Posted by admin@theupgroup |
The Up Group held its first Summer party earlier this week and a host of Europe's top venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and digital leaders enjoyed drinks and canapés at the Oxo Tower. In conjunction with our kind sponsor, Rackspace, and our media partner, The Kernel, over one hundred and fifty people attended.
We have previously organised a number of round-table and entrepreneurially-themed events for senior executives, and the aim this time round was to provide a platform for senior digital executives from across Europe to catch up, exchange ideas and debate who or what is hot in the tech sector.
The more formal part of the evening was kicked off with brief speeches from The Up Group's CEO, Clare Johnston, and Non-Executive Director, Rob Swerling. This was followed by two 'speed panels' with a number of London's top digital leaders. It was at this point that we realised that we were handing a live microphone to Milo Yiannopoulous from The Kernel without a single lawyer in the room on standby! Jokes aside, Milo oversaw a great discussion firstly with the start-up community including Lisa Rodwell from Moo, Adrian Blair from Just Eat , Divinia Knowles from Mind Candy and Joe Stepniewski from Skimlinks. Whilst very different businesses, they shared insights on how they have approached international expansion and the challenges for a start-up in launching in new markets. For all four firms it is clear that digital has allowed them to create a business that interacts with users globally in a completely different way.
After the start-ups it was the turn of the larger media businesses, with Milo speaking to Tanya Cordrey from The Guardian, Rebecca Miskin from Hearst Magazines and Aksel Van der Wahl from Time Out. All three made it clear that digital is not just key on their agenda but at the heart of their strategy. Time Out now has a new investor in Oakley Capital who specifically invested because of the digital vision. Hearst meanwhile is driving a strategy that aims to ensure all of its brands leverage both digital and print in the right way to engage with consumers. Tanya Cordrey from The Guardian explained that their aim is to create the best quality journalism but to be digital in all they do. The discussion moved on to how established businesses engage with start-ups and it became clear that there is a lot of interaction between these firms and entrepreneurs, and all are keen to hear from exciting new start-ups with whom they can partner.
From the discussions, we think it is fair to say that Europe has some great digital businesses and a lot to be excited about! We're very grateful to all who came along for the event; the number as well as the diversity of people who attended showed that the European tech scene is very much alive and kicking. Good luck to all!
For pictures visit our event page at The Up Group Summer Party