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Record crowd puts Belfast tech sector on the map at Digital DNA

Pictured at Digital DNA 2019 are: Simon Bailie, CEO of Digital DNA; and Lord Mayor of Belfast, John Finucane

MORE than 3,000 of the world's tech community gathered yesterday for a record-breaking start to this year's Digital DNA.

Now in its sixth year, the two-day event held in St George's Market is Northern Ireland's biggest tech and digital showcase and welcomes some of the leading lights within the global tech sector.

Highlights from the opening day included: Matt Armstrong-Barnes from HP Enterprise, who explored the world of Artificial Intelligence; Elaine Whyte from PwC who spoke about the potential for drone technology; Giancarlo Di Vece from Unosquare who outlined the Oregon company's growth in in Belfast; and Ryan Owens from Google, who focused on the era of the omnichannel consumer.

Other speakers on the first day included US software firm co-founder and CEO Raj Ramanand, who spoke about the company's plans to create 150 jobs in Belfast as it look to expand European operations. Signifyd set up in the newly refurbished River House on High Street earlier this year and currently employs 40 people.

In addition to hearing from experts from the digital world, the record crowd was also treated to panel sessions exploring the challenges and opportunities to be found in everything from starting a tech business to managing its reputation.

Simon Bailie, chief executive of Digital DNA believes the event has put the north's tech community on the map.

“It is now seen as a global meeting place for the best of the tech community, drawn by the quality of the speakers and the chance to meet and share ideas with their peers," he said.

“The energy in the room in palpable: deals are being done, new contacts made and minds are being expanded. This is what Digital DNA is all about and we want to thank our sponsors for helping make it all happen."

Seamus Cushley, director of Blockchain at main sponsor, PwC added:

“If you want to work in tech right now, there is only one place to do it – and that's Northern Ireland. The digital sector is accelerating rapidly, powered by Belfast, and when you combine the opportunities with the benefits of living in a city like Belfast, it's obvious why TechNation recently named it the best place to be for tech workers in the UK.

“Coming off the back of that report, Digital DNA this year is a must. We're expecting around 3000 people to get involved, to learn from world-class speakers, be inspired and do things differently."

Digital DNA 2019 continues today in Belfast's St George's Market.

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