Sasha Afanasieva
CEO, Blubel Tech

Sasha Afanasieva is the Founder and CEO of Blubel, an easy-to-use navigation device that allows cyclists to get to their destination quickly and safely. She created Blubel to make cycling easier so that our streets are less polluted and congested and people are fitter and happier.

She started her career in investment banking at Merrill Lynch. She then went on to work for GP Bullhound, a tech-focused investment bank. After working with entrepreneurs from across the sector, she decided it was time to strike out on her own.

After looking into business ideas which had a social impact at heart, Sasha joined the On Purpose Social Enterprise Leadership Programme. During this time, she developed the idea as a solution to city congestion, pollution and commuter stress. Blubel not only steers cyclists along quiet and cycle-friendly routes, but also gathers relevant journey data that can provide valuable insights to urban planners.

Determined to make Blubel successful, Sasha learnt to coding and basic electronics to develop the first Blubel prototype. Then in January 2016, Blubel won the IBM Smart Cities Challenge, and received support from their engineering team. That Spring, the Blubel team also joined the European Space Agency Business Incubation Programme and won the European Space Agency Special Prize.

By the Summer of 2016, the Blubel Kickstarter campaign went live and raised almost £40,000 from 500 backers and was officially launched in December 2017. Blubel team has also received additional funding from the Department of Transport to crowdsource data for local authorities. In 2019 Blubel was shortlisted as social enterprise of the year at the Evening Standard Business Awards.

Speaker sessions


10:45 - 11:45

MobOx presents The Future of Mobility

Union Hall

Mobility’ seeks to address the future ambitions and needs of societies grappling with the challenges of climate, air quality, and congestion, where densification of urban dwelling and access to healthcare for an ageing population are amongst the priorities requiring new approaches to getting us about and to our personal transport choices.  Join us in this session to hear from companies and individuals in Oxfordshire that are at the forefront of innovation in engineering, technology and business models aimed at delivering sustainable solutions for these challenges.

Speakers: Mark Preston – DS Techeetah Formula E Team, Mike Potts– Streetdrone and Sasha Afanasieva – Blubel

Chaired by Llewelyn Morgan – Oxfordshire County Council

What's On

More speakers

Rajat Gupta

Rajat Gupta

Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Climate Change

Mike Foster

Mike Foster

Executive Chair, Venturefest Oxford

Eileen Modral

Eileen Modral

Investment Manager, OION

Llewelyn Morgan

Llewelyn Morgan

Head of Innovation - IHub, Oxfordshire County Council



Book Now!

Now in its 21st year, Venturefest Oxford continues to bring together entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs with investors, support services and a host of like-minded people who want to be part of the county’s business success.

All tickets include: complimentary bus travel to and from the event, access to all Venturefest Oxford sessions, exhibition, showcase, complimentary tea & coffee, lunch and closing drinks reception. Early bird tickets on sale from 23rd April!

Student entry is free of charge – valid ID will be required.


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Email Preferences


Wednesday 11th September 2019
Oxford Brookes University,
Headington Campus