Tech industry leaders from across the West Midlands have committed to supporting young talent and strengthening the region’s burgeoning reputation as a technology hub.
At a VIP Leaders Breakfast jointly organised by the Institute of Directors (IoD), HSBC UK and Birmingham Tech at HSBC UK’s Centenary Square headquarters, guests heard from Ian Stuart, CEO of HSBC UK, Inez Brown, chair of IoD West Midlands and Henrietta Brealey, CEO of Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.
The event was held as part of Birmingham Tech Week 2021, the UK’s largest regional tech event with more than 5,000 people attending over 100 events.
As part of Tech Week, HSBC UK has announced a partnership with the University of Birmingham and PwC to boost digital skills learning in the West Midlands.
Inez Brown, chair of IoD West Midlands, said: “To kick off Birmingham Tech Week, we brought together leaders from across the business and technology community to shine a spotlight on the digital renaissance taking place across the region. The city is now rightly seen as a leading Tech Hub with an incredible array of talent, somewhere that technology companies of all sizes can look to launch and grow.
“As business leaders, we need to work in partnership with our schools, colleges and universities to inspire young people to pursue an exciting and stimulating career in a region that is building a star reputation.”
Andy Wilkinson, chair of the IoD’s Greater Birmingham branch, added: “It was fantastic to welcome people back for a face-to-face event once again. There was a strong turnout as we kick-started Tech Week, spearheaded through our awesome technology ambassador and Tech Week CEO Yiannis Maos with plenty of fascinating conversations about how new technologies have evolved and accelerated during the pandemic.
“Technology touches every sector of industry and I’m proud to see Birmingham standing at the forefront, none more so than through the unique collaboration instigated by IoD champion Prof Paul Cadman linking the IoD, Birmingham City University and Cyber Risk Score together to headline #CyberTuesday.”
Suzy Verma, Head of Business Development, Corporate Banking, HSBC UK said: “We were delighted to be able to host the opening event at Birmingham Tech Week. The West Midlands is home to the biggest emerging tech cluster outside London. As the sector continues to evolve, we need to ensure we have the right support in place to drive growth. To show our commitment, we have dedicated £500m out of HSBC UK’s £15bn SME lending fund to support ambitious tech businesses.”
Birmingham Tech Week is run by Birmingham Tech CIC, a not-for-profit organisation. Money raised through sponsorship goes towards helping to build the West Midlands tech eco-system.
Notable achievements of previous Tech Weeks include the launch of a Scale Up Accelerator to help local tech businesses achieve more and the Inspire Series, an initiative to encourage 16-24 year olds to embark on a career in tech/digital.
The IoD supports individuals to become better directors by providing connections, professional development and an influential lobbying voice. IoD West Midlands has four branches: Greater Birmingham; Worcester and the Marches; Black Country and Staffordshire; and Coventry and Warwickshire.
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