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Now in its third year, Europe’s leading blockchain for business event, Blockchain Summit, is back in town this week at London’s Olympia.

Although still relatively young as an event, the conference has become known as a hub for innovation and an opportunity for industry leaders, decision makers and tech pacesetters to come together and talk all things blockchain.

From Helene Stanway, Head of Digital Innovation at AXA to Amit Varma, Chief Technology Officer and blockchain pioneer at CitiBank, Blockchain Summit has lined up over 80 visionary speakers to lead panel discussions and deliver insights over the two-day event.

In this blog, we’re focusing on some of the pioneering and unique companies who will be exhibiting. From businesses who are advancing blockchain protocols to global companies that are playing a major role in enabling a decentralized world, and everything in the middle.

A global tech company, Insolar is building its own public and private blockchain solutions on its propriety Insolar Blockchain Platform; which it claims is the most secure, flexible and scalable blockchain for business. With a team of over 80 spread across the globe, Insolar’s mission to change the way the world does business is definitely one to watch.

Founded by a team of researchers, mathematicians, cryptographers and economists, Algorand’s mission is to create the borderless economy by removing the technical barriers that have undermined widespread adoption of blockchain to date – scale, security and decentralisation. Ultimately, the team aims to provide a stable platform that businesses can trust as we move towards a decentralised, borderless economy.

A consultancy and professional services business, Altoros has helped over 2000 companies around the world harness innovative technologies to create products that give them a real competitive advantage. Offering consultancy, training and the technology building blocks for solutions across cloud automation, blockchain and AI, Altoros is actively helping companies to understand and successfully implement the latest technologies into their business.

Founded in 2014, OpenLedger works with companies around the world to integrate both existing blockchain solutions and build new decentralised apps that provide real competitive advantage. Dedicated to bringing the power of blockchain to the business world, OpenLedger provides solutions across supply chains, IoT, logistics and healthcare to name a few.

Working with leading FTSE companies, fifth9 is driven by a simple aim: to combine subject-matter expertise with solid consultancy to give clients clear, actionable value. With more than a decade in technology strategy and business transformation, fifth9’s products are baked with industry insight and global experience.

Founded in 2008, ClinicAll is focused on the development and rollout of digital services in hospitals. Its software solutions and apps support seamless interaction between patients, doctors and medical staff and the team is focused on developing products that fulfil hospitals’ requirements for modern and efficient solutions while offering quality care.

If you’re looking for public relations support for your blockchain business speak to a member of our team today.

Spotlight on: Blockchain Summit 2019

Emma Lawton, meet our people

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you’ve found yourself as the go-to blockchain specialist here at The PHA Group?

I started at the PHA Group just shy of three years ago in the Technology team having worked at a B2B technology PR agency in Nottingham, my university city, for a year after graduating. With my background in “techy tech” (telecoms, AI & dynamic spectrum access technology) I was keen to help grow our B2B client base.

Around two years ago we had an old client return to us wanting help with a new project that involved blockchain technology. What followed was a crash course learning about blockchain and how it could disrupt virtually every established industry. From the success of that first client (we launched them with an exclusive in Forbes) we began actively offering our services to more clients harnessing blockchain technology.

What is it about the blockchain sector that grabbed your attention in the first place?

I love the fundamental principle of blockchain – decentralization. For years we had willingly given over all our personal data to large centralized conglomerates without a second thought. We’d also happily gone along with the established financial systems; even if that meant getting a mortgage or loan was almost nigh-on-impossible given the long-winded and opaque processes. Implementing distributed ledger technology could change all of that.

You’ve been heavily involved with all things blockchain in the past couple of years whilst at The PHA Group, what is it that you look for when calculating your PR impact?

It always depends based on what each client is looking for when they start working with us. For some, it’s about growing the profile of the business outside of the crypto enthusiast bubble. So, getting cut-through coverage in the nationals and mainstream technology & business titles is success. For others, it’s about raising their profile in front of traditional investors for their ICOs. Ultimately, we always look to make sure we deliver what our clients define as success.

In a matter of years blockchain has become one of the most talked about industries around, what role has PR played in this?

