Press release: Venturefest Oxford celebrates 18 years with its most exciting programme yet
Over 1,000 delegates are expected at the Kings Centre in Oxford today on Wednesday 29 June 2016 for the county’s premier business networking event of the year: Venturefest Oxford. Now in its 18th year, Venturefest Oxford aims to be bigger and better than ever before with a host of opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs to get support to help business growth. Staged at a larger venue in Osney Mead this year, Venturefest makes a close link to the early location for Oxford Instruments, a prime example of the innovative spirit of the county. With more space to showcase the best of innovation in Oxfordshire, the event will offer comfortable networking areas, bigger exhibitions and over two dozen workshops, sessions and keynote plenaries. The agenda for the day is packed with opportunities for visitors to acquire interesting insights and valuable advice from local industry experts. Lynn Shepherd, Executive Chair says: “Venturefest Oxford has always provided a range of opportunities to learn, share and network with all the right people in the county’s innovation ecosystem and we are very proud of this year’s exciting programme. With so much happening over a single day, Venturefest Oxford delivers an extraordinary event that helps stimulate innovation, support entrepreneurship and broker investment.” Some of the highlights of this year’s programme include:
  • An outstanding line-up of guest speakers, including: Lisa Thomas, Global Head of Brand & Managing Director at Virgin Enterprises; Bianca Miller, runner-up of The Apprentice 2014; Mark Stevenson, entrepreneur, broadcaster, expert on global trends and innovation, and author of An Optimist’s Tour of the Future; and Will Kintish, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Networkers
  • Over 25 free, practical, interactive sessions on funding, recruitment, protecting IP, marketing and more. Two sessions aiming to tackle the lack of knowledge about cyber security among small and medium businesses will be led by Oscar O’Connor, Lead Assessor for the Cyber Security Challenge UK and will focus particularly on businesses involved in innovation.
  • An inspiring Innovation Showcase where thirteen budding businesses will present their ideas and solutions from hard technology to online tools. The exhibitors range from TrustonTap, which focuses on the ways technology can help transform the way we look after the elderly, to Meteor Power, a firm developing high-performance electric motorcycles, electric motors with integrated rapid charging systems and compact high performance hybrid powertrains.
  • The opportunity to help shape TechTonic, a newly formed network tackling the lack of support for entrepreneurial and aspirational women in the technology sector in Oxfordshire. At an informal lunchtime chat, TechTonic’s founders will gather delegates’ feedback and opinions to deliver support where most needed.
  • Over £1 billion raised by Oxford investors to back start-up businesses and new spin-outs based in Oxford’s science parks, research centres and universities and the opportunity to hear from these successful businesses.
  • An opportunity to pitch to the Venturefest Oxford audience for a cash prize and in-kind business support in the Pitching for Success
  • To highlight the exciting programme, a bespoke networking system which allows attendees to pre-book meetings with other delegates, exhibitors, experts and speakers. The system, developed by Event Connections, also allows visitors to browse the various free sessions on and build a preferred itinerary for the day.
  • To provide convenient means of sustainable transport to and from the King’s Centre in Osney Mead, Venturefest Oxford has partnered with the Oxford Bus Company and Brompton Bike Hire. A free shuttle bus will operate from Seacourt Park & Ride and Oxford Train Station to the venue and back throughout the day. Those who are feeling more active are invited to make use of the Brompton Bike Hire facility located at the Oxford train station.
For full details of the Venturefest Oxford 2016 and other opportunities throughout the year, 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  
  • Lynn Shepherd, Executive Director, Venturefest Oxford
  NOTES TO EDITORS
  • 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.

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