Turing Fest: What took place at this year's mini-conference in Edinburgh
The best of Scotlands digital technology companies came together in Edinburgh at this year’s Turing Fest. Now in its seventh year the event has grown to 2000 delegates with 50 plus speakers from 20 countries and is now firmly established in the calendars of those interested in the Scottish tech sector.
Truingfest Edinburgh picture with code breaker machine
Six tracks covering Product, Engineering, Strategy, Growth, Marketing and Culture meant there was plenty of variety over the three days and ensured there was something for everyone who is involved in a technology company.
Skyscanner has a huge presence in Edinburgh’s tech scene and they were also well represented at Turin with a passionate talk by Rebecca Moore, director of growth for EMEA. Moore took the audience on an energetic ride across the challenges of change the company has had to face over the last six years of it’s massive expansion, before being bought by Ctrip for $1.7bn at the end of 2016.
Former Skyscanner COO Mark Logan brought his experience to talk on the real reasons why startups and scale ups fail. The secret is all about people alignment and giving frontline people the freedom to make decision are important parts of the ability to succeed.
Des Traynor co-founder and chief strategy officer at Intercom - one of Ireland’s biggest success stories talked about the company’s progress from it’s humble startup root to and how the company accidentally stumbled across it’s now hugely successful chatbot app startup to its present valuation of $1bn.
Strong supporter of the event Rand Fishkin former CEO and founder of Moz provided the final keynote with advice that any new product launch should be wrapped as much as possible around the emotional human story it is there to solve, rather than just on the features it has.
Turin Co-founder and CEO Brian Corcoran is passionate about the festival’s focus on helping startups connect with investors. “The NextGen sessions aim to connect the next generation of high-growth tech companies with the right investors. We are bringing together the founders of the UK and Ireland's most exciting startups with top early-stage VCs, in a friendly and informal setting."
This year startups, founders and more established businesses rubbed shoulders with over 50 investors at an exclusive networking event at the start of the festival. Silicon Valley Bank has a strong presence along with other US investors ensuring the Scottish sector is in the spotlight. Next year we might be hearing about how some of them have grown after the investment they have received.