In UKBAA’s recently published blog I spoke about some of the trends I see in angel investing and my role as Chair of the Cambridge Angels. Some of these trends have been overtaken by the current coronavirus crisis and a few eg the digitisation of industries/sectors have been rapidly accelerated. 

 

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Here we share our annual tech themes for 2020. Whilst some of these themes are not necessarily new, we believe they will shape the future of this decade.

 Image: EETimes

 

How things have changed in 10 years. When I started angel investing in 2009 just after the Great Financial Crisis (GFC), I could find revenue generating companies valued at less than £1m. Now an equivalent company would be £5m+. In those 10 years I have invested in 40+ companies, many founded by women. I have been fortunate enough to experience many successes and have learnt to accept failures with 1 or 2 investments out of 10 generating my return. 

 

Innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) are starting to dramatically improve the provision of goods and services ranging from healthcare to financial services and technology. But it's just the start. As big data gets even bigger and computing power continues to grow, AI will transform virtually every aspect of life as we know it.

In a decade of technology-focused angel investing, I've often heard the comment that we need more women in technology – and, in particular, more female founders. In fact, more often than not it's me making the comment, as I'm an active backer of female entrepreneurs. But in the last five years, I've noticed the tide is turning – and at last we are actually seeing more female founders. So, have we now reached a tipping point?

Holly Harrison Yr11 student from the Bishops Stortford College was interested to understand more about women in the workplace. She decided to delve deeper into gender equality and why this is such a prevalent topic.

Many businesses today do not understand the extent of the gap between the genders in their work-place. According to Women’s Bureau at the United States Department of Labor, women who work full-time year-round earn an average of 79% of men’s median annual earnings.

There is an increased concern about the number of deepfakes being generated; a worrisome product of artificial intelligence. Work experience Yr10 student Natalia Leighton from The Herts and Essex High School decided to delve deeper into this controversial topic.

With the exponential growth of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the last decade, one of the newest crazes is deepfaking, but what actually is it?

With the implementation of 5G currently underway in the UK, Charlotte Cavanagh Yr10 student from The Herts & Essex High School wanted to explore the potential of this emerging technology and how it will affect our lives going forward.

The advances in technology in the past 40 years have been more drastic than we could’ve ever expected. From 1G, launched in the 1980s, finally allowing mobile voice calls, to 2G giving us SMS, to 3G which brought mobile browsing, and then to 4G with much higher speeds and the ability to make conference calls, watch HD TV and use gaming services all on our mobile phones. However, 5G has surpassed these earlier technological advancements that will change our world more than ever before.

The Bank of England has set up the future of finance project to see how the financial services industry might change in the next ten years; how this will impact all that provide, regulate and use it.

Here we share the Bank of England's: The future of finance report written by Huw van Steenis.

Published on 20 June 2019

 

The latest advancements in human-like robots have led many to reflect on the future of AI, robotics and the governing ethics. Rachel Gbolaru Yr12 student from The Bishops Stortford High School explored many unanswered questions they pose whilst on work experience at Delta2020.

At an IT conference in late 2017, the artificially intelligent humanoid robots, Sophia, was granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia, and became the first ‘non-human’ to have a nationality. Sophia was appointed the UN’s first non-human “innovation champion.” Although most observers saw this act as more of a publicity stunt than a meaningful legal recognition, some found this gesture as openly disparaging human rights and the law. This controversial issue has raised some very important questions that are yet to be answered. Should robots be granted rights? What kind of rights should they be given? 

CRISPR has been around since 1987 but scientists have only began to discover the gene editing tool's revolutionary capabilities in the last decade. Whilst on work experience at Delta2020, William Walker Y12 student from the Bishops Stortford High School decided to research his keen interest in this rapidly developing but controversial topic.


What is CRISPR?

The latest tool being developed in biotech laboratories around the world today is “CRISPR” (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), a genome editing tool that allows scientists to make changes in the genetic material of a cell or an entire organism in an easier, cheaper and faster way than previous techniques. This advanced technology has countless applications for human and animal health, medicine, agriculture, the environment and food supply chain. 

Regardless of what your views on genetic engineering are, the CRISPR technology is being used and has been developing rapidly over the past decade.

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