Not always a good one! PR and marketing has definitely contributed towards the hype around blockchain and cryptocurrencies – especially given the wild volatility of the nascent market. We’ve seen fraudulent ICOs con people out of millions of pounds all thanks to a snazzy whitepaper and polished marketing campaign. What we are focused on doing through our PR campaigns is telling the genuine story of blockchain as an enabler – a technology that can truly disrupt existing models for the better, much like the internet did 30 years ago. Over the last year we have started to see PR play more of a positive role; focusing on real-life case studies of blockchain in action and the tangible value it can bring to businesses.

What sets The PHA Group apart from other blockchain focused PR agencies?

We aren’t a purely blockchain PR focused agency. A major benefit of PHA is that we are a multi-disciplined agency. We work with football clubs and clothing brands to business entrepreneurs and cybersecurity companies, and everything in between; which means we have contacts across virtually every sector. This is really important for blockchain businesses, as most of the time their business is about bringing distributed ledger technology to an already established sector to enhance and bring efficiencies. So, already knowing that sector’s media and what’s newsworthy to those journalists is a major advantage.

If you would like to find out how PR can connect you with the right audience for your Blockchain offering then please get in touch with us today.

Meet our people; Emma Lawton

Facebook’s news that it will be launching it’s own cryptocurrency, Libra, has made quite a lot of waves; but not necessarily for good reasons. While an interesting move for the social media behemoth, Libra represents a dangerous premise. And it’s not guaranteed to succeed or be the saviour of the fledgling cryptocurrency market.

Undoubtedly, the technology and adoption rates behind Libra are frankly astounding. Libra’s governance is made up of the biggest players in payment technology – Spotify, PayPal and Mastercard are all involved – which means that it is almost a given that Libra will be the most valuable cryptocurrency in the years to come. Being backed by tangible assets also means it has value that hasn’t been created out of thin air.

But Facebook’s main play here is to the billions of unbanked people in the developing world. Given their entire strategy at the moment seems to hinge around the developing world – they’ve made some serious ground with bringing mobile technology into developing nations in recent years and Facebook is almost synonymous with the internet now – this move with Libra is understandable. If Facebook effectively controls the internet in developing countries, as well as the monetary source, then they’ll be the most powerful company in the up and coming world. One which is catching up with first world counties at a much quicker rate than the first world is able to innovate itself.

Yet Facebook doesn’t exactly have a good record on data privacy, *cough* Cambridge Analytic *cough*, and yet this move would grant them a huge amount of power over intrinsically sensitive data. While it’s unlikely that the central banks will just let go of the power of money, Facebook will still now need to worry about much more than who has access to images or user profile details; think money laundering, KYC protocols across multiple jurisdictions, the safety of blockchain to name a few.

Another factor to consider is that Facebook itself is only a single member, with a single vote share of the entire organisation – which is non-for-profit. While this could be used in their defence that they won’t try to control the system, why would they do this unless they had some sort of ulterior motive? They’re not exactly altruistic.

Add to this the fact they’re launching their own wallet, which is set to be built from the ground up to support transactions with Libra across Instagram and Facebook. This will ultimately create an ecosystem where you can buy an influencer’s clothing line directly from Instagram using Libra.

Sounds great right? No – therein lies the catch.

The move to launch Libra is fundamentally a business-motivated decision. It’s not about advancing blockchain technology or showing the value of cryptocurrency. The fact Facebook only represents one vote out of 27 matters very little when they control the vast majority of popular tech in today’s society.

If you would like to find out how PR can connect you with the right audience for your blockchain offering then please get in touch with us today.

Facebook’s Libra – the future of crypto or a dangerous premise?

Last week saw London Tech Week take place, an event which highlights cutting edge innovation and break out trends within the tech industry. One of the hot topics of this year’s event was cybersecurity. Cyber attacks and breaches are a real threat for UK businesses and organisations, with 32%  reporting an attack in the last year.

With this increased level of threat, the cybersecurity market has been working hard to develop and flourish, which in turn has enabled more startups to emerge within the industry. We’ve looked at five UK cybersecurity startups to check out.


Providing continuous threat monitoring and defence strategies for the rail and automotive industries, RazorSecure works specifically with trains, buses, planes and cars. Their software has been designed to operate in the most challenging environments including at 30,000 feet up in the air. Interestingly, RazorSecure’s software can protect systems without a guaranteed internet connection due to the automated response playbook that can respond when an attack is detected.


