As I think about the TechSwindon event, it got me thinking.
The first part of the name is obvious – even before COVID, the term ‘Tech’ already seemed so broad and mainstream. However, a few months later and we look forward to the economy going forward and it is all about tech.
Having spoken to my bank manager – something that is akin to seeing the headmaster – he told me the tech sector was the only sector which is managing the Covid crisis almost unscathed. We won’t be having ‘tech’ events in a few years because that term will encompass almost everything.
Now onto the second part of the term and my favourite – Swindon. I took over Excalibur three years ago when I led an MBO and have spent the last few years getting to know the area.
The first and main thing I learnt is most of the locals spent their time apologising for the town – and for no real reason.
As a town, Swindon has a lot going for it: a rich history, a varied local economy from small to very large firms, it is an upwardly mobile town with a strong record of inward investment – both public and private and finally incredibly well connected both geographically and technically.
It's not a bad set of credentials but let me add – it is also cheaper than almost all comparable local areas and wrapped in beautiful countryside on all four sides.
It's time to get those bags of chips off our shoulders! Swindon is a great place to run a business, full of great people who actually really want Swindon to fulfil its potential.
The TechSwindon Summit will demonstrate a good range of businesses – covering all sectors and from mainstream technology to cutting edge. The town is well set to play it’s part in the UK economic recovery with strong foundations.
I write this article looking onto the Steam railway museum from our new office and wonder what Brunel would have made of it all. His combination of technical genius and a relentless drive and ambition is just what we all need now.
No more apologising please. Time for Swindon to raise its head and become one of many great ‘Tech’ places in the UK.