ConnectTVT was launched in June 2014 to “put the Thames Valley back on the tech and digital cluster maps” that we had disappeared from. Being rich in established, mature tech-based businesses, global giants have been critical to the region’s economy but had also made us become a victim of our own success. I felt we had taken our eye off the ball about we how we were perceived; at a national level we were off the radar. The digital world has changed so much since the arrival of Tech City UK, Championing Silicon Roundabout and Tech North, the investment in Silicon Beach — we needed to up our game.
The vision for ConnectTVT was to build a platform to shine a light on innovative digital and tech companies and people who were struggling to be heard amongst all the noise from the newer, and perceived cooler, clusters.
At times, I don’t mind admitting that the Thames Valley has felt hugely unlovable. There are still too many unwilling to embrace change and it would have been easy to give up.
However, every time I became battle-weary, another amazing person, initiative, company or Meetup group seemed to appear to re-ignite my fire. ConnectTVT’s sole purpose became clear: to “join the tech and digital dots” to give our eco- system a louder collective voice.
The 50 Game Changers was my way of acknowledging some of the unsung heroes hidden away, fighting their fight and also to demonstrate that the Thames Valley is, in fact, full of interesting, inspiring start-up, and fast growth scale-up businesses with home-grown innovation.
What is a “Game Changer”? Someone or thing that stood out from the crowd as creating a brave new way for the Thames Valley. We wanted to champion the innovators, collaborators and those delivering inspiration. I’m sure there are amazing people we haven’t found yet and we look forward to an even bigger edition next year. In the mean time, thank you to everybody who has been part of this.
Help me drag the spotlight back where it belongs! Get involved, make a difference — collectively we can achieve great things.