Exist Insight ISSUE02

Call for tech entrepreneurs, innovators and investors as first Venturefest South West launches

Call for tech entrepreneurs, innovators and investors as first Venturefest South West launches

By Venturefest South West

Written: 15 July 2016

Venturefest South West, 18th October 2016, Sandy Park, Exeter


A flagship event for innovators, entrepreneurs and investors in the technology sector has been announced for the region. Venturefest South West will be held at Sandy Park, Exeter on 18th October and will bring together hundreds of talented small enterprise innovators and entrepreneurs from across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset along with investors on the lookout for emerging talent. This is the first time a Venturefest event, part of a national network supported by Innovate UK, has been held in the region.

Venturefest South West aims to help innovators develop their ideas and support entrepreneurs in securing investment. Attendees can make valuable connections and take away insights and advice from world-class speakers and the region’s trailblazing technology companies through a mix of talks, workshops and exhibitions.

Speakers confirmed so far include Darren Westlake, founder of Crowdcube, the world’s leading investment crowdfunding platform which was founded in and still operates from, Exeter and Professor Roy Sandbach from the University of Northumbria, a leading voice nationally in the field of innovation. Discussing investment will be Natwest’s Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms for the UK, Neil Bellamy.

Among other technology areas, the event will focus on innovation in Agri Tech, Blue Tech, Digital Health, Creative Digital including games development, Photonics and Big Data.

Martin Brown, Chair, Venturefest South West and board member of the Heart of the South West LEP said: “The region has a strong and growing reputation in technology innovation and this event is aimed at innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as investors who want to discover the next big things. Venturefests run across the UK so it’s only right that this region should host an event given the huge potential we have here. The event is all about collaboration, connecting with other people in the sector, learning and making links with potential investors. It is free to attend so accessible for those with start-up businesses or innovations.”

The Innovation Showcase at Venturefest South West will host companies at all stages of growth exhibiting their innovative products, services and technology in an interactive area giving delegates the chance to touch, try and experience the latest designs from the region.

Adrian Dawson, head of GAIN projects and partnerships, at Plymouth University, lead delivery partner for the event said: “As a university we are in the privileged position of witnessing talent and innovation growing in the region. This event champions that talent and will help nurture innovations that could have a significant impact on UK and global industries, from digital health to agri tech. We’re delighted to be working with partners on this event, the first of its kind in the region.” 

Dr Andy Dean, Senior Impact and Partnership Development Manager at the University of Exeter, said: “The University is proud to sponsor Venturefest as part of our ongoing commitment to the regional business community.”

Venturefest South West also hosts the finals of Pitchfest which will provide technology innovators with a platform to pitch their business ideas to potential investors as well as Hackfest, a schools competition for young technology enthusiasts and innovators of the future.

Venturefest South West is on 18th October 2016 at Sandy Park, Exeter.  The event is free to attend and is sponsored by Innovate UK. Those wishing to attend need to register at www.venturefest-sw.co.uk.

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