This week, the London Olympia centre hosted the biggest London Tech Week to-date,  connecting up to 45,000 business tech giants, investors and entrepreneurs. 

At Made By Giants, we were there to make sure we didn’t miss a beat. Immersing ourselves in the latest tech debate is, quite literally, what we do. 

In case you couldn’t make it, here is a key summary of what we learnt at London Tech Week this year 👇 

  • UK continues to attract VCs: The event is a great opportunity for VCs to interact and see what’s next in the tech space. And, we’ve seen that the UK will remain attractive to investors. Although data from PitchBook shows VC funding has decreased compared to 2021 and 2022, AI brings a hopeful future. During the event, Tech Nation unveiled a new report valuing the UK’s AI sector at £72.3 billion. This surpasses any other European country and positions the UK as a global leader in AI. The report also revealed that the UK is home to over 1,800 VC-backed AI startups, which attracted 12% of total investment in the first quarter of 2024.
  • Fintech leading the way: Despite the recent decline in VC investment, fintech belongs among the UK’s best funded startup sectors – Monzo’s recent raising of £340 million underlines the trend. This goes hand in hand with the rising interest in alternative banking solutions. During a panel discussion, the Founder and CEO of Open Banking Excellence Helen Child highlighted the collaboration between fintech firms and HMRC as a testament to the growing integration of fintech solutions.
  • From AI FOMO to AI TOMO: Just like last year, AI dominated the majority of panels. The IBM technology director Bill Unsworth said companies no longer have AI FOMO. Instead, they have AI TOMO – they are, for good reasons, terrified of not implementing AI solutions. According to a recent Microsoft report, AI and cloud could increase the UK’s GDP by over £550 billion by 2035, so its potential is widely recognised by investors. Now, businesses will need to ask why they need AI, with a clear understanding of its impact on their products and employees. Likewise, they will need to implement AI ethically and securely, complying with fast-evolving policies. Yet, Humayun Sheikh, Founder and CEO of Fetch.ai, addressed the common worry that over-regulation might kill AI innovation. To tackle the issue, he said regulators should be focusing on AI “actions” and not AI “outputs” – a subtle but important distinction. Instead of looking at what AI produces, regulators need to make sure data feeding AI models are unbiased and accurate in the first place.
  • Cybersecurity as a collective issue: Discussions on cybersecurity were particularly relevant in light of a recent cyber attack on London’s NHS hospitals, resulting in an urgent call for blood donations. Once again, AI was a hot topic within this space. While acknowledging that AI brings inherent cybersecurity risks, such as democratising access to hacking tools, the speakers agreed AI’s largest benefit for cybersecurity lies in its predictive capabilities. The panellists also emphasised the importance of treating cybersecurity as a fundamental security issue, rather than a tech problem only concerning IT departments. Their consensus was clear: to avoid CISO burnout, cybersecurity must become a collective responsibility within businesses.

This year, London Tech Week reaffirmed the UK tech sector’s appeal to investors, particularly in the AI sector. But to truly capitalise on this momentum, the UK must prioritise building a strong regulatory framework for AI, similar to its influential role in fostering fintech innovation through robust financial services regulation. Managed effectively, regulation and compliance can serve as strong catalysts for innovation.

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