The Silicon Canal tech awards are coming up here in Birmingham, so I thought I’d write down who I’ve nominated and why! Along with a few categories where I had difficulty deciding, in which an honourable mention or two may be awarded, although such things do not get submitted to the actual award ceremony :-)
Best Tech Start-Up
As ImpactHub say, “We want to empower a collective movement to bring about change in our city, embracing a diverse range of people and organisations with a whole host of experiences and skills.” ImpactHub is a place enabling the tech scene in Birmingham, which is the most important part of it all; that’s what makes Birmingham great and more than just some half-baked clone of London or San Francisco. Bringing tech companies together with the rest of the city also hugely increases the number of connections made and opportunities created right here in Birmingham itself, and helps tech entrepreneurs meet other communities and unify everyone’s goals.
Most Influential Female in Technology
Jess tirelessly advocates technology and Birmingham, both inside and outside the city. She’s great at connecting dots, showing people who they can work with to get things done, and advising on how best to grow a community or a company into areas you might not have otherwise pursued. And she’s helpful and engaging and good to work with, and knows basically everyone. That’s influence, and she’s using it to better the Brum tech scene as a whole, and that deserves reward.
Runner up: Immy Kaur for setting up ImpactHub :-)
Small Tech Company of the Year
TTS are heavily invested in the tech life of Birmingham itself. They sponsor events, they’ve partnered with Silicon Canal as exclusive recruitment agents, and most importantly they’re behind Fusion, a regular and vibrant quarterly tech conference drawn from the city and supporting both local tech and local street food vendors. This isn’t like some other conferences which basically are in Birmingham by coincidence; Fusion is intimately involved with the Brum tech scene, as are TTS themselves, and that should be massively encouraged.
Large Tech Company of the Year (revenue over £10 million)
Talis are strong supporters of the Birmingham tech scene, a successful large scaleup here in the city, and willing to work openly with others in pursuit of those goals. They regularly sponsor tech events with money or by providing space to host meetups, hold hack days and write about them afterwards, donate time and money to helping others in the city including events for entrepreneurs as well as developers, and run their own events (such as Codelicious) to add more to the growing vibrancy of Brum. It’s great to see a company of this size be cognisant of the city and their life within it, and this certainly deserves to be recognised.
Most Influential Male in Technology
A jolly good way to make connections in the city is through Roy, who is connected to all sorts of people via being responsible for the tech sectors in Marketing Birmingham. I’m not sure the government marketing agency are always perfect, but I am sure that Roy is a person to know. He’s an engaging public speaker, he’s got a background in industry (with a list of AAA games he’s worked on that’d blow your mind), and he’s approachable and smart and everyone listens to him. If that’s not influence, I don’t know what is.
Outstanding Technology Individual of the Year
Mary Matthews from Memrica
Mary describes herself as “passionate about using technology to make a difference to people’s lives” and, unlike quite a few people who might say that, I think she actually means it. It was marvellous to see Memrica get recognised as part of the UberPITCH consultancy earlier this year, and her trip out to meet Travis Kalanick not only will have helped her continue her long history of doing good tech things but also helped elevate Birmingham’s profile as a place for internationally recognised startups. That’s pretty outstanding, in my opinion.
Runner up: Jess Rose
Best Angel or Seed Investor of the Year: no nomination here because I have no idea! I know a couple, but haven’t worked with them.
Graduate Developer of the Year: no nomination here because I don’t know enough graduates. I’d have nominated @jackweirdy if he hadn’t left us :)
Developer of the Year: no nomination here because, well, too contentious. I don’t know who I’d pick as the best, and I do know that everyone I don’t pick will never buy me a pint again, so I’m not sure who to say here. Maybe I should have just picked myself :-)
Now, your turn
Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. That’s what I think. You will notice that I primarily care about the tech life of the city; if you do a bunch of good stuff here in Birmingham and you’re proud of that, I like what you do. If you do interesting things but never talk about them here in the city, I’m less interested in your things. Perhaps you have different criteria: you should now go and say what you think. Go and add your nominations, Birmingham people; let’s get everyone’s voices heard.
- sorry, Dan; Fusion just tips it for TTS, but maybe you should run a conference as well to lobby for the vote :) ↩