The Senseon platform provides a unique and innovative Al-led approach to dealing with cyber threat detection. Senseon’s USP is that it offers security teams unmatched visibility across organisations, which means even small attacks will get picked up. Through Al learning, Senseon trains itself based off of genuine threats, which in the long run helps to reduce false positive alerts.


The award-winning fraud detection platform has one single aim, to help organisations be sure that their users are who they say they are. From individual developers to the biggest names in financial services, AimBrain builds technology that helps to not only detect but also prevent fraud. If that wasn’t enough, the even better news for consumers is their single-minded approach – they want to make it as simple as possible for everyone to use. AimBrain has found a way to harness the power of biometric authentication so that everyone can benefit from it.


If you’ve struggled in the past to determine if a user is who they say they are, either at work or at home, Callsign are here ready to help. Using real-time AI-powered identity and authentication solutions, Callsign helps your users get on with their digital lives in the most seamless way possible, whilst being verified and safe. Some of their clientele include BT, Accenture, Deloitte and KPMG.


Welcome to the future of security. Tessian is in the process of building the world’s first human layer security platform which will keep sensitive data and systems private and secure.

Whether it’s misdirected emails or phishing, Tessian can come to the rescue for unsuspecting users. Tessian combines historical email data and stateful machine learning to decide if an email looks like a security threat.

So far Tessian are working with leading enterprises across financial, legal and technology sectors using natural language processing and the Tessian Parallax Engine to automatically investigate all inbound emails in real-time, before warning users if something looks unusual.


If you would like to find out how PR can connect you with the right audience for your cybersecurity offering then please get in touch with us today.

Cybersecurity on the rise – Are you prepared?

This time last week I hopped on the 06:00 easyJet flight from London Gatwick to Amsterdam, bound for Money20/20, Europe’s largest fintech event, hosted at the impressive RAI Amsterdam just outside the city centre.

Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden announced that “Everybody is here and every year it’s getting bigger and bigger” – so really, what choice did I have?

It’s an event we’ve wanted to attend for a while, and this year felt like the perfect time to support the fast growth and development of our fintech division within the Technology team.

After the world’s most expensive taxi from the airport (must have been the suit), over two days I met with 16 fintech companies with whom we’d arranged meetings in advance, and spent time discussing their growth plans and how PR could positively impact each of their businesses respectively.

In the end, it didn’t matter that my Outlook calendar failed to take the new time zone into account…each meeting ran smoothly, just an hour later than scheduled…

The brilliant thing about Money20/20 is the caliber of the businesses there…though still relatively early on in their respective journeys, the whole start-up community is punching well above its weight, fitting in naturally among the mammoth interactive booths belonging to Mastercard, PayPal and Huawei.

16 meetings and 60,000 steps later, here are 5 things I learnt from my two days rubbing shoulders with Europe’s fintech elite.

  • The Netherlands is a burgeoning fintech hub

In 2018 there were over 400 Dutch fintech companies – the Netherlands is a global frontrunner in successful fintech innovation, and the start-up scene is thriving. Home to industry leaders such as Ohpen and Adyen, the Dutch capital was a natural choice for this year’s conference, where jobs in the sector have grown by 35% since 2017.

One of the biggest talking points in financial services is the integration of technology to disrupt notoriously traditional approach to industries such as banking and insurance. Large banks across the Netherlands are actively embracing the innovation and transparency afforded by the fintech start-up scene and actively support it. The sheer mix and variety of traditional banks and fintech start-ups sharing the floor at Money20/20 this year was evidence enough of this collaboration.

  • Open Banking was the dominant theme

There were over 10 individual talks/seminars covering open banking – it was very much the buzzphrase of this year’s conference, and rightly so. It’s now just a matter of weeks until PSD2’s Regulatory Technical Standard (RTS) deadline on 14th September, bringing new requirements for authenticating online payments to address security concerns related to Europe’s move to a digital economy. So, EU merchants and banks have a decision to make when it comes to fintech collaboration.

As well as ensuring compliance with new regulations, banks are also being challenged to compete and stay relevant when faced with fast-moving competitors. This is where fintech partnerships are key, supported by data from PwC which revealed 82% of banks will look to increase the number of partnerships they have with fintech companies over the next three-five years.

