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50 Game Changers in the Thames Valley
Are you Game Changer or do you know one? Applications are now open for the 2020 simply complete the application form and make sure it is back with us by the 31st December 2019 Game-Changers-Application-2020
We’d like to let you into a secret. Game Changers was born in 2016 because a VC firm, who shall remain nameless, said there was “nothing going on in the Thames Valley”. We decided to take on the challenge to prove them wrong.
Today, the numbers speak for themselves. At time of writing, this year’s 50 Game Changers collectively have raised over £55m in funding in the last 12 months – this includes an impressive 20+ Innovate UK grants. From last year’s cohort, Datasift has been acquired and Oxford Nanopore have closed a £100m round of funding to build a dedicated research facility at Harwell.
In talking to companies across the region, access to talent remains a key challenge. Yet we continue to move the same talent pool around, rather than truly engaging in longer term programmes designed to increase its availability. To that end, next year we’re launching a suite of training courses through our Digital Gum platform to include entry level coding and data science modules and which will be targeted at those looking to cross-train or upskill.
We firmly believe that diversity and inclusion in digital is the only way to close the skills gap. Our content is designed to inspire those with a creative leaning to pursue careers in digital. With the Government investing £1 billion in AI, encouraging creative people with an empathy towards customers to enter our industry will be absolutely critical to UK success.
In ConnectTVT news, we’ve grown by 100% to a team of two! For those of you who haven’t met him yet, Matt Bovey is our new Chief Talent Geek. Matt joins from Vodafone, to champion the talent agenda for the Thames Valley’s digital community. He is responsible for developing our successful Connect Talks format, a platform designed to put Thames Valley technology companies in front of curated audiences, be that investors, customers or potential employees.
Welcome to the third edition of the 50 Game Changers in the Thames Valley. We’re hugely proud of, and humbled by, the innovative and diverse companies that feature in these pages and we wish all of them every success on their journeys. We look forward to working together with them all over the coming year and sharing their stories.