It’s going to be an exciting 2022 of evolution as TechSwindon becomes TechSpark Swindon & Wiltshire, and part of the TechSpark community which represents all things tech in the West.
TechSwindon only really got started in January 2020, six months after the official launch as a side project of Switch On To Swindon. We’ve done most of our community development in lockdowns – which looking back was a positive. We were not only able to reach a much larger audience but also bring in international speakers and start some fascinating conversations.
In total, we’ve delivered over 70 events since March 2020, with topics ranging from investment to mental health, storytelling to founder journeys, with over 2,000 unique attendees. We always aimed to provide practical and peer driven content, with audience engagement and plenty of networking.
Looking forward to 2022, our new brand empowers reflection and gives us the opportunity to tap into the wider TechSPARK community to make connections and share stories from Swansea to Salisbury.
We’re planning to continue with our core events, Tech Founders and Balanced, but change the format to a shorter interview online initially while we wait to get back to in-person. One question is whether the future in person events should be streamed or recorded as we do appreciate the challenge of an in-person event that suits everyone in a region as large as Wiltshire.
An exciting new offering is our jobs board. Talent acquisition is a real focus for our community and having all of our region’s roles in one place will really help amplify the opportunities available.
Our ask is for tech companies to get in touch and get involved. We want to share their stories, hear about their challenges and support their journeys. The power of a community is the connections, and we are here as the hub to facilitate those.
We know we have an amazing tech community in Swindon & Wiltshire and we’re looking forward to working with them in 2022.
The tech sector has been buoyant throughout the Thames Valley in recent years and in the past few months several startups have received major funding rounds with the intention to scale at pace.
The major obstacle has been the competition for talent with high staff turnover and pay inflation caused by this competition.
The skills agenda was therefore the subject of our last Thames Valley Tech meeting with updates from education providers for schools, colleges, universities and adult learners all given a platform to discuss how they are working hard to fill the skills gaps. It was excellent to see connections being made in the virtual room with our tech firms of all sizes.
The plans for Thames Valley Tech in 2022 will be expanded to include the launch of a Startup Programme aimed at assisting and encouraging those looking to start ambitious tech companies in the region.