I attended an excellent Leeds Digital Festival event on the future of safety tech yesterday.
I’m writing it up into a piece proper, but for now I wanted to share a thought-provoking quote from Crisp founder and CEO Adam Hildreth.
Adam explains why online safety tech has become doubly important in protecting people against misinformation during the pandemic:
“What really changed for us about a year ago was that people were really seeing the real world impact of information around vaccination.
“We saw a massive turning point where children were still being groomed and harmed, and terrorism-based issues remained.
“But for us, Covid-19 almost made it a real-world issue for everyone where people were saying they wouldn’t get vaccinated because of what they’d read on whatever messaging app they were consuming things on.
“So, actually, we saw quite a shift change in people realising that [online safety tech] isn’t just about a really niche problem; it’s one affecting all of society.
“One of the frustrations in the space we are in is that everyone doesn’t always see just the level of impact that misinformation has on people and how we need to protect them.”
I don’t have as many dealings with consultancies as I do scaleups in my day-to-day role, which is why I attended a Leeds Digital Festival seminar yesterday about BJSS‘s international expansion.
It was interesting to hear personal stories from its employees who relocated from Leeds to set up new offices in places such as Portugal and New York – a daunting prospect, never mind at the peak of a pandemic. Software engineer Rebecca, who relocated to Lisbon, said:
“If you are interested in [moving abroad to set up an office], there is no perfect time to do so – and I always think that thinking about it gives you more opportunity to worry about things. “Once you’re actually doing it, you find that you’re there, have things to focus on, and the worries have passed.”
BJSS Head of Digital Transformation Sarah Tulip said that the consultancy’s expansion efforts are driven by its people:
“People will always be the key to a consultancy like BJSS’s growth and capability to grow into new regions. We are invested in growing talent in the form of young people. We want to ensure we are investing in the cities and countries that we move to and we also have a big commitment to Leeds, our heart where BJSS and its culture was founded.”
Otter.ai (or Otter) is an AI-powered speech-to-text translation app that captures, transcribes and makes audio transcriptions searchable. Simon Lau, its VP of Product, joined the company in 2017 one year after it was founded. Otter started out in B2C before evolving to B2B, and today it is doubling down on helping its users to capture everything said during meetings. That includes everything from virtual meetings to physical ones in coffee shops all the way up to large conferences such as TechCrunch Disrupt and Web Summit.…
Attention digital tech founders: my colleague Gary Davidson is providing free investment advice as part of his new role as Tech Nation‘s Investment Lead for Entrepreneur Engagement. Find out more about the support Gary can provide, in addition to his new role as ambassador for Landscape VC, here.
It feels like only two minutes ago I was hunched over a MacBook interviewing Max’s cofounder Alex Durrant 🧩 for a podcast in Futurelabs in Leeds! Brilliant to see Manchester-based Jigsaw go from strength-to-strength while targeting US domination.…
Five years ago I sat in the audience to watch the first Northern Stars pitch comp, then ran by Tech North. It is incredible to see first-hand how it has evolved over the years into its successor in #RisingStars, which is now a super diverse and accessible national competition
This morning’s Rising Stars Winners’ Announcement by Tech Nation has been truly impressive – in terms of both its slick production and seamless transition to a virtual event – and the top-notch quality of its 10 winning digital tech companies from across the UK.
Well done to our Competitions Lead Esme Caulfield, who puts every ounce of passion into making Rising Stars great – and it really shows.