  • Fintech is all about the customer

Fintechs are setting new standards when it comes to customer experience. It became apparent when speaking to a variety of start-ups and challenger brands shaking up traditional industries that a customer-centric approach is what they are focusing on, with the financial element coming later. By their very nature, fintechs are tech-first companies; they complement and support the banking industry but are able to win customers at a faster rate because of their customer-centric approach. They prioritise a seamless, enjoyable end-to-end customer experience before they seek to solve the actual banking layer.

  • You get what you pay for

Money20/20 was the most enjoyable and worthwhile event I’ve been to since working at PHA. Aside from the obvious benefit of unlimited food and drink (no less than 10 global cuisines under one roof!) it was exciting, educational and just by being there you felt part of a global community.

It’s not the cheapest event in the world, but the exciting businesses I met, the quality of the speakers on show, and the packed schedule over three days meant that the event oozed quality and you felt you were getting real value for money.

When seeking to meet people, grow your network and hone your knowledge, there’s no substitute for being ‘on the ground’ and in amongst the action – and we’ll certainly look to do it again next year with another 12 months of fintech growth under our belt.

  • A smoothie is a great ice breaker

I’ve never seen so many smoothie bars in one place. It was as though a smoothie was the universal mechanic for starting a meeting – and it really worked. As one of the 5 Star Sponsors, ACI Worldwide ran the main smoothie bar which completely dominated one of the exhibition halls. It was packed every day, and I received a couple of calendar invitations with, simply, “smoothie”, as the location – it became one of the key meeting hubs for people keen to talk while hitting their 5-a-day.

For those who wanted to jump on the smoothie hype, many stands had their own blenders and coffee machines, and it does make you naturally gravitate towards them, or catch the CEO-cum-barista’s eye, which often leads to a quick chat or exchange of business cards.

Is your business or start-up looking for PR support? Why not get in touch with our award-winning team today.

5 things we learnt at Money20/20 Europe

What a time to be a Bitcoin believer. For those dedicated HODLers that chose to brave out the crypto winter, it finally appears that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The rewards will have been well earned too. After all, it takes a certain determination to not sell your assets in the face of; an eighty percent price crash; a civil war; countless instances of theft and John Mcafee and Craig Wright doing their best J.J Jameson impression over the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto.

The price of Bitcoin has almost doubled across the last couple of months, growing from approximately $4,000 at the start of April to around $8,000 at the start of June, and with reports suggesting that Facebook soon plan to launch their own cryptocurrency, it even appears that the much mooted institutional involvement is now on the horizon. Despite the recent slide which dropped Bitcoin’s price to around $7,500, it appears that the future is looking much rosier than it was this time a year ago. But, before you rush to dust off your ‘Make Crypto Great Again’ cap, let’s look at what this price movement will mean.

With such a substantial price appreciation, it’s almost inevitable that we’ll now witness an uptake in interest from retail investors, as FOMO begins to take full hold. The relative buoyancy of crypto assets will encourage many to enter the sector in search of a quick buck. Of course, the knock-on effect of this will be the regulators keeping a closer eye on the market. While many in the crypto community may decry this, greater regulatory involvement is an absolute necessity. Unfortunately, the combination of uneducated investors and a decentralised market structure is rife for fraudsters to take advantage of, so regulators must do all that they can to protect investors from fraudulent activity.

On this note, the regulatory authorities have made significant progress in their understanding of digital assets since the conclusion of the last bull run at the tail end of 2017. As such, the FCA is an a much better position to ensure that the appropriate oversights and measures are in place. However, should the rally continue, then further action is required. The FCA is currently preparing to release its Policy Statement on crypto assets, which comes as a result of a six-month-long consultation. This guidance will provide regulatory clarity for those operating in the crypto space – determining whether ongoing activities fall under pre-existing legislation. Should the market continue to trend upwards, then the FCA will bound to accelerate these efforts, perhaps going beyond the issuing of a simple policy statement.

Finally, it’s also incredibly likely that we’ll see the re-emergence of products and services whose viability declined as the market contracted. We will witness new companies looking to enter the marketplace, raising capital through Security Token Offerings (STOs). These will appear small when compared to the Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) launched during the market’s peak in 2017 and 2018, but as the market continues to grow, so will their size.

