From business exits and AI to digital marketing and adtech, here’s what was discussed at tech events this week


We’re about to take our first step into a brave new post-Brexit world but, before all of that, the FieldHouse team took many steps all over London last night at a series of tech events – here’s what they heard

Paulina Lundin
Digital Manager

Typical isn’t it. You wait ages for a bus and then they all come along at once.

While the likes of CES, LDN Tech Week, Slush and Web Summit are big fixtures spread throughout the year, there are plenty of one-off evening events peppering the ecosystem each week for investors and entrepreneurs to sink their teeth into.

But some truly bus-like behaviour was evidenced in a big way just last night when half of the team was out of the office for the afternoon and evening attending a series of discussions across the capital.

With topics ranging from exiting tech businesses to AI and beyond, we’ve rounded up what took place at each event.

Calling all tech founders who are planning to exit!

Last night I went to Calling all tech founders who are planning to exit!, a talk hosted by UKTN in association with Moore King Smith. It was aimed at providing founders with the toolkit for exiting their startup, including a guide to ‘how’ and ‘when’.

On the panel was a VC involved in multiple sales, a corporate involved in mergers and acquisitions, a startup that recently exited and the corporate finance director at Moore King Smith, who has a proven track record of successfully navigating the sale process.

The well-attended talk provided interesting insight into the two main exit avenues – acquisition and IPO. On top of that, two nuggets of wisdom for startups to take away were:

(1) Always have a back-up buyer.

(2) Understand why your business is desirable and, whether it be product, customers, profit, IP or team, focus on that and nail it.

Natalie Bishop, @natalie1bishop

Behind the Hype LDN: AI and Machine Learning

The third instalment of Finastra’s Behind the Hype series was hosted at the Barclays Rise building in Shoreditch last night. The topic was AI and Machine Learning – an area getting a lot of attention from many in the media and financial industry, but a term that remains a mystery to many.

Ben Houghton, Barclays’ head of data science, and Teodor Popescu, data engineer at the BBC, gave talks on the applications of AI and machine learning around tracking and finding fraudulent payments and tagging news articles to give real time information to users. This was followed by a great Q&A with a standing room-only crowd.

An interesting point was raised around the fail rate of many AI projects – indeed, as many as 90% of AI projects fail. However, the learnings from the 90% of failures go into the 10% of successes. Considering the cost associated with AI development, the failure rate is very important, proving a return on investment from AI can be difficult.

Ant Avrili, @AntAvrili

Scale Your Tech Biz with Digital Marketing & Content

For Scale Your Tech Biz with Digital Marketing & Content, I visited co-working space Huckletree in Shoreditch. With speakers from the worlds of digital, video, advertising, marketing and media, there was a lot to digest, which I’ve broken down into four clear takeaways.

(1) Content is key in the B2B decision-making process. It’s especially critical in the early stages when 91% of buyers are consuming content versus 42% in the late stage.

(2) What does your SEO keyword strategy look like? A good start would be to define 100 keywords or phrases that someone would search for when they want to find your business.

(3) Struggling with getting clicks on your social media content? Instead of a call to action “Read our new blog about top tips for IT managers”, can you rephrase it to something more alluring?

(4) What value do you give to your customers when you actually reach them through ads and, when they click, what makes them convert to a client? You might have all the right digital elements and targeting in place but how insightful is the landing page that you link to in your PPC ads?

These things should all be crucial to keep in mind when you plan your digital marketing and content strategy.