Record crowd gathers for first day of Digital DNA to celebrate NI tech sector
More than 3,000 of the world’s tech community have gathered together in a show of strength on the first day of Digital DNA 2019, powered by PwC, in Belfast.
Held in St. George’s market, the two-day event attracted a record crowd who heard from experts from the cream of the global digital world, as well as panel sessions exploring the challenges and opportunities to be found in everything from starting a tech business to managing its reputation.
Highlights on the first day included Matt Armstrong-Barnes from HP Enterprise who explored the world of Artificial Intelligence; Elaine Whyte from PwC who revealed the potential for drone technology; Giancarlo Di Vece from Unosquare who talked through the Oregon company’s reason for setting and growing its business in Belfast and Ryan Owens from Google who focused on the Era of the Omnichannel Consumer.
Simon Bailie, Chief Executive of Digital DNA, said: “The momentum behind Digital DNA has been growing year-on-year and today feels very special. It is now seen as a global meeting place for the best of the tech community, drawn by the quality of the speakers and the chance to meet and share ideas with their peers.
“The energy in the room in palpable: deals are being done, new contacts made and minds are being expanded. This is what Digital DNA is all about and we want to thank our sponsors for helping make it all happen.
“This event puts Northern Ireland’s tech community on the map.”
Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor John Finucane opened the event. He said: “Our Belfast Agenda has highlighted the importance of the tech sector to the future of our city and Digital DNA serves as a fantastic example of the innovative work being done within this sector right across Belfast and beyond. To bring so many valuable and energetic businesses under one roof, sharing information and ideas of how to further develop the industry is hugely exciting.
“By nurturing and supporting Belfast’s creative, digital and tech industries in the right way, we have the ability to make Belfast truly competitive on the global stage.”
Seamus Cushley, Director of Blockchain at PwC the main sponsor of the event, said: “If you want to work in tech right now, there is only one place to do it – and that’s Northern Ireland. The digital sector is accelerating rapidly, powered by Belfast, and when you combine the opportunities with the benefits of living in a city like Belfast, it’s obvious why TechNation recently named it the best place to be for tech workers in the UK.
“Coming off the back of that report, Digital DNA this year is a must. We’re expecting around 3000 people to get involved, to learn from world-class speakers, be inspired and do things differently.
“At PwC, our focus on technology is allowing us to become incredibly creative – not just in the work we do for our clients with the likes of drones and blockchain, but also in the way we tackle important issues like increasing diversity in the sector with apprenticeships. We look forward to sharing what we do, and how people can get involved with us, over the next two days at the event.”
Digital DNA 2019 continues tomorrow 19th June 2019 in Belfast’s St. George’s Market.
Tickets and further details of the event can be found now at digitaldna.org.uk.