Simon Blakey
UK Operations, Avonmore Developments

Simon is in charge of Avonmore’s UK operations, deal negotiations and ongoing management of our UK investment interests.

He founded Avonmore Developments following several years working at Sainsbury’s, and then as a management consultant specialising in financial services start-up projects. Simon is originally a biochemist and management accountant by training. He sits on the board of several of Avonmore’s portfolio companies as well as the Investment Committees of the government-backed £100m Angel Co-fund and that of UK seed-fund Playfair Capital.

As well has his business interests, Simon is on the management board of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, where he chairs the finance subcommittee, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.

Speaker sessions


11:00 - 11:45

How Much Does Venture Capital Drive the Global Economy?

John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre

The panel will look at the industry from the geographical aspect discussing:

  • How has VC investing developed since the financial crisis?
  • How has the investor base for VC funds changed?
  • What level of returns has VCs as an asset class returned?
  • Which sectors/technologies have been most favoured by funds
  • What geographic trends has VC investing witnessed?

Speakers: Meriwether Beckwith – Oxford Capital Partners, Simon Blakey – Avonmore Developments, Fiona Dent – Makerversity and George Whitehead – Octopus Ventures

Chaired by Jens Tholstrup – OION

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



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Venturefest Oxford will be returning on Thursday 25th November 2021

Make connections that lead to new investments, new businesses and new ideas in the high-tech sector in Oxfordshire.