Festival of Digital Disruption Makes Waves with Local Sixth Form and University Students

4 February 2019

Festival of Digital Disruption Makes Waves with Local Sixth Form and University Students

Henley Business School proudly sponsored the recent Festival of Digital Disruption, held between 21-23 November 2018 and attracting 600 young people to engage them with the pathways and opportunities that new technologies can provide businesses.

The Festival covered a wide range of topics, featuring a series of speakers at the Tech for Good Conference that covered everything from unmanned aerial surveillance to a live demonstration of a glove that vocalises sign language. The Festival also included a Fashtech challenge where local schools pitched their ideas for the wearable technology fashions of the future and the launch of the Thames Valley 50 Game Changers.

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Jurek Sikorski, Executive Director of Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship, chaired the Creative Ways to Fund panel on 22 November 2018, which focused on the stories behind how business founders of exciting tech companies managed to find funding. The panel included Tim Brownstone, CEO of KYMIRA and recipient of HBA funding, Rhian Burrell, CEO of Osokey and an occupant of the Henley Start-Up Business Incubator, Dan Hydes, founder and CEO of Ignite Data, and Katrina Larkin, co-founder and Head of Fora. The four panel members answered questions and provided some really valuable insights from their experiences.

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The key points that were taken away from the Creative Ways to Fund panel were that business founders can explore multiple options when looking for funding, from bootstrapping to angel investment and crowdfunding. Jurek spoke positively about the opportunities for funding and offered advice to other founders, stating: “There is always money available to fund ideas that represent new and better ways of doing things, especially improving peoples’ lives and helping organisation to be serve their customers.”

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Louize Clarke, the co-creator of the Festival and Director of Connect TVT, said: “We wanted to polarise the tech community in Reading – not just the big logos sat out on the periphery in the business parks but the entire eco-system. We had start-up founders, investors and the next generation of developers and entrepreneurs all sharing their ideas and stories. By making Reading and the surrounding area a true digital destination we will attract more people to come and work here and inspire the next generation into careers with the region’s tech companies.”

The dates for the 2019 Festival of Digital Disruption are on 20-22 November, so be sure to keep these dates free. To find out more about the Festival of Digital Disruption, go to their website.

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If you have any questions, please contact Jurek Sikorski by email at jurek.sikorski@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 8188.