“I won’t give you the sort of answers that most people will”. We’re assured this fervently by the charismatic Jennifer Arcuri at the outset of our interview itself.
The refreshingly frank founder of thought leadership network InnoTech and cyber security outfit Hacker House is quite the firebrand and not one to mince words. And that’s precisely why we wanted to feature Arcuri in the second episode of a series of digital economy themed mini-specials.
American export Arcuri is the vivacious creator of the InnoTech network where a consistently open and unorthodox approach to the standard innovation summit setup means she manages to get policymakers (Boris Johnson is a regular) in the same room as influential founders and investors. More critically, there are no high-falutin, time-wasting keynote speeches or panels brimming with representatives from event sponsors. Instead, Arcuri determinedly gets Government and the tech industry folk alike debating the pressing challenges affecting the tech industry and committing to taking real action.
Her other great passion is Hacker House – a security venture that identifies and nurtures a crack team of ethical hackers, aiming to provide best-in-class solutions. And then there’s the Pink Sheet Database where Arcuri invites dynamic women in the digital sector to swap the formal meet and greets so rampant in the industry for honest banter in an informal, anything-goes environment.
We pinned Arcuri down for what proved to be a high-octane dialogue, quizzing her on a gamut of issues to do with the digital economy: How does Britain now stack up to the Valley? What skills will non-digital natives need to realistically compete in a surging digital economy? Is the ‘not enough women in tech’ lament getting old and what can we do about it?
Arcuri offers her frank, firm stance across this spectrum of topics, including where you as a start-up need to be if you want to go global, white hat hacking and how we’ll truly rally more young girls to consider STEM careers. I can promise a playful yet insight-packed interview. Oh, and it closes with a few ‘tech minions’ too… Watch on.