This week I am in London for London Tech Week, which has over 55,000 delegates from 90 countries, in partnership with the UK Department for International Trade. The UK leads Europe in technology investment and unicorns, which is why I am in the capital of the UK.
COLORADO COMPANIES ARRIVE IN BRITAIN TO FIND OPPORTUNITY AND INNOVATION
This week I was fortunate enough to have a front row seat helping lead a ground-breaking inaugural outreach in order to develop an exchange of innovation between Denver and London and the greater UK. The most exciting aspect of this partnership is the cooperation between the public and private sector as we forged new relationships and identified new opportunities. The Denver Economic Development and Opportunity office and The UK Department for International Trade, along with London and Partners and the UK Foreign Trade office, hosted five innovative Tech Entrepreneurs this week in and around London Tech Week Events.
The UK welcomed us with open arms, and more than one cup of coffee, as we discussed political climate, economic development opportunities, and in short, how we could link arms together to create a seamless flow of business between the heartland of America and the gateway to Europe.
Our Colorado Entrepreneur Delegates consisted of Tech-Focused companies that already lead our economy. This includes myself, Matt Frary, Chief of Chaos at SmarterChaos, (a digital marketing and customer acquisition solutions provider). It also includes Andrea Pearson, CMO of Dispatch Health (an on-demand urgent care platform), Shail Mehta, CEO/Founder of The Last Gameboard (a physical and virtual gaming platform), Charles Von Thun, Chairman of RemoteLock, (an access control as a Service, focused in the vacation rental, retail and short term rental market) and Jon Nordmark, Founder and CEO of Iterate.ai (an end-to-end innovation workflow platform).
The four key takeaways our Delegation received were:
- Companies and Government Departments that wouldn’t normally interact can in fact create new and interesting partnerships to build unforeseen opportunities. We had members of Parliament, such as Dr. Liam Fox, the UK Secretary of State for International Trade, who spoke directly to our group of start-up Entrepreneurs, inspiring us one-on-one to think differently about how to approach issues and to work directly with the UK to bring our certain brand of collaboration and innovation to London.
- Brexit is just a distraction for the tech sector and startups that has minimal concern for our companies as we break down the actual borders and create a virtual borderless eco-system. The Department for International Trade has done a wonderful job of ensuring that disruption will be minimal and that we can accelerate past Brexit into a much bluer ocean opportunity.
- There are unexpected and very creative solutions for real problems that exist in the tech sector in Britain. We expected to find great companies when we came on this Delegation Trip to London Tech week that there are great companies, but we have confirmed that such creative companies exist in the London and UK technology scene, that are ready to activate and get to work to solve global challenges together. We knew that there must be innovative solutions out there, but to create this bridge
between our countries has now created a super-highway of ideas to flow.
- Not only did we find conversations interesting, but we have been able to activate real sales discussions and opportunities in real time before we even go home. There were multiple occasions that during our meetings and sessions that several of the Entrepreneurs in the group made deals or started to make deals right during the session. This was an opportunity to do actual business, rather than just talking about it.
Frannie Matthews, CEO of Colorado Technology Association says, “Some of the most productive moments were unexpected. We were able to get a group of Entrepreneurs and Private Sector folks in the room together and like a bunch of fireflies, the ideas sparked and lit the way for actual opportunities to ignite.” Adding to that, Tim Martinez, Global Business Development Manager at Denver Economic Development and Opportunity expressed, “Denver and London are so much more parallel in our values and opportunities than other markets, which raises our profiles as cities to compete arm-in-arm in a global technology eco-system where together we can punch above our weight class and capture true value.”
To learn more about the UK technology industry click here.