David Savage, founder of the Tech Talks podcast, has been interviewing tech entrepreneurs on his show for three years now, and exploring the challenges and opportunities that technology can bring to our lives, across any and every sector. David will bring his considerable experience to our panel of expert judges at the GESAwards UK semi-finals, on 16 September in London. Ahead of the event, he answered a few questions for us.
Q: On the Tech Talks podcast you’ve been talking with dozens of entrepreneurs by now. Have you seen any similar traits in those who “make it”?
David: They don’t chase low-hanging fruit (when it comes to money), and they’re able to pivot. It’s a blend of understanding what you want to build (you need that passion to grow a business that you’re invested in emotionally), and an awareness of the market. Beyond that you need to recognise your own strengths and weakness and be prepared to trust others with your vision!
Q: EdTech is a broad industry and can have many different applications, in and out of the classroom. Have you come across one product/service that would be a total game-changer? What is it and why?
David: We recently featured Squirrel AI on the show. They’re a Chinese EdTech and are building truly incredible tech. Tracking eye-movements and clicks, the platform learns and builds totally personalised learning experiences for students across a range of subjects. That, in turn, means more time for teachers to build relationships with each student as the platform does a lot of the more mundane tasks associated to teaching. An augmented learning experience! I’ll add I have concerns about the use of data (and access to it), but that means of implementing technology could be a game-changer.
Q: On a panel of judges of a start-up competition, what is the one element that you most look for in a pitch?
David: Clarity. I think a start-up has to be really aware of the problem it’s trying to fix and why.
Q: What mistake have you seen made in start-up competitions, that is completely unforgivable?
David: That’s harder to answer, but I’d question anyone now building a business without taking into account the social impact of the business. You simply can’t be found to be building tech irresponsibly in a post-Cambridge Analytica world!
To join us, David and other fascinating speakers and judges at the GESAwards UK semi-finals, please register here.