Outside of the bubble: March edition

by ethan.wainwright@finncomms.com

3rd April, 2019

As an agency we’re proud to shout about those pushing the boundaries to demonstrate courageous creativity, improve human connections and understand proof of value outside of the bubble.

So, here’s a round-up of some highlights from March.

Leeds Digital Festival, the largest UK digital sector event of its kind outside London Tech Week, is returning for 2019 following a record year in 2018.

This year’s festival runs from Tuesday 23rd April to Friday 3rd May, and will undoubtedly improve human connections and prove value with a variety of events taking place across the city and wider region. With over 60 events already listed, organisers are hoping the open platform festival will surpass the 170 that took place in 2018, bringing together 400 companies, 660 speakers and welcoming 20,000 attendees.

The open platform structure of the festival allows anyone who is interested in digital and tech to organise, host and attend any events they like. It has been widely praised for its part in helping to foster a hugely collaborative and inclusive environment.

The reputation of the rapidly growing festival has also attracted international attention for 2019, with a delegation from China and Hong Kong attending, as well as presences from Estonia and the US.

The festival will host a wide range of events from the perennial favourite, Code in the Dark to Women in Leeds Digital, a full day conference which will showcase the range of female activity within the digital sector.

Bristol start-up Service Robotics has exceeded the crowdfunding target for its first product, a robot companion service that has been developed for the elderly to help them to live independently.

The courageously creative product seeks to improve human connections by alleviating loneliness, something Age UK estimates affects more than 1.4m people in the UK.

Interest was so high in the start-up that it raised more than 178% of its £120,000 crowdfunding target since the initial launch of the campaign last December.

GenieConnect works by pairing an AI-driven robot companion, with a friendly service agent, providing live video support on the robot screen, via a simple voice command.

A pilot project will put around 150 ‘Genies’ into homes in Bristol and around the UK over the next few months ahead of a potential commercial launch in the second half of this year.

Durham-based Fumarii Technologies has completed a significant investment deal to help develop and launch its new cloud platform and computers which could revolutionise the tech industry.

The tech company uses its cloud platform and technology to turn any screen into a supercomputer, aiming to help individuals and small businesses access digital resources that are typically only available to large firms. The technology will allow people to remotely access supercomputers for a small monthly or hourly fee- talk about courageous creativity and proof of value!

With its latest injection of funds, Fumarii hopes to launch its revolutionary products to the market by the end of 2019. Unlike other cloud providers Fumarii has made a concerted effort to lower the environmental impact of its system with the invention of the Fumarii NEO, a computer server which can capture and store the heat it produces.

Two Manchester college friends, Fraser Cottrell and Nicholas Beddows, who knew they didn’t want to leave education and work for other people are breathing new life into video content creation. The duo founded Fraggell Productions, an award-winning social media video production agency, which to date counts Barclaycard, Saint Laurent, Gap and PrettyLittleThing as loyal clients.

Discussing the USP that sets them apart, Fraser Cottrell, Creative Director for Fraggell Productions, says: “All of our content is created specifically for social media, not as an afterthought or as part of a wider traditional media ad campaign. Our content is tailored to each individual social media platform, meaning that it resonates with their varying user demographics and drives home whatever message we are conveying to a vast audience.”

The results have quickly proved the duo’s value, with Fraggell’s videos clocking up more than 27m views worldwide and their Gifs over 51m, with one gaining a million views overnight, earning it a spot on the Instagram GIF homepage and since increasing to 2.1m views.

The two friends now have their sights set on growing their business from being one with a £100,000 turnover and 3 staff in 2018 to one with a £1m turnover and 30 staff members in the next five years.

All in all, another month full of fantastic examples of courageous creativity, human connections and proof of value outside of the bubble!


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