Tech City UK Blog

OpenCo_UK

To shine a spotlight on tech talent across the UK, Tech City UK has joined forces with OpenCo to showcase some of our most exciting digital businesses.

This year’s OpenCo UK event is a double first. Not only is it the first OpenCo event to be hosted across the UK, it is also the first time the festival has been hosted in multiple cities simultaneously.

Building on the success of last year’s event in London, OpenCo will be opening up the doors of startups and digital businesses again, across London on October 2nd. Many of London’s Tech City startups will be welcoming OpenCo guests to hear their stories of starting, scaling and performing across a range of different tech sectors. We’re delighted to see so many Tech City startups getting involved.

At the same time on Oct 2nd, companies from some of the UK’s emerging technology hubs (Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol / Bath) will also open their doors to the public, providing a unique opportunity to see what happens behind the curtains of the UK’s most creative companies.

OpenCo describe the events as a mashup of an open studio tour and a tech conference. With over 100 companies already taking part, London-based companies such as King.com, Airbnb and Level39 will be joined by a collection of exciting and innovative start-ups from all four corners of the country.

Hosting companies across the UK will include knowledge transfer software provider EON Reality in Manchester; digital entertainment pioneers Starship in Liverpool; game developer Sumo Digital in Sheffield; cloud services provider Zynstra and enterprise mobile app developer Mubaloo will be hosting in both London and Bristol.

At Tech City UK, the partnership with OpenCo feels like a natural complement to our work to accelerate the growth of digital businesses across the country. What’s more, the UK wide OpenCo event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Tech City UK Cluster Alliance members.

Currently made up of 14 tech clusters, the Tech City UK Cluster Alliance provides a platform to facilitate and accelerate the growth of digital companies across the UK. This autumn’s OpenCo showcase demonstrates the convening power of the Alliance members to get their communities engaged and mobilised. From London to Bristol, and Sheffield to Birmingham, the willingness and responsiveness of the Cluster Alliance members, and their ability to bring on board numerous great host companies, speaks to the importance and growth of the tech clusters across the UK.

In keeping with the theme of togetherness, OpenCo UK is designed to be accessible to all. Admission is free for the whole day. The event itself will comprise of one hour segments, where the leaders of host companies share the stories behind their businesses, their vision, as well as any new projects or developments they are working on.

OpenCo is set to become a truly global phenomenon. Now known as NewCo outside of the UK, OpenCo also takes place in New York, Detroit, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Boulder, Los Angeles and Amsterdam. It has attracted over 10,000 attendees in the past two years, and counts many of the world’s most forward-thinking business leaders amongst its participants. By hosting events simultaneously across multiple cities, this year’s OpenCo UK event has raised the bar. Seeing the UK throw open its doors may inspire other tech communities to host the event simultaneously hosted across multiples countries and time zones in future.

For now, it’s important that London and the UK celebrates its success stories and uses them to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and start-ups. As with this year’s OpenCo event, let’s make sure everyone’s invited to the party.