Technology experts from all over, flocked to Belfast this week for the much anticipated DigitalDNA 2018.
The two-day event brought some of the biggest names in the industry and over 3,000 delegates from local businesses together to share knowledge and network. With 150 speakers, expertise were displayed across eight key themes: Marketing, Data, Security, FinTech, DevOps, Innovation, Tech for Good and Startups.
On Tuesday, we heard Jamie Bartlett, Director at think tank Demos, Leo Johnson, Partner and Disruption Lead from PwC, Noga Tal, Head of Global Strategic Initiatives at Microsoft for Startups, Kieran Flanagan, VP of Marketing for Hubspot and Ash Ali, the first Marketing Director at Just Eat - just to name a few!
A few stand-out moments for us, here at Flint Studios, included;
Jamie Bartlett’s in-depth look at the dark-web and the future of online crime. He highlighted that there is inspiration to be taken from the clever and creative ways in which online criminals work. Their constant changing and adapting to be at the cutting edge, has resulted in them creating better and better marketplaces.
Kieran Flanagan and his refreshing talk on The Marketers Guide to Growth was nothing short of inspiring. He gave us the latest insights on content teams and how to restructure them, the ways in which content marketing is maturing and how to justify taking risks for growth using data and machine learning.
Ash Ali shared with us how he, as the first Marketing Director of JustEat, managed to grow the startup idea into the online food ordering giant we know today. Using business acumen, growth hacking skills and the MILES Framework, his 5 Key Takeaways (no pun intended) included:
- Know thy customer
- Go where your customers go
- Be creative
- Know thy numbers
- Have a growth culture
Day 2 of the event, for us, was all about UpSTART 2018 - with Flint Studios Managing Director, Jeremy Biggerstaff on the judging panel for the competitions third year.
The startups were given the opportunity to pitch and exhibit their startup, take part in a post-event investor and judges networking social, as well as pre-arranged 1-2-1 investor meetings.
Hosted by Startacus, the competition was played out in 2 rounds, starting with approx 25 disruptive startups and culminating with 1 eventual winner - Clinishift.
CliniShift is a health technology company that provides mobile app solution for nurses and doctors & staffing solution for the health care sector in Ireland and internationally.
Jeremy Biggerstaff, Managing Director of Flint Studios, said:
“It’s really rewarding to be involved with initiatives such as upSTART at Digital DNA that shine a light on the fantastic work these successful startups are doing. As the 2017 Digital DNA Digital Company of the Year, we were determined to give-back to the industry and help nurture the startup community not only by sitting on the judging panel but by providing specialist mentoring to the winner. I was hugely impressed by all 25 participating companies all of which are bursting with strategic intelligence and innovation. Congratulations to Clinishift, a deserved winner, and we are very much looking forward to working with Aimée and the team to provide support as they look to the next chapter.”
UpSTART runner up, aiPatient, revolutionised medical training by creating the first artificially intelligent patients. By enabling the next generation of doctors to practice effectively and examine their own progress, aiPatient believe they can improve patient care.
Other speakers at Digital DNA included: Aoife Caulfield, Emerging Client Solutions UK & Europe at Twitter; Joanna Jarjue, BBC’s The Apprentice; Rioch Edwards-Brown, founder of So You Wanna Be in TV; Naomi Timperley, Director at Tech North Advocates; Sarah Hooper, CRM Director at Edit and Henry Helgeson, Founder and CEO of Cayan.
All round, we enjoyed a fantastic two days at the event learning about Northern Ireland's tech scene as well as hearing from some of the industry's most prolific digital speakers. We’re already looking forward to next year!