We’ve left the darkness, and a renewed market may encourage many to get involved. But if you’ve spent the last two years on the sideline, then you may find that lots has changed. Make sure to study the market, and conduct your due diligence, as this will help to keep you and your investments safe!

If you would like to find out how PR can connect you with the right audience for your blockchain offering then please get in touch with us today.

Bitcoin’s price rise: What does it all mean?

Ben Cossor, Account Director Fintech

What is it about the fintech sector that grabbed your attention in the first place?

The introduction of technology to traditional financial services has brought much-needed competition and ultimately led to innovations that have improved, and continue to improve, the financial experiences of businesses and consumers alike. We can now send money internationally to friends and family with guaranteed exchange rates and low fees, or trust an algorithm to choose our investments for us. Each of our financial lives have been made easier and more enjoyable.

It’s hard to ignore the pace at which it started gathering momentum – almost out of nowhere. Suddenly everything that involved fintech was gaining interest from investors and the media. Venture capital and private equity investment in British fintech rose to an all-time high of £2.6bn in 2018, up 18% from 2017.

It sounds strange to say that fintech has huge potential, because we’re witnessing the boom right now, but there is still so much more to come which will benefit businesses and consumers alike, and that’s hugely exciting. It’s also the sheer variety of sectors that it touches and helps to modernise – from banking, payments and billing, to insurance, lending and personal finance to name a few.

The variety of our fintech client work – Quantexa, Samuel and Co Trading, Quivira Capital, Bink, and Xendpay – demonstrates just how varied and exciting the space is.

In 2018, over £90 trillion was spent in the UK using contactless payments, what key trends do you see taking place in the coming years in the fintech industry?

Further developments in open banking are a certainty. Banking has already become fairer and more transparent for consumers, and the growth and success of challenger banks has fast-tracked product development among traditional banks who cannot get left behind. This year and beyond we will see banks and fintech start-ups continue to work together to give us even more transparency within our day-to-day banking.

Another trend which took off in 2018 and will continue to grow in popularity is investment and money management. Specifically, lowering the barriers of entry to investing for everyday people who have little prior knowledge of it. Robo-advice and digital wealth management are one of the fastest-growing and most talked-about areas of the financial services’ digital transformation. The likes of Wealthify, WealthSimple, Moneyfarm have opened up the route to simple investing, and – particularly relevant as we enter the new tax year – Innovative Finance ISAs (IFISAs) such as Kuflink, Ratesetter and PropLend will only increase the number of people leaving cash ISAs behind and benefiting from favourable interest rates through technology-enabled stocks & shares investment.

You’ve been heavily involved in setting the fintech strategy here at The PHA Group, what are your basic rules to PR’ing a fintech company?

Know your audience – your target audience, and the stage your business is at, should be the first thing which determines your PR strategy

Nail your brand positioning – to avoid being seen as just “another fintech start-up”, be crystal clear with a) a clear brand message for each market you operate in, b) clearly defined USPs and c) a value proposition that appeals to key stakeholders

Become an expert commentator – build credibility and authority by becoming an expert commentator in the media through by-lines and reacting to breaking stories

Educate your audience – avoid the hard sell, adopt a more tactical approach by educating your target audience through considered thought leadership that appeals to an helps them

Make sure you have a story to tell – when it comes to interviews, you need a stand-out story in order for a journalist to buy into you. Be clear on the problem you’re solving, a timeline for how you got where you are, some interesting anecdotes and clear growth potential (and don’t hold back on the nitty-gritty details like financials and investment).

You’ve been involved in working on some great accounts in the past, is their one particular highlight?

Delivering the Smarter Working Initiative campaign for our long-standing client PowWowNow three years in a row has been really enjoyable and a great success story for the PHA Technology team. The campaign has longevity and real-world impact, changing the way employers and employees alike think about smarter, more flexible working. To top it all off, the 2017 campaign won Best use of PR at the B2B Marketing Awards.

What sets the tech department at The PHA Group apart from other tech PR agencies?

The way in which we take the time to fully understand and immerse ourselves in each client’s business, to make sure we are fully equipped to communicate their USPs and tell their story effectively with the right messages. We are also extremely transparent, which isn’t always the case with PR agencies – we set ourselves challenging KPIs and offer a data-led approach to measuring success to ensure our clients receive a genuine return on their investment. This is becoming increasingly important in order to stand out in today’s market.

