Hundreds of business leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and investors will gather in Exeter this month for the inaugural Venturefest South West event.
The free event will showcase the cutting edge innovation and entrepreneurship coming out of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset and encourage all to work together on new opportunities. Places are already fully booked.
Venturefest South West takes place at Sandy Park, Exeter, on October 18. Activities will be grouped around three themes:
- innovate and grow
- finance and invest
- show and tell
Among the speakers will be Darren Westlake, co-founder of Crowdcube; Neil Bellamy, of RBS/NatWest; Professor Roy Sandbach, director of the National Centre for Ageing Science & Innovation at Newcastle University; Paul Garner, of BT; Elizabeth Kavanagh, of Stride Treglown; and Mark Hedley, of the China-Britain Business Council.
Event showcases innovative business sectors
A number of specific sectors will be showcased including marine technology, satellite applications, digital health, photonics, agri-tech and big data, and many innovative local companies will be exhibiting their products and services.
Venturefest South West also hosts the final of Pitchfest, at which innovative businesses from the South West will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to potential investors.
Teams will compete to build a game in 48 hours in a hackathon-style event, and young technology enthusiasts will take part in a hackfest to create product prototypes that respond to the issues of the future.
There will will be an opportunity to arrange one-to-one meetings with a range of experts from organisations including Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network, Catapult innovation centres, European Enterprise Network and the Academic Health Science Network.
Venturefest South West is one of a series of Venturefest events across the UK supported by Innovate UK.