Weekend update: Brexit woes from London's tech scene, blockchain in oil and gas, workplace health advice and using AI to improve lives

Innovation Enterprise presents a snapshot of the latest developments from the tech world, including the latest IPOs from the tech world, the next three AI and data trends, the best US cities for entrepreneurs and the latest ahead of DATAx San Francisco


With 2019 continuing to fly by – evident by the fact we barely noticed we had entered May – the tech industry is also showing no intention whatsoever of slowing down. Developments from across the tech sphere have kept the Innovation Enterprise team on our toes this week as we covered the latest news from an industry somewhat preoccupied with going public.

Late last week, messaging platform Slack revealed a net loss of $138.9m for the year ending January 31, 2019, as it filed its IPO papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Slack joins a raft of San Francisco-headquartered companies, including Uber, Pinterest and Lyft, that have recently taken steps toward going public on the New York Stock Exchange.

Also announcing its intentions to go public this week was the We Company, known for its WeWork shared workspaces, popular with tech startups (and those who enjoy free beer) the world over.

DATAx San Francisco is just two weeks away, so keep an eye out for our exclusive coverage, before, during and after the data festival. A few tickets are still available, but it's best to buy those now before it's too late. To find out more about who will be speaking at the event on May 14–15, read our five must-see speakers taking the stage at DATAx San Francisco.

And once you've snapped up one of the last few tickets, it will be time to check out our pick of the best articles and stories from our Channels from the past week, which you'll find below.

Nourished leaders are 'key to success'

Leading our Weekend update this week is an insightful interview that has all of us at Innovation Enterprise HQ reevaluating what we eat and how we manage our own time during work hours.

Jeanette Bronée, CEO and founder of health consultancy Path for Life, spoke to us about self-care, mindfulness and balance, and how focusing on all can improve productivity and focus in the workspace.

"A healthy and nourished leader is someone who takes care of themselves first so that they can be available, engaged and pay attention to the people around them," Bronée told us. "This means being able to pause for a moment to really consider what is needed for everyone to be aligned. That way, they can act in a more direct way to address the intent and purpose of the issue."

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The next three AI and data trends: DataOps, AutoAI and OpenScale

In an enlightening conversation about the future of the data world, we sat down with IBM Data and AI vice-president of marketing Scott Hebner to discuss what he believed would be the next three big data trends.

Hebner said that DataOps, AutoAI and OpenScale were the "next three hills" data scientists needed to climb if they want to help drive data innovation.

"Some businesses are beginning to rely on AI models, but you have to provide them with the ability to understand if there's any bias in the model, so you can explain what the model is telling you and how it came to that conclusion," Hebner noted.

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Most London tech firms say Brexit has damaged the city's reputation

If you live in the UK, there's no escaping Brexit. It dominates the news agenda, is all any politician can talk about, and is causing friction between friends and family members. But in London, a survey released this week has provided "remainers" in the UK capital with more ammunition for their debates with "leavers".

The survey carried out by tech entrepreneur network Tech London Advocates, found that 87% of London-based tech companies believed that Brexit had damaged the city's international reputation, with one in four tech startups reporting that they had lost out on investment due to the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, remarked: "One thing is certain – the political situation is harming our fastest-growing industry and making access to capital and talent harder than ever before."

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The implementation of blockchain in the energy sector

Shravan Deshmukh, marketing analyst at Global Market Insights and a regular Innovation Enterprise contributor, this week wrote about the deployment of blockchain technology in energy-related applications.

In his detailed analysis, which has proven popular with our readership, Deshmukh explored how blockchain was deemed ideal for the energy segment due to its ability to enable the creation of automated, auditable and transparent records of generated power and its subsequent consumption.

"Blockchain is now pegged as one of the prime technology platforms to help energy companies achieve their digitization goals and reach a higher number of consumers," Deshmukh noted.

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Seattle tops list of best US cities for entrepreneurs

A guide to the best US cities in which to set up a startup has ranked Sioux Falls, Detroit and Portsmouth, NH, ahead of the tech hubs of New York and San Francisco.

Produced by digital business publication FitSmallBusiness.com, the guide looked at metrics such as business survival rate, financial landscape and tax climate to determine that Seattle, Washington, was the best US city for entrepreneurs in 2019.

Joining the north-western city in the top five of the annual listing were St. Louis, Denver, Detroit and Nashville.

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Tencent executive appeals for "AI for Good" in Dubai

Seng Yee Lau, an executive at Tencent, proposed the concept of "AI for Good" during the AI Everything Summit 2019 in Dubai earlier in the week.

Speaking at the event, which was hosted by the world's first minister of AI, Seng Yee Lau said the concept of "AI for Good" would help humankind create social development possibilities, citing a number of AI applications and initiatives undertaken by the Chinese tech giant.

Among these, our favorite was the development of an "AI cucumber" which the company's iGrow team has entered into international agriculture competitions. There were, of course, many serious and progressive applications, but something about the term "AI cucumber" has completely captured our attention.

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