Finally, you’ve been at The PHA Group for over five years now, what’s your golden piece of advice you’d give to any budding PR professionals beginning their career?

I started out at PHA as an intern before starting my permanent role, and I’d encourage anyone beginning their career in PR to get as much experience under their belt as early as possible. There is a lot to learn before you’re ready to thrust yourself into a journalist-facing, client-facing role, and you can hone these skills through a hands-on internship where you’re given the autonomy and responsibility to create your own path. At PHA, if you put a lot into it you will get a lot out of it.

Ben will be attending Money20/20 in Amsterdam from 4-5 June. Please get in touch if you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss your PR requirements.

Meet our people; Ben Cossor

Amsterdam’s FinTech scene is as vibrant and thriving as the city’s culture, with new market entrants popping up across the city set on transforming how businesses and people manage their money. A pioneer in financial services, Dutch banks were the frontrunners in mobile and digital banking and the future is looking bright for Amsterdam’s young and flourishing start-ups.

These are the Amsterdam-born companies we’re keeping an eye on this year.


Maintaining a healthy cash flow can be one of the most stressful parts of running a business, and there’s nothing worse than a late invoice. For young companies, in particular, a late invoice isn’t just frustrating but also has the potential to hold larger scale repercussions in the form of late staff payments and bills.  InvoiceFinance prevents this from happening, by giving companies advances of invoices on the same day they’re sent empowering businesses to focus on their growth, rather than worrying about cash flow. For only 1% of the invoice total, companies can have peace of mind that they can pay their precious staff and keep a roof over their head.


Founded in 2006, Adyen set on a mission to build a modern payments technology infrastructure capable of evolving with the needs of today’s growing global businesses. Adyen’s technology allows businesses of all kinds to accept e-commerce, mobile and point-of-sale payments all around the world. It’s completely adaptable to suit individual needs of each of their customers to ensure that customer satisfaction and revenue growth remains high. The company continues to show impressive growth with a client roster boasting Uber and eBay, who it recently partnered to become the online marketplace’s primary payment processing provider. In 2015, it achieved a valuation of $2.3bn and earned its title as the sixth largest European unicorn and Amsterdam’s first.


Digital bank, Bunq, is transforming how the Dutch bank, and manage their money. Founded in 2015, it originally started out in payments, expanded to deposit accounts and within its first year of trading, received its official banking license. The app now enables customers to have up to 25 accounts for a monthly fee, or one free transaction account; to save on plastic, cards have dual pins on a single card, with a different PIN linked to different accounts. Customers can split bills, request and make payments to friends instantaneously and create group accounts.


Gamification has increasingly found its place in modernising financial services. AdviceGames integrates gamification, machine learning and robo-advice to help prevent financial stress. Money is no longer a taboo subject, and companies like AdviceGames are helping remove the stigma associated with the stress and burden financial problems can cause. The Virtual Financial Assistants and Intelligent Agents are powered by scientific behavioral finance studies and customer analysis to get deep customer insight and predictive models to ensure that they can provide the best advice possible. The games are tailored to individuals constantly learning from their behaviour through personal motivations, financial rehaviour and risk index, for example.


Founded by Chris Zadeh in 2009, Ohpen provides a completely cloud-based banking platform based on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Its mission is to completely transform and liberate banks from the legacy systems that have failed them and their customers for so long. Instead, financial institutions will be based on a cloud-based administration factory freeing them from legacy, on-premises services. Ohpen provides core banking services to large scale clients in wealth management, retail banking and asset management across the Netherlands. Another successfully funded fintech company, it has a total €40m funding over two rounds.

The PHA Group’s Fintech team are looking forward to attending Money20/20 in Amsterdam from 4-5 June. Please get in touch if you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss your PR requirements.

Spotlight on Amsterdam: Fintech companies to watch

This week sees London’s Olympia play host to a celebration of all thing’s tech. Four co-located events and an expected audience of more than 12,000 all under one roof to be precise. The four main expos running throughout the two days focus on blockchain, cybersecurity, internet of things and artificial technology.

A plethora of businesses ranging from global enterprises to start-ups will be exhibiting at the event, hoping to secure new business whilst boosting their brand awareness.

