Martha Lane Fox, who is now a government digital adviser, told the audience: "There is still an enormous prize for the country that puts the internet at the heart of how it thinks and I would like that country to be the UK."
Lane Fox also noted a worrying amount of household tech names came from outside the UK, while the only IT company within the FTSE 100 was Sage.
"This isn't a rant because we're doing incredibly badly," Lane Fox added. "This is a rant because we could just do that bit better."
Meanwhile, Steve Hatch, regional director of Northern Europe for Facebook, stated advances in mobile phone technology had levelled the playing field for entrepreneurs.
Hatch added that businesses that would have required thousands in investments including expensive offices "can today be achieved with a mobile phone and a great idea".