What a week we've had! As well as hosting our annual China-UK Hi! Tech Festival, we've also been soaking up the festivities of London Tech Week 2018. We had high hopes, but we can safely say that this year was better than ever!
For those who managed to totally miss it, London Tech Week ran from 11-15 June; our China-UK Hi! Tech Festival took place on the Tuesday and Wednesday.
As ever, the aim of our festival was to encourage a long-term, profitable future for UK-China relations and showcase the best Sino-British tech has to offer. As the UK furthers its preparations to leave the EU and increase its bonds with the rest of the world, there couldn’t be a better time to celebrate what a partnership with China has to offer.
It seems we aren't the only ones who think so: over 120 Chinese delegates plus 380 conference attendees joined the festival, including startups, investors, and business leaders from the UK and China. This year’s festival was even more special as it followed our flagship LTW @China events back in May, where we brought the spirit of London Tech Week to Shanghai and Shenzhen.
If you missed this year’s China-UK Hi! Tech Festival, or you’d simply like to relive the festivities, keep reading for our full Cocoon Networks LTW roundup…
Tuesday was the headline day at this year’s China-UK Hi! Tech Festival. Day one kicked off with a review of our LTW @China events in Shanghai and Shenzhen, followed by opening remarks from Russ Shaw of Tech London Advocates and Julian David of Tech UK.
The first panel event of the day was Tech in Future Lifestyle, chaired by Russ Shaw. Panelists included Sarah Haywood from MedCity, Ross Harper from Limbic AI, Eva Zhang from Alibaba Cloud, Rhidian Williams from X Labs Huawei, Jude Sheeran from Eduserv, and Joel Hughes from Indiegogo.
We loved hearing the panelists discuss how tech could work alongside existing systems like the NHS to find collaborative solutions to common problems. We also loved hearing about the very sci-fi work of Limbic AI, who “cut up brains to create mathematical calculations!”
Next up was the Sharing Q&A Session featuring a number of leading UK and China investment and tech firms. This opened with a keynote presentation from Dr Angelika Sodian, managing director at NIO (UK). Dr Sodian shared how NIO grew from a Chinese startup to a global presence in autonomous vehicles in less than four years. According to Dr Sodian, the future of cars is “electric, autonomous, and cloud-based”.
Dr Sodian then participated in a panel (moderated by our marketing exec, Lara) alongside Jenny Tooth OBE from the UK Business Angels Association, John Liu managing director at China Equity Investment Group and Xiaoxiao Zhu, Lead Venture Architect at BCG Digital Ventures. The panel discussed the investment trends predicted to emerge in the UK and China. According to the panelists, the two countries share several key concerns - an ageing population, healthcare demands, and the environment - so there will be growing opportunities for co-investment.
After a delicious and engaging networking lunch, our delegates settled in for our next session: Will RegTech and Blockchain Become the Next Game Changer? This session opened with a keynote speech from Jason Boud, CEO of RegTech Associates, who took part in our LTW @China trip in May. Jenny Tooth OBE then returned to the stage to moderate our Blockchain and RegTech panel discussion; panelists included Rachel Bentley from KPMG, David Meek from RegTech Associates, Vinod Tailor High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Jeanette Carlsson from Tech Nordic Advocates and William Medley from World Wide Generation.
A regular feature (and firm favourite) at our Hi! Tech Festival is the ‘Dragons’ Den style’ tech entrepreneurs pitch demo. Eight UK startups took to the stage to try to impress any investors that might be in the audience. This year’s pitchers included sustainability FinTech startup, World Wide Generation, 3D gaming tech firm Kodama, Open Cosmos (providers of affordable space missions), fire safety firm Unifi.id, Doordeck, Veridenkey, Cocoon Networks member the Realities Centre, and Admix. We look forward to hearing who impressed the investors!
Our final session of the day concerned The Future of EdTech, and featured a keynote speech from Jason Zhou, CEO of China Ed Tech Unicorn YiXue Education. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr Guy Brown, Director of Northumbria University’s London
We were thrilled to feature four partnership signing ceremonies as part of this year’s China-UK Hi! Tech Festival. We’d like to announce our four new partners, TopChain Group, Join, and London School of Economics. We’ll be sharing more details about these exciting new partnerships soon!
Throughout the festival, we also hosted a startup showcase exhibition where UK and Chinese firms could demo their tech to our delegates. We’d like to thank all the amazing exhibitors who took part, including….
• Galaxy Holding Group
• China Telecom
• World Wide Generation
• Warwick Business School
• Credit Benchmark
• Extreme Fliers
• Quantum of Value
• Prime Dimensions
• NIO (UK)
And after all that, we networked into the evening with our social food and drinks reception!
Our China-UK Hi! Tech Festival started bright and early on Wednesday, with a co-hosted event from BrightTALK, Clevertouch, Marketo, and Cocoon Networks: Transforming Financial Services Marketing into an Engine for Growth.
Featuring presentations from Stuart West (VP of Financial Services at BrightTALK), David Shoesmith (Financial Services AE at Marketo), and Phil Ball (Joint Managing Director at Clevertouch), the event discussed the nuances of financial services marketing, and how marketers in the sector can drive measurable revenue growth.
After a brief spell of downtime in the afternoon, Cocoon Networks hosted Tech London Advocates' RetailTech 50 launch event on Wednesday evening. The RetailTech 50 list highlights the brightest and best of London's vibrant startup ecosystem.
Featuring an interesting presentation from TLA’s Russ Shaw and the opportunity to network with some exciting RetailTech startups, this was the perfect way to wrap up our 2018 Hi! Tech Festival.
The rest of the week
LTW was an especially busy week for our founder and CEO, John Zai! He received invitations to take part in a number of panel events throughout the week.
On Wednesday morning, John Zai appeared as a panelist at The Best of Nordic and Baltic FinTech, organised by Tech Nordic Advocates. John shared his insight on how Nordic and Baltic tech firms can make connections in China. John also delivered the opening keynote speech at TLA’s RetailTech 50 launch event on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, John appeared as a panelist at the Global Ecosystem Summit at the O2. John’s panel slot focussed on Sino-British AI opportunities, and how UK businesses can attract Chinese investment.
As well as all this, John even found time to chat to journalists about Cocoon Networks and our Hi! Tech Festival. This week, we featured in China Daily, Global Times, and Startups.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended this year’s China-UK Hi! Tech Festival, as well as our amazing sponsors…
• NIO (UK)
• London & Partners
• Tech UK
• Tech London Advocates
• The Department for International Trade
• Futian (Shenzhen) District People’s Government
• LongGang (Shenzhen) District People’s Government
• Galaxy Incubator
• Yixue Education
• UK Business Angels Association
We couldn’t have done it without you; thanks again for all your help.
See you at our China-UK Hi! Tech Festival 2019!