The UK’s largest regional tech festival, Birmingham Tech Week, is returning for what is set to be the biggest yet. Taking place from 16-20 October 2023, the event will bring over 25 sessions and 150 speakers together, including tech founders, government officials and industry experts.
Over the five days, around 7,500 attendees are set to congregate in venues across the West Midlands, including HSBC’s HQ, The Bond Digbeth, The Exchange, and the ICC – to enjoy tech expos, skills symposiums, summits, and panel discussions aplenty. Highlights of this year’s event will include a Leadership Summit, Digital Skills Symposium, Global West Midlands event, and a Black-Tie Dinner & Awards.
Tech West Mids (formerly Birmingham Tech), the not-for-profit organisation behind the festival, will work closely with founding patrons HSBC UK, Gowling WLG, and the University of Warwick, to showcase the region’s tech capabilities at what is set to be the biggest event since its inception in 2019.
Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe, yet it produces the most inventions per year, with nearly 65% registered from across the region. Moreover, the West Midlands has nearly 6,000 tech companies employing a diverse workforce of over 38,000 people – all of which contribute to an ecosystem that is now worth over £15 billion to the economy.
Demonstrating this innovation, Birmingham Tech Week will cover a number of topics across its main programme and associated fringe events. Subjects including Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, and Augmented Reality will give businesses access to expert content designed to help their growth ambitions. Showcasing the region’s rich tech ecosystem, events will include advice on access to funding, global exporting, digital skills, and more.
Each day will follow a core theme:
Monday – Leadership; starting the week off with an opening event and exclusive leadership breakfast.
Tuesday – Digital skills; featuring a digital skills symposium to discuss topics such as how to attract, recruit, retain and develop digital talent within a growing organisation.
Wednesday – Global West Midlands event; delivered by the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC), Global West Midlands: The Tech That Makes Tomorrow Work will exhibit some of the region’s world-leading tech innovations and opportunities.
Thursday – Growth; the Tech Growth Summit, featuring speakers from industry leaders.
Friday – Celebration; rounding off the week with a black-tie dinner and awards ceremony to celebrate the greatest minds in the West Midlands tech sector.
HSBC UK is a patron of Birmingham Tech Week. Talking ahead of this year’s event, CEO Ian Stuart comments:
“Businesses in Birmingham have a critical role to play in propelling innovation and digital solutions to meet customers’ rapidly evolving needs. As the leading bank for companies in the innovation economy HSBC UK is delighted to be supporting Birmingham Tech Week.
With our financial strength, international network and digital capabilities we’re ideally placed to open up opportunities for tech companies not only in Birmingham, but also across the rest of the UK and all around the world.”
Global growth capital investor, BGF, has shown a vote of confidence in Birmingham’s tech scene through their continued investment in the region and its businesses since 2011. Andy Gregory, CEO of BGF, adds:
“We’re delighted to be sponsoring Birmingham Tech Week 2023. The Midlands is quickly establishing its presence as a global tech hub and BGF is committed to supporting and funding more high-growth tech scaleups across the region. Having invested over £600 million in the Midlands since 2011, we’re continually impressed by the ambition and tenacity of tech businesses in Birmingham.
We hope that by supporting initiatives such as Birmingham Tech Week, the region’s entrepreneurs and management teams have even more of the support, connections and knowledge sharing that they need to scale up and compete on a global stage.”
Since the first Birmingham Tech Week in 2019, the festival has grown 20% year-on-year and has featured talks and input from some of the West Midlands’ best innovators and entrepreneurs. This year will welcome speakers from Microsoft, Accenture, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and the Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street, to name a few.
Sharing his thoughts about the progress of the festival and his hopes for this year, Yiannis Maos MBE, CEO of TechWM and Birmingham Tech Week, said:
“I like to think I am a fairly optimistic person, but I am also a realist, and if I am being honest, I don’t know if I ever truly thought that Birmingham Tech Week would become as big as it has. At Tech WM we’re on a mission to connect, amplify, and transform the region’s tech sector, and Birmingham Tech Week works to do exactly that. Bringing together some of the best minds in the business, shouting about and celebrating the work we all do and, in turn, working towards making the West Midlands the global tech hub it has the power to be.
“This year’s event is set to be the biggest yet and I really can’t wait to see the finished product and to see how it is received by the audience. We still have a way to go but already, we’ve got some great speakers and events lined up that should be a real treat for anyone who pays us a visit! My hopes for this year… that everyone has fun of course but also that they leave with new ideas, new connections and a new understanding of the power the West Midlands tech sector truly holds.”
Birmingham Tech Week is now open for registration and expressions of interest for speakers, sponsors, and fringe events.