How LEAP is making tech more collaborative

How LEAP is making tech more collaborative

If there’s one thing we talk about a lot at LEAP, it’s collaboration.

But the tech industry is competitive, right? Shouldn’t we be spending our time figuring out how to beat the competition – not wasting our energy on helping other companies and other entrepreneurs?

Yes, tech is competitive. As of June 2023 there are 1,215 unicorns (startups that are worth over $1 billion) in the world. That’s a lot of unicorns – and the unicorns are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to startups, with about 700,000 startups established in the US alone in 2022. The US remains the highest ranked country for startups, with a Startup Ecosystem Score of 198.08. It’s followed by the UK (51.218), Canada (34.49), and Sweden (27.074).

Beyond the startup stage, the competitiveness in tech at every level is evident in the products we use in our everyday lives. Take Threads, the new text-based social media app just launched by Meta – there’s no uncertainty about the fact that Threads has been created as a direct competition to (the floundering) Twitter. Or the race for competing companies (like Inflection AI and Anthropic) to roll out generative AI tools in the wake of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

But what actually happens when techies get together?

And yet, at LEAP 2023, 172,000 techies got together in the same space to share their knowledge and ideas. Sure, they might have been there to scout out the competition and get a look at what other people are creating. But on the ground it certainly didn’t feel like a competitive place.

What we saw, over and over again, was people sharing their knowledge and ideas, offering the wisdom of their experience to others, and building relationships and partnerships that would be mutually beneficial to everyone involved. Instead of being there to compete, we recognised that people were there to get on the same team.

We’re in constant conversation with our attendees, speakers, and exhibitors. And every time we ask them what they’ve gained from becoming part of our community, they note that the opportunities for networking and collaboration are a huge factor in why they invest time and resources into LEAP.

For example, Ghela Boskovich (Regional Director/Head of Europe at Financial Data and Technology Association) said:

“Having so many industries convened in one spot made it so much easier to have conversations about the intersectionality of different data sets, and what potential use cases arise from blending those insights. And under one roof (an unfathomably big roof) we have smart energy, smart cities, and health tech bumping into fintech tech.

“LEAP 2023 afforded me the chance to talk with others from around the world, in different industries, about the intersectionality of smart data use cases in an open framework; a rare opportunity.”

And Andrew Funk (Founding President at Homeless Entrepreneur) noted that the collaborative opportunities at an event like this can do much more than just help him grow his business. The chance to learn from cross-industry experts and build meaningful relationships with peers could help him achieve his mission to end homelessness.

Those new relationships and partnerships, Funk said, could lead to an increasingly innovative strategic design and framework for his work, along with funding and market access to help empower people out of poverty; “by tapping into the limitless potential of tech to build a positive future, where homelessness and poverty, as we know it, no longer exists.”

Why do technology professionals seek collaboration and cooperation?

The innovators we meet show us, time and time again, that while the market is competitive (and we’re not disputing that), the global tech team is ultimately shooting at the same goal.

What is that goal?

It’s to make the world better.

Within the industry, there are different ideas about how things should be better, and what would make things better. But when it comes to the why – to reason techies do what they do – the same thing comes up time and time again.

The reason we’re here is to make things better. And that’s why tech people will continue to strive for collaboration, no matter how saturated and competitive the market becomes.

And what about us, the people behind LEAP? We’re here for it. We’ll keep giving you the space to get together and drive progress through partnership and information-sharing. Because we too believe that technology can solve the biggest problems we’re facing today and in the future.

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