It’s not every day you find a Fintech bank and a 3D printed droid in the same room. North West Tech Talks are attracting the best tech minds to Bolton with free events open to anyone with a passion for tech, creativity and innovation.

Hosted by online electricals retailer at their Horwich HQ, the next instalment on 3rd March will build on a successful year of conversation with talks from a range of speakers, including ROQ’s former Head of Innovation Ian Smith. Publicised on Meet-Up, the sociable events provide the opportunity to network with other tech enthusiasts and learn something new – over a curry, of course.

Last year, the tech industry in the North West turned over a huge £4.98 billion. While the region boasts over 13,000 tech businesses, they are overwhelmingly based in Manchester. Launched as an accessible alternative to Manchester meetups, North West Tech Talks (NWTT) are encouraging tech talent out of the city centre, drawing attendees from Lancaster, Preston, Blackburn, Bolton and Wigan to build a community of likeminded individuals in the area.

Craig Connell, UX Designer at AO, said:

“I knew my talk on design thinking was outside the crowd’s area of interest but the look of genuine curiosity, and the smiles on people’s faces, made it special.”

The talks began as a monthly ‘Show and Tell’ session in the AO Tech department before the team opened their doors to the wider community. AO employees – affectionately known as AO’ers – run the events in their own time and it’s both the relaxed atmosphere and the diverse range of topics that sets NWTT apart from other meetups.

Muhammad Asim, Fintech entrepreneur and NWTT speaker, said:

“The growing number of successful events now being held up North is a fantastic achievement for companies like AO – they benefit the community by providing an accessible platform to listen to quality speakers.”

NWTT are part of a wider drive to build a tech community in Bolton. In collaboration with Edge Hill University, AO Tech have hosted several informative workshops to encourage computer science students into tech careers in the North West.

The free tech talks are held from 6-8pm at the AO Parklands Office in Lostock, Bolton. Previous talks, covering everything from AI to the Dark Web, are available to watch on YouTube. For more information on upcoming talks, please visit the MeetUp page.