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First ever Digital Tech Week aims to spark new connections

Entrepreneurs with ideas for a new business, companies wanting to make better use of technology and others with an interest in the digital world are being offered the chance to get better connected through Basingstoke’s first Digital Tech Week.  
Aiming to grow the area’s digital economy, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is running the event, in partnership with SETsquared, the top university business incubator, and the EU-funded Tech Town project.  
The week-long programme, from Monday 10 October to Sunday 16 October, will give local people the opportunity to network and learn more about digital marketing, cyber-security, smart technologies and business law, as well as giving support to new start-ups.  
It will culminate in a ‘Hack Weekend’ from Friday 14 October to Sunday 16 October at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT). This will bring together teams of digital creators, students, business people and anyone with an interest in smart technologies to work on real life business challenges to improve customer experiences. These have been set by retail and business leaders from Waitrose, Mars, the Pop-Up Business School, Sentinel Housing and the charity, Step by Step.  
Digital Tech Week will be launched on Monday 10 October, at The Tea Bar in London Street, where interested participants can meet digital creators and local businesses over refreshments from 6.30pm.  
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Leader Cllr Clive Sanders said: “We are bringing together Basingstoke’s entrepreneurial spirit and hi-tech talent for the very first Digital Tech Week. This will showcase just how many exciting and innovative things are going on here. It will really put the borough on the digital map, as well as bringing the local business community together and nurturing future talent and innovation.  
“Ultimately we are aiming to harness the enthusiasm from this week to help in our vision of setting up a more permanent ‘digital hub’ in the town to act as a place to share digital ideas and training to complement the work that is already happening to support new technology businesses to start up in the town.”  
SETsquared’s Entrepreneur in residence Adrian Braine said: “Basingstoke is already gaining a good reputation as the go-to place for the advancement of digital technology and SETsquared supports this with its first off-campus digital hub at Basing View.  
“We are delighted to be involved with the first Digital Tech Week in the area as we hope it will demonstrate how our vibrant local digital start-ups are making huge strides in the industry at home and abroad. We welcome anybody who is interested in finding out more about digital technology and setting up or promoting their own business – it’s a very exciting time to get involved.” 

Highlights of the Digital Tech Week include:  

  • A masterclass on Intellectual Property for Small Businesses, sponsored by local law firm Maucher Jenkins, on Tuesday 11 October, at 11.30am, at Basing View Marketing Suite at Loddon Parade. Katie Cameron, Richard Parsons and Fiona Kellas, from Maucher Jenkins, will give an overview of patents, designs, trademarks and copyright and the types of protection available. The event will be followed by a pizza and beer networking session.  
  • A seminar on cyber-security ‘Protecting your business online’ at Barclays Bank in Market Place, Basingstoke, on Tuesday 11 October at 6pm.  
  • A Start-up Drop-in Clinic for new businesses and those thinking of starting a new business from 11am to 3pm on Wednesday 12 October in the mezzanine lounge on the first floor of Waitrose at Basing View. Experts will be on hand to talk business, covering strategy, planning, marketing, finance, legal and technical issues.  
  • A smart technologies workshop at Basing View Marketing Suite, on Wednesday 12 October from midday to 2pm, with Mike Welch, Managing Director of Basingstoke-based Control Network Solutions. He will share his experience of developing innovative solutions to improve and manage lighting and to achieve better energy efficiency and user experience.  
  • A Digital Marketing Insights seminar on Thursday 13 October at Basing View Marketing Suite. Participants can learn how digital has changed the way businesses operate and how digital marketing tools are vital to attract and retain customers. The hands-on session will help business owners understand the different digital marketing channels and identifying what will work best for their business. Social Media, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Google AdWords, E-Newsletters, Google Maps and My Business will all be covered during this highly interactive workshop.  
  • A Google Developer Group meeting will be held at BCoT on Thursday 13 October from 6pm to 8.30pm. IT specialist Bruce Pentreath will be coming along to talk about Angular, Google’s development platform for building mobile and desktop web applications.  
  • At the end of the week, the Hampshire Sustainable Business Network will make the case for energy-reducing technology at a workshop hosted by Berry Bros and Rudd on Friday 14 October.  

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