Back from Austin, The Tech Off literally hit Shoreditch on Wednesday 19th April. We double-teamed with Glug London to put on the event, and what an event it was. MC Danimal, The Fabulous Bakewell Boys and DJ Beefcake threw down the gauntlet to the techies of London, promising NO MERCY!
Cargo London (our venue for the smackdown) was packed, with rabid fight fans spilling down the street. Anticipation was high and you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife, though that may have been the smell of fear from our evening’s speakers…We had talks from Youtube, Twitter, Edelman, VCCP…and a Wild Card that took everyone by surprise!
Read more below, and for the full photo set, click here.
If you haven’t been to The Tech Off before, it pits top tech talent against each other to win a wrestling belt in a battle of ideas: “The Lovechild of TED talks and WWE”. Speakers get STRICTLY 5 minutes to talk about anything to do with tech (you never know what’s next and neither do we!) then the crowd chooses who wins. The Champ takes away the Belt of Tech and the chance to defend their title at the next event.
It is hosted by MC Danimal – Shoreditch’s no1 tech MC, big pals with Stormzy and Skepta – who keeps the speakers, and crowd, in line. No one messes with the The Beyonce of Tech.
First up was “Superman” Sam Applebee – the reigning Champ – who stormed the stage in full combat gear (red satin gown) before calling bullshit on the idea that we should get rich before you give back: “It’s a myth that we have to choose between doing well and doing good.”
Unfortunately he ran over his allotted time and was ejected from the stage before finishing his talk. HE KNEW THE RULES!
Sara “El Diablo” Gozalo was up next with an absolutely fabulous idea of a tech app that assisted us choosing our wardrobe (our wardrobe in the cloud!) and prevented wasting time on packing – a solution to a fantastic first world problem!
“Can we rent our own clothes and receive them in the hotel once we arrive?”
Would you trust Google to pick out your clothes for the day?
Adrian “BADBWOY” Brown took the stage looking sharp. From a government background he said that our model of government is broken and that tech is making things both better and worse! It’s up to revolutionaries to change things for the better.
“The old citadels will fall, and you are the ones battering at the ramparts!”
Cathy “WHAT?” White was the final speaker in the first heat…She said that technology is not saving the world… yet. Cathy spoke about why Silicon Valley and tech communities needs to listen to people being left behind by the technological change. “We are the disruptors!” But what about the people being disrupted? She urged us to pledge just 1% of our time and company profits to make change.
HALF TIME SELFIE ACTION!
Phew! It was time for half time oranges, a quick sharpener at the bar and to wipe the sweat from the stage. So we invited people for Selfies With The Belt & The Fabulous Bakewell Boys. Bangin’ tunes were courtesy of DJ Beefcake…
The second round began with Toby “The Terror” Gunton whose main theme was Trust. It’s in crisis as the public’s trust in politicians, businesses, the media and celebrities is in a speedy decline. “Be open and honest – don’t lie! Be transparent”.
Helen “FIERCE” Lawrence looked super in a pink cape adorned with sequined lightning bolts. She observed the current internet meme that Donald Trump has sent messages in the past to warn us about him in the future. She linked this with the news of Elon Musk’s plan to find out if we’re living in a computer simulation. Maybe Trump is the Boss-Level of a bizarre VR computer game? “What if we are living in a computer simulation? Is Trump a time travelling hero coming to warn us?”
Will “12 inch” Harvey was up next with a snazzy pair of Snapchat shades. Ooh Get Him. He argues that old tech can solve new problems, illustrating this with the comeback of vinyl and how “we shoot everything with our phone in ultra sharp Full HD or in 4K, but love to put an old filter effect on top of it.”
“Sometimes when trying to solve the biggest of challenges, it can take the simplest of technology solutions.”
As tradition dictates at the London Events it was time to choose a Wild Card from the crowd. Someone to come on stage and get a burning issue of off their chest.
Natalie “Private School” Hoole leaped onto the stage and suggested we buy services from her company, mainly because she has three children to raise and could do with the cash.
BUT WHO WOULD WIN?!
With Round 2 completed, it was time for the crowd to choose the winner, as our array of speakers shuffled onto the stage. Scientifically armed with the high-tech Techometer Connected Device App, our team rallied the buzzing audience to cheer and holler for their preferred contender.
It was such a close call, but in the end, Helen Lawrence won with a staggering 11 points on the scale. Maybe it was her talk… or maybe it was her fabulous cape…but either way, Helen is THE WINNER!
And so… it ends for another night, but not before an explosion of confetti and The Eye Of The Tiger!
What a night! Don’t forget that full photo set is here!
But…AYUP! We’re off to Leeds for Leeds International Festival in Leeds on April 26th – it’s CREATIVES VS CODERS!!!!!!
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