Billionaire tech giant Suranga Chandratillake OBE FREng spoke with Suffolk business leaders about the latest technology trends and shared his own experience in the fast-moving industry.
Organised by the Ipswich Suffolk Business Club, the event was hosted at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall near Ipswich on 19 September and sponsored by Milsoms, Greene King and PR and digital agency Genesis.
The venture capital partner and member of the Government’s Council for Science and Technology which advises the Prime Minister on key policy issues shared his business success with members, from struggling to get into the tech industry as an MA computer science graduate from Cambridge, to founding blinkx, an intelligent search engine to joining Balderton Capital and investing in high profile start-ups across Europe.
He talked about the billions of dollars being invested in technology in the UK and said: “Technology is change, it is good and bad, it is here to stay, and it will affect everything we do, we just have to be prepared for it.”
When asked what the UK can do to help the next generation of technology companies, Suranga answered that “we must retain our talent, regulation and capital. Currently we have a good position on all three. We have the best education system in the world per capita and we must keep that open to remain attractive to talent from across the world. We also have to keep innovating to ensure we maintain our capital post Brexit.”
He also spoke about the growth of the technology sector in East Anglia as more businesses seek to take advantage of the opportunities the region has to offer.
Luke Morris, chair of the Ipswich Suffolk Business Club, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome such an inspirational figure to speak to our members and their guests and to hear from a preeminent technologist and entrepreneur who is an authority on technologies that are set to completely disrupt the way we do business.
“The Q&A session also gave an opportunity for attendees to share their own experiences and Suranga was able to provide a deep technical insight and communicate it very effectively. It was a hugely popular event.”
Ipswich Suffolk Business Club membership is made up of a myriad of local business owners, leaders and decision makers who share the Club’s vision to promote growth and accelerate Suffolk’s business reputation in the UK. The Club attracts high quality speakers, giving members the opportunity to hear from and question exceptional business entrepreneurs and political influencers.