Press release: TechTonic support network for female entrepreneurs launching on 29 June at Venturefest
A new network tackling the lack of support for entrepreneurial and aspirational women in the technology sector in Oxfordshire, TechTonic, will be announced at the county’s premier business networking event, Venturefest Oxford on 29 June. TechTonic founders will gather delegates’ feedback and opinions at the major business event to help shape the network and deliver support where most needed.
With a mission to provide connections that will enable entrepreneurial women to fulfil their ambitions in the technology sector and reach their full potential, TechTonic aims to bring together aspirational people both virtually and physically to share experiences and advice. While the forum is aimed at the women of Oxfordshire, speakers at its events and connections will include men as well as women, to ensure a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise is offered.
The idea for Tectonic was the brainchild of Nicola McConville, a corporate lawyer specialising in the technology sector and a Partner at Penningtons Manches in the Thames Valley. As she explains,
The idea was prompted by a Woman’s Hour programme on Radio 4 that I heard about a ‘women in tech’ network in Cambridge and it begged the question as to why nothing similar exists in Oxfordshire? Furthermore, fewer than 5% of my portfolio of technology clients are female, so it set me thinking about how we could help existing or would-be women entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.
There are programmes to support women in tech in the academic community and some networks to support women in the business community, but nothing that bridges the gap. I hope TechTonic can be that bridge and provide a channel of communication and support for all women interested in making a living from tech. What is clear is that there is huge untapped potential amongst the women of Oxfordshire and if it could be harnessed, directed and supported in the right way, I believe the companies and technologies which emerge could have global impact far beyond our immediate local economy.
TechTonic is a forum shaped by the women involved in its development. Nicola McConville is joined by Lynn Shepherd from Venturefest Oxford, Sue Staunton from accountants and business advisers, James Cowper Kreston, as well as serial entrepreneurs Nicky Chambers, Riham Satti (Mevitae) and Joy Foster (TechPixies)and representatives of Isis Innovation and the Innovation Forum – all working towards putting the new support resource in place.
Lynn Shepherd, Executive Chair at Venturefest Oxford says,
We are proud to support TechTonic and believe that it can only be a positive opportunity that will add to the already vibrant mix of entrepreneurship and successful businesses in Oxfordshire. More and more women are either part of the tech sector or are wanting to join it. We are still in the minority - you only have to sit around a meeting table and count the number of ladies present - but if we can strengthen that voice and encourage more to 'just do it', I will be content.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the network is invited to join the founders at Venturefest Oxford on 29 June at The King’s Centre in Osney Mead for an informal chat. Tickets to Venturefest Oxford cost £30 if booked before 28 June and then £40 at the door on 29 June. The price includes entrance to all sessions (including the Breakfast session), exhibition and networking areas, refreshments throughout the day (including lunch), and evening drinks reception. Student entry is free of charge – valid ID will be required.
Those who cannot attend will be able to fill in a short online survey. TechTonic is going to be officially launched in October with a full programme and dates of monthly meetings with inspiring speakers. For more information, visit www.techtonic.org.uk
For full details of the Venturefest Oxford 2016 programme visit www.venturefestoxford.com-Ends-MEDIA CONTACTS
For further information, images, or to arrange interviews contact: Susannah Penn or Jane Bevan at Firebird PR on 01235 835297 / 07977 459547 or via email to [email protected] or [email protected]AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW
Venturefest is a gateway for entrepreneurs and innovators to connect with investors and advisors at all stages of the business life cycle. Venturefest Oxford’s mission is to provide a platform to support the innovation eco system in Oxfordshire, offering new and growing businesses, investors and innovators connections to support, services and opportunities.
Venturefest Oxford is now in its 18th year. Venturefest Oxford has gone from strength to strength, with Yorkshire and Bristol using the model to establish sister events. Venturefest and Innovate UK, formerly the Technology Strategy Board are now rolling out annual events across the entire UK as part of a national Venturefest Network, supported by KTN – The Knowledge Transfer Network.
The Board of Venturefest Oxford includes key local organisations such as the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, The University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford Innovation and The Oxford Trust as well as key local Angel and VC organisations and tech-based business representatives.