As Gpad are shortlisted as one of the four winning concepts for the transformation of London’s Silicon Roundabout, Graeme Winestone discusses the ‘Old Street Digital Garden’!


Old Street Roundabout has faced strong criticism over the years: It has been remembered more for traffic congestion rather than its rising fame as a technology hub. The roundabout has continued to be a prominent strategic site in London and yet the space offers very little to the public realm; the island site has largely remained inaccessible to the public and the entrance to the underground station causes daily confusion for commuters.

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Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, Barcelona as well as China pose a significant challenge to growing emergence of the UK’s tech ecosystem. The Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of Culture, Communications and Creative Industries from 2010 to 2016 explains!


By any number of metrics, the UK’s tech industry is flourishing. Within the past 10 years, we have rapidly emerged from the technological shadows to become one of the three most important digital hubs in the world. The sector in this country is now larger than the rest of Europe combined and we are home to an impressive 40 per cent of the continent’s ‘unicorn’ tech companies. Against the US, the powerhouse in this sphere, we are also becoming increasingly competitive – even out-stripping our transatlantic counterparts in terms of start-ups per capita.

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Growth in the leading consumer goods groups is being squeezed by innovative offerings from smaller companies. Many are now pursuing acquisitions or broad restructurings to keep investors on their side’ (FT 1 MARCH 18) We asked Christer Holloman, CEO at Divido, to discuss the changing retail landscape, retail finance payment options and his entrepreneurial journey.


On the week that Toys R Us announced it is to close its doors for good, the Financial Times warning for leading consumer good groups back at the beginning of March reads all the more poignantly.  The toy store’s plummet into administration has been coming, but its final collapse serves as another timely warning for top retail brands to stay on top, and far ahead, of the trends.

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Are we ‘summoning the demon’ with our embrace of AI? We asked Dr Steve Marsh, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, GeoSpock



Elon Musk famously declared we are ‘summoning the demon’ with the development of artificial intelligence (AI), and cited it as the most serious threat to the survival of the human race.

Coming from someone famous for cutting edge technological innovation, Musk’s disturbing predictions were taken to heart, and have contributed to an overall view of AI as a concept that should be feared. Add in sci-fi themes from the likes of Blade Runner and Dan Brown’s novel, Origin – where autonomous bots threaten the human race, and it’s easy to see where the dread of AI comes from. As AI capabilities progress, fears grow that fiction could soon become reality.

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From a London playground to a £2m Series A Round in less than 20 months! Katie Massie-Taylor talks about Mush and her entrepreneurial journey.


Sarah and I met in a rainy playground three years ago when we were both getting to grips with having “two under two”.  We were at the height of sleep deprivation and finding the long days tough (and lonely!) when that friendship swept in and saved the day.  We hung out together all the time, and reflecting on it all a few months later, we wondered why there wasn’t a better way to find mum friends.

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As cities grow in autonomy and become economic powerhouses in their own right, their branding has never been more important. Julietta Dexter, CEO & Founder of London based The Communications Store, explains why!


Any quick Google search tells you instantly that Barcelona, Siem Reap, Cape Town and so forth rank the highest as best cities in the world. So I guess the branding, PR and communications of these cities are getting the most positive messages across. Well done to their marketing teams. The objectives are simple, to make a city as aspirational as possible to the widest possible market. Solid communications plans are based on the obvious – what are you, what do you deliver and who are you for, who is your target market, who you’re trying to “sell” to. Furthermore, the consistency of messaging, a city hanging its proverbial hat onto whatever “hook” they decide upon and then sticking with it most often has better success. A good logo doesn’t go amiss either – a sticker of a city’s logo travels a long way.

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‘In The Wired World in 2018’ Martin Sorrell’s piece begins ‘THE QUESTION I ALWAYS ASK MY CLIENTS IS,” What keeps you awake at night?” We asked Harry Hugo, Co-Founder of Shoreditch based Goat Agency, what innovations, ideas and challenges do you believe are set to further disrupt the media industry in the coming year and are keeping you awake?!


For us, the biggest innovation in terms of media spaces has definitely been influencers. From people in their bedrooms to organised groups of collaborators and influencers turned celebrity, the influencer media space has grown exponentially in 2017, and it shows signs of speeding up in 2018.

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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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