Mike Barritt, Co-founder and Director of not-for-profit membership organisation Software Cornwall has scooped the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Tech South West Awards, hosted last Thursday (Nov 25) at the Market Hall in Plymouth.
Back in 2010, Mike was working for Oxford Innovation and created a Director peer group, bringing founders of software companies together which paved the way for the launch of the Software Cornwall community as we know it today.
Mike attracted funding to develop a new programme for Cornwall, centred around Agile; an iterative approach to project management and software development. This programme enabled him to bring in experts from the Agile field, a relatively new methodology at the time and completely new for Cornwall and the southwest. Not only did this facilitate the early success of some of Cornwall’s biggest software companies, but also enabled Mike to launch ‘Agile on the Beach’; a conference now in its tenth year, bringing 500 delegates and speakers from all over the world to Falmouth and putting Cornwall on the map for Agile methodologies.
The judges of this category, which was sponsored by South West Tech Daily, said that they were impressed that Mike had built something that is already creating a lasting legacy and helped put the Cornwall tech scene firmly on the map with Agile on the Beach, whilst also inspiring young people into tech through Software Cornwall’s Mission to Mars work experience programme.
Whilst speaking to Peter Evans, editor of South West Tech Daily in a recent interview on the future of Software Cornwall and its tech scene, Mike said “Of the utmost importance here is motivating and skilling up the young people in Cornwall from primary school right through their education to be ready for the new world of AI, digital, problem-solving, being Agile etc. Alongside this is skilling up those looking to change jobs into the tech sector to help fill the “talent gap” in the region. As for me, I am retiring – for the second and final time! From Software Cornwall by Christmas and Agile on the Beach during 2022.”
Toby Parkins, co-founder of Headforwards, Chairman of Tech South West and one of the founding Directors of Software Cornwall said “Mike single-handedly started the Agile movement in Cornwall and created visibility for Cornwall’s tech community within the south-west and UK that simply wasn’t there before. Mike helped businesses to transform and I’m certain that without him, there would be no Software Cornwall or Agile on the beach, both of which have been responsible for creating hundreds, possibly thousands of jobs in Cornwall.”
Upon winning the Lifetime Achievement Award, Mike said “I am truly honoured to have won and would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years because it is those people who have done the hard work and created the growth in the tech sector in Cornwall.”