Dr. Vivian Chan, co-founder of Sparrho, talks scientific discovery engines, machine learning, building a global user base and entrepreneurship.


As a trained scientist with a PhD in biochemistry, I’d been accustomed to having a direct line to the latest cutting-edge science throughout my academic career. It was only after graduating from Cambridge University that I began to notice the huge difference in accessibility to many things I had taken for granted previously: the wealth of scientific knowledge that I had been so used to accessing during my studies was no longer available to me.

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We asked Carlo Gualandri, Founder of London based Soldo, what innovations, ideas and challenges do you believe are set to further disrupt the fintech industry in the coming year and keep you awake?!


Innovations for the business community – the Fintech sector has been experiencing its bubble as-of-late and rightly so. Traditional banking was languishing under the weight of cumbersome legacy systems and was ripe for disruption. There have been (and continue to be) massive opportunities to innovate. However, so far, most disruptors have been focusing on consumer-orientated solutions – which are, unsurprisingly, a lot easier to implement than B2B solutions. In fact, according to a PwC report compiled last year, 80% of respondents believed that consumer banking will continue to be the epicentre of disruption over the next five years with personal loans (64%) and personal finance (50%). It makes sense to go for the low hanging fruit.

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‘Getting the wrong drug to the patient more efficiently is not the answer to that problem…We don’t want to buy a discount seat on the Titanic’(‘Amazon drug service fears rattle US healthcare’ FT 15.11.17) We asked 5 leading VC’s a wider question ; Are tech businesses increasingly at risk of trading speed of delivery for service?’


“Venture investing is about building large and sustainable businesses. Our capital allows companies to grow quickly and invest more in product. A good team understand that the quality of their product is the priority, if they get this wrong they will not retain customers and they risk the whole company with a major product outage or security breach. The balance is achieved by focusing development on what really matters for early customers.”

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Philippe Paré, Principal at Gensler, asks ‘What’s the Future of The Office in a Co-Working World?’


Co-working has been the ‘It’ workplace trend for quite some time now. By the end of the new year, nearly 1.2 million people worldwide will have worked in a co-working space. Enabled by mass mobility, it’s now forcing many of us to rethink the role of the traditional office building and ask the question ‘what’s the future for the office in a co-working world?’.

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Ed Bussey, Founder and CEO of Quill Content asks: Is video content the future of online performance marketing?


In recent years, video content has risen to become a critical weapon in the engagement arsenal for digital marketers. But aside from its potential to deliver messages in a concise, memorable and emotive way – prompting increased consumer-brand engagement – video is also now emerging as an important ranking factor for SEO, with Google’s ownership of YouTube meaning (unsurprisingly) that websites incorporating high-quality video can expect a significant uptick in their organic search traffic.

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Culture Trip CEO, Kris Naudts, Shares the Significance of Tech & Personalisation for Contemporary Media Companies


Digital media businesses are having a tough time of late. Traditionally, media companies rely on advertising for their revenues. But despite total global ad sales growing for many years, today 85p in every £1 is currently going to just 2 companies in the digital ad space; Google and Facebook. Media companies are left to fight for a shrinking slice of the pie.

What does this mean for newer media companies like Culture Trip that compete in this market? And, how can they use tech to help them monetise?

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As Habito close an £18.5m Series B Round, founder Daniel Hegarty talks real-time mortgage approvals, eliminating fees and his entrepreneurial journey!


As startups often are, Habito began from my own simple story of acute frustration; I bought a house and the experience was nightmarish.

My home-owning dreams weren’t being quashed by the fault of any particular individual, company or intrinsic malice working against me. It happened because important processes – like home buying – have mutated over time into complex and convoluted chains of different stakeholders, from regulators to lenders, brokers to surveyors, estate agents, buyers and sellers.

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Roger Philby, CEO of The Chemistry Group explains…‘If you only do one thing to improve your hiring, it should be this..’


I have been in tech recruiting for the best part of 25 years now, and I can safely say it’s an industry that systemically overrates technical ability and underrates behaviour. Invariably, issues that arise within technical businesses – and, really, in any business – don’t come down to technical competence (i.e. what people know) but have everything to do with behaviour (i.e. what people do).

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With a client list that includes Google, Nike, Saatchi & Saatchi and Rapha, we asked Jump Studios’ co-founder Simon Jordan: “Is there a magic formula for creating modern workplace design?”


There is no magic formula, but there is a need for us, as architects, to take a systematic approach to workplace design and organise our thinking in a way that successfully negotiates the sometimes conflicting relationship between an organisation, its people and the buildings they inhabit.

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‘As the Founder/CEO of a Tech Track 100 business, what critical lessons have you learnt on your entrepreneurial journey?’


I’m a serial entrepreneur and with that career (and lifestyle!) choice there are invariably a number of lessons picked up along the way. Some come from successes, but more often I find failure breeds the most important learnings.  At 25 I started a music studio in Devon, borrowing £50k from my parents to get the business started. I had no plan and it went bust. I had to have a difficult conversation with Dad, when he taught me the most valuable lesson of my life: never give up. That message has stuck with me and I have realised even significant failures are just part of the process if you can find a way to manage the risk and learn from them for the next time.

Steve King
C0-Founder | Black Swan Data

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