Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
It has been an epochal year for the British technology industry, provoking searching questions about protecting people’s privacy and safety, and regulating Silicon Valley’s behemoths.
At the centre of it all was Facebook, humbled by the Cambridge Analytica scandal which took place on British soil. But at the same time there has been cutting edge technological developments, blockbuster funding rounds, and exciting new players entering the space.
Every year, Business insider publishes the UK Tech 100 — a ranking of the 100 coolest people in the UK tech scene. It celebrates the vibrant array of people working to scale companies, develop exciting new research, and shed light on the latest advances (and scandals) in the industry.
We define “cool” as having done influential and interesting things since we last compiled this list in October 2017 — whether that’s getting a new job, raising money, growing a giant audience on YouTube, or just being really, really good at Fortnite.
Scroll on to see the 2018 edition of the UK Tech 100, ranked in ascending order.
Jake Kanter and Sam Shead contributed to reporting.
100. YouTube’s bolshy British boxer, KSI
TK; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider/Getty
KSI is the mouthy YouTuber who has netted millions of pounds by taking on fellow YouTubers in real-life boxing matches.
It’s as much notoriety as it is fame for KSI, who has had to apologise for off-colour remarks in the past, and engaged in bitter vitriol with his most recent opponent: US vlogger Logan Paul.
He is hugely popular with his young fanbase, and this new form of entertainment is highly lucrative. It’s a revolution in terms of how YouTubers can parlay their digital fame into offline events.
Previous rank: New entryTwitter: @KSIOlajidebt
99. Martin Lewis, the millionaire suing Facebook over scam bitcoin ads
Martin Lewis is best known as the man who helps people save money through MoneySavingExpert.com. But this year, the millionaire made headlines for launching legal action against Facebook over bitcoin ads bearing his name, which scammed people out of cash.
He promised to take Facebook to the High Court, but proceedings have gone quiet as the two parties discuss the possibility of a settlement. Sources close to Lewis think they rattled Facebook, and as a mark of how seriously the company is treating the issue, US executives joined a meeting a 4.30 a.m. to help reach a resolution.
Previous rank: New entryTwitter: @MartinSLewis
READ THE UK TECH 100 INTERVIEW: Martin Lewis on why fake Facebook ads are destroying savings funds and making people suicidal »
98. Sharon White, Ofcom CEO has tech in her sights
Sharon White is a regulator who commands respect in the media industry. She has taken BT to task over improving the UK’s high-speed broadband network, as well as taking on a huge new role in keeping the BBC in check.
And it looks like firms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are now in her sights. In an article for The Times in July, White said the “argument for independent regulatory oversight” over these firms “has never been stronger.”
She followed this up with a speech last month, in which she outlined a proposal to impose financial penalties on social media firms that fail to remove offensive content in a timely manner.
With the government poised to set out its position on internet safety in a white paper this year, Ofcom could well be handed even more powers.
Previous rank: New entryHeadcount: 868
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