The event we’ll be focusing on in this blog is the AI & Big Data Expo, which promises to be an opportunity to discover the latest AI-powered businesses that can drive your business forward in 2019.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at some of the most promising businesses who are exhibiting at the AI & Big Data Expo this year.


Using groundbreaking technology, Aitrak has developed a formula which helps break down exactly what consumers see first when looking at a selection of products.

Businesses and brands spend millions every year in designing their product to make sure theirs stands out from the rest, so being able to understand what attracts consumers in those vital seconds is a must for all retailers.

Aitrak’s formula includes using a predictive Al model which has been trained with thousands of retail images viewed by people using traditional eye-tracking technology. This approach is combined with the team’s knowledge in retail marketing and computer vision Aitrak usually achieves a 95%-97% accuracy rate.


EarthSense is aiming for the top, their target is to become a global leader in accurate air quality monitoring. EarthSense is hoping to achieve this through expert environmental monitoring and measuring air pollution data and creating products that enable us to better understand and solve air quality issues.

An example of EarthSense’s work is The Zephyr, which was built and engineered to deliver robust and convenient measurements of air quality. The unique system accurately measures a magnitude of things but critically measures the Nitrogen Dioxide and Nitric Oxide levels in the air.

EarthSense was commissioned for a project in Leeds where The Zephyr played a vital role in developing a system to automatically activate zero-emission running of hybrid vehicles along the most heavily polluted city streets.


The London based business provide trusted data on demand so that organisations don’t have to go to the trouble of having to source and prepare data themselves. In the past organisations have struggled to make the most of useful data

Doorda has helped to speed up the process by spending the last several years investigating, gathering, joining and linking thousands of datasets from many official sources such as HMRC, Ordnance Survey and Land Registry. In simple terms, this means that organisations can profit and capitalise on useful data quicker than ever before.


If you like to talk about any of our choices or would like to talk about what PR could do for your business, then why not get in touch with our award-winning team.

AI & Big Data Expo 2019 preview

Meet our people, Mike Cheng Senior Account Manager Technology

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I joined PHA from a specialist STEM communications agency, where I delivered strategic campaigns for a range of clients in areas including cybersecurity, emerging tech and scientific research, as well as large enterprises and some of the most exciting start-ups and spin-outs in the UK and Europe.

How did you move into the tech sector?

I’ve always had an interest in all types of technology, and I have always enjoyed writing, so tech PR was quite a natural fit. After I graduated from University, I did some travelling and moved to London, and found a role at a B2B tech PR agency and haven’t looked back since.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I’m really enjoying working with the team and adding value from the experience I bring. I particularly like the number of different teams at PHA – its a great to work with people with different backgrounds, it helps when we’re coming up with new ideas.

How do you measure your PR impact for clients?

PR measurement is a notoriously tricky subject and there’s no single metric you can measure success. However, I do believe that for comms to truly be successful, we need our objectives to be closely aligned with the client’s business objectives so that we can deliver an outcome – whether that’s increased awareness, sales, behaviour change, share of voice etc. This means really drilling down into a brief and identifying the client’s challenges and responding with creative communications campaigns across multiple channels that deliver the desired outcome.

By closely aligning comms and business strategies, measurement becomes more meaningful, and we can move towards being judged by the outcome of our work.

Finally, what has been your most memorable campaigns you’ve worked on?

Quite a few – one of the ones that stands out was working with (ISC)2, a cybersecurity trade association, to raise awareness of cyber security as a societal issue. We worked with them to create a campaign around its Global Information Security Workforce Study (a bi-annual report); through working closely with the client to craft the report and the story, we secured blanket national, broadcast and trade coverage that propelled cybersecurity up the national agenda. Stats that we pulled out from the data are repeatedly quoted in cybersecurity articles to this day – the report was even quoted in George Osborne’s 2015 Autumn Statement to justify increased spend in cybersecurity.

Another was working with a startup called the Solar Cloth Company – in a nutshell, we ran a crowdfunding campaign to raise £750k in a month. Through PR we raised over £1million – and won a CIPR Award for best STEM campaign in 2015.

If you’re a technology company and would like to talk about what PR could do for your business, why not get in touch with us to find out more.

Meet our people; Mike Cheng