Bristol Technology Festival returns to showcase one of Europe’s leading tech communities

Bristol Technology Festival (BTF) is back for its third edition from October 10th to October 15th, 2021. The city will host over 50 events with themes spanning the breadth and depth of Bristol’s growing tech and digital sector. The current plans are to hold the events in a hybrid model with a selection of online talks and others at limited capacity venues, stay tuned for ticket releases coming soon. 

BTF was born in 2019 with a mission to showcase the sheer scale of technology that had been developed in the local ecosystem, whilst sharing the stories of those entrepreneurs, engineers and creatives behind the tech with the people of the city and further afield. Last year’s festival hosted 53 events, attracting over 5,000 attendees dialling in from places as far flung as Singapore and San Francisco. The target for 2021 to reach an even greater audience. 

Bristol has a long-standing history of tech innovation and the ecosystem is booming, with the most productive tech talent in the UK (TechNation 2019). It feeds industries all over the world with breakthrough engineering and digital innovation. The region is famed for its creative approach to technological challenges, and was recently recognised as the best city for startups in the UK outside of London, with notable companies including IMDb, Graphcore, Ovo and Dyson.

Bristol Technology Festival returns

Whilst 2020 was undoubtedly a challenging year for everyone, it has underlined the importance of technology in our lives and demonstrated how it can help connect us. BTF 2021 will seek to capture people’s hopes and predictions for the next decade, exploring the prevalent questions such as: in what ways will technology influence how we live and work? What impact will the tech cluster have locally, and globally? 

BTF is coordinated by a group of volunteers from across the ecosystem including representatives from FintechWest NewiconTechSPARK, and Engine Shed. Events throughout the festival are crowdsourced from organisations across the city. 

These include tech companies, public bodies, schools, community interest groups and charities. Events are open to people in the tech sector, business leaders from across sectors, visitors wanting to know more about the region, and anyone wanting to know more about the city’s digital industries. Some of events include:

  • Engine Shed will host a launch of the festival alongside Deloitte Digital to bring together key people in the sector to understand how tech will support the growth of the city in the future.
  • For the 9th consecutive year, TechSPARK will host their annual SPARKies awards.  The awards will gather 500 people to shine a light on the very best people, products and companies that make up the tech sector in Bristol, Bath and the broader West of England region. 
  • FinTech West will host their annual fintech Summit to deep dive into the latest innovations, connect business in one of the UK’s key fintech communities. 

2021 Will also see the launch of the Festival Community Partner initiative where businesses across the city show their support by becoming one of 50 community partners, with all money invested into giving the festival a long term sustainable future.

Bristol technology festival mission statement

Softcat has become the headline sponsor of the festival in 2021. Rob Parkinson, CIO at SoftCat says “We are delighted to be involved in the 2021 Bristol Technology Festival. Bringing together local technology communities and shining a light on all the innovation the region has to showcase is an important way to drive collaboration and industry growth. 

“The last 18 months have been tough for many industries but technology has come through as an enabler and has made many re-think how they interact and do business. As the impact of technology continues to grow forums like the Bristol Technology Festival have never been more important and we are pleased to be supporting it.”