June 11, 2019

The survival guide to London Tech Week

Russ Shaw’s top picks among the 300+ events

Russ Shaw

4 min read

Six years ago, when London Tech Week was first launched, the word fintech did not exist, digital health and automation were visions of the future, and Tech London Advocates was just starting out with only 200 members.

Since then, a lot has changed. London has become a go-to place for entrepreneurs, and at this year’s week of tech celebration we are expecting 15,000 attendees, around 8,000 companies, and over 600 speakers – from politicians to entrepreneurs, academics and business leaders.

15,000 attendees, 8,000 companies, 600+ speakers, 300+ events

From an outsider perspective, the week can seem daunting. With over 300 events happening across the capital, it becomes crucial to any tech fanatic, business leader and entrepreneur, to pencil in some of the key events taking place in the city that continues to celebrate this space.


Kicking off at Here East, London’s tech and innovation campus at the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will be filled with a line-up of events that will keep you busy throughout the week such as Be Local, But Act Global.

Moving West for CogX - the event that got everyone buzzing last year will be once again taking over King’s Cross for three days. CogX will convene leaders, academics and industry experts to talk all things future - from AI to emerging technology, the event will address the issues that matter, including the future of work, innovation and investment.

Opening up the event will be the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who will be delivering a keynote speech at the Impact Stage. But the incredible line-up doesn’t end there, with speakers including Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank as well as top leaders from DeepMind. King’s Cross will be echoing the future of London’s tech.

If you are an AI fan, the AI Summit hosted by TechXLR8 at ExCel London will be a must. London currently hosts over 700 companies in AI, becoming the leading capital for AI businesses – more than Paris and Berlin combined. In addition to the AI Summit, expect a lot of content from over 600 speakers across different sectors united by the ambition to change the future. Other events include the AR & VR World Summit and our Global Tech Advocates sibling network, Tech Nordic Advocates who will be hosting the ‘The Best of Nordic/Baltic (fin)Tech Summit.’

Finally, don’t miss out on Bloomberg’s flagship event ‘Sooner Than You Think’, on Tuesday and Wednesday, at Centre Hall in Westminster. You can expect speakers such as Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer, Cal Henderson, co-founder of Slack, and Clare Barclay, COO at Microsoft UK. Together we will be touching on technological breakthroughs that are transforming our global economy today and in the future.

With only 14.6% senior UK tech leaders being female and 70.5% senior executive teams who do not come from a BAME background, the industry struggles with diversity.

Throughout the week, the events will generate thoughtful insights and solutions to some of the key challenges facing our industry. It is a week to celebrate the sector's achievements, but it is also a moment for reflection. With only 14.6% senior UK tech leaders being female and 70.5% senior executive teams who do not come from a BAME background, the industry struggles with a diversity and inclusion epidemic.

This year London Tech Week will seek to address the issue. The Inclusive Innovation lounge was solely built with the purpose of uniting organisations, companies, and advocacy groups in one place to identify potential solutions and initiatives ensuring that people of all backgrounds and across all spectrums can access the tech industry.

Although London Tech Week runs for 7 days, its impact is everlasting – in over 6 years, London’s tech scene has drastically changed, proving to all those sceptical that London is the epicentre of tech in Europe.

The industry continues to be the British economy’s shining star, proving that growth and innovation can overcome times of uncertainty and unrest. Nonetheless, the sector still cries for an open mindset that welcomes innovation, talent, international relations and access to capital – and London Tech Week will be conveying this.

Expect a week of tech where London will be celebrating the future of the British digital economy.