the tech sector, business leaders from across sectors, visitors wanting to know more about the region, and anyone wanting to know more about the city’s digital industries. Some of events include:

  • A webinar on ‘How technology can help you boost your financial skills’ with local scale up Moneyhub
  • The Silicon Gorge pitching competition, showcasing leading startups who are raising capital of between £150,000-£2m to an audience of international investors
  • Growth Agency HDE are hosting a reception for key technology leaders in the region to connect and share knowledge.
  • TechSPARK are announcing their annual, Top 50, list of people in the community who are impacting and putting Bristol’s tech scene on a global stage. 

Ben Shorrock, Managing Director at TechSPARK said “The world has changed since our inaugural event, and we’ve all seen how Tech and Digital businesses have stepped up to offer solutions to a global crisis. Bristol’s tech community will be central to our city’s economy going forward, and the volunteers behind Bristol Technology Festival are committed to showcasing our talent in a socially responsible way. 

We have to grow a diverse workforce, reaching out to and welcoming communities within the city which have not traditionally been included in the tech sector. Secondly, we need to promote the region externally, nationally and internationally, to attract new talent and to continue to enjoy investment in the burgeoning tech businesses here, as many of them are now scaling up, and gaining a global reputation for innovation.”

If you’d like to know about the festival check out the website at https://bristoltechfest.org/

Geraint Evans