THE global trend towards sharing technology provides a unique opportunity for Belfast and Northern Ireland entrepreneurs – that was the message last week as hundreds gathered for the city’s biggest home-grown technology event, TechXplore.
Now in its third year, TechXplore 2015 heard from fifteen expert speakers on a range of subjects including music tech, health tech, start-ups, social media and news media. Speakers and delegates came from London, Dublin and New York for the event which aims to inspire individuals and organisations to develop digital technology enterprises here in Northern Ireland.
TechXplore was created by Belfast communications consultancy MW Advocate and is supported by Belfast City Council and law firm Mills Selig. This year’s event also included a ‘Meet the Venture Capital’ event and the city’s first ever TechCabaret, developed by the team behind Culture Night.
TechXplore organiser & MW Advocate Partner Carl Whyte said: “In a world where the largest accommodation provider doesn’t owns a single bedroom and the fastest growing taxi operator doesn’t own a car, businesses like AirBnB and Uber show a pattern emerging of consumers and vendors more willing to share their resources than ever before. This trend is something that businesses in Belfast can harness to their advantage allowing them to compete globally.”
Lord Mayor Arder Carson added: “Belfast City Council is committed to promoting technology and business start-ups as well as encouraging economic growth across a wide range of sectors and industries. TechXplore allows local companies and organisations to learn from and build connections with national and international experts in various technologies and industries. This year’s event is the biggest yet and we look forward to building and supporting new business relationships in our tech and start-up sectors.”
Kathryn Walls, Director at Mills Selig added: “The global technological revolution means that companies here in Belfast now have unparalleled access to international markets. If you have a solid business idea, today’s digital technology and investment structures means that you can make it happen. TechXplore brings together local organisations and businesses with national and international experts to share experience and hopefully new ventures will result from today’s event.”
TechXplore speakers included Jon Vanhala, former Head of Digital at Universal Music; US music expert Bill Campbell; social media guru David Levin; Amanda Hale from US political news site TalkingPointsMemo.com as well as a host of local speakers including Danny Turley, Performa Sports; Tracy Keogh; Godfrey Gaston from Titan IC Systems; Chris Sherrard from Belfast Live, Joe Galvin, Europe News Editor of Storyful; Dr Tom Lynch from Experior Medical and Mark Lee from the Department of Health.
The event also included the city’s first TechCabaret and a ‘Meet the VC’ event.