The backbone of this year’s programme remains for 2014 but as with every year we’ll be introducing a few new items.  Former Venturefest Chairman Dave Waller gives us a brief introduction on what you can expect at this year’s event


Breakfast Sessions

Both breakfast sessions set the scene for the whole day.


This year we will be running a session about the revolution in energy generation, distribution and consumption.  Smart grids have become one of those technologies that are referred to in a wide range of press but, possibly, not well understood by every investor, entrepreneur and innovator. This session will offer a clear explanation of what smart grids really are, why they are needed and what opportunities exist for the individuals and enterprises at Venturefest.


Our second session focuses on the new sources of funding coming out of Europe. Applying for EU funding has always been fraught with confusion.  The rules will soon become a lot simpler making applying for this kind of funding a much more attractive route to help fund the development and commercialisation of new products. Individual SMEs can apply so get yourself up and come and hear the Eurospeak translated into English! ….all before 9.00 in the morning! I can’t emphasise how important an opportunity this is!  Places are limited so book your ticket now.



Throughout the day we have our three streams. The Funding Stream is all about seeking and offering funding and support.  From pitches to debate, you will hear from and meet investors and entrepreneurs.  The stream will feature panellists investing in early stage technology companies, sharing their thoughts on current trends, future markets and the stages of exits.


The Innovation stream is organised around new and existing clusters in Oxford but this year, we’re inviting you to collaborate with us to support these key sectors of the local economy and promote them within your own networks.  By doing this, we can build strong bonds within and between sectors.  We can spread the story outside of Oxford and the UK and attract investors and skilled staff.  Ultimately we can create a breeding ground for new opportunities be that business potential, solving problems or developing new products


The Learning stream: jam-packed with sessions about ‘How to’ start or grow your business, with insights from business leaders that you wouldn’t see at any other open event. They’ve been there and got the t-shirt, and will be sharing the benefit of their experience at Venturefest


The six clusters we’ll be showcasing this year are: Advanced Engineering, Life Sciences, Digital & Media,  Space & Satellite Applications, Cryogenics and Low Carbon which are all at very different stages in developing into strong ‘clusters’ but will all bring together the businesses, academics, researchers, investors and support experts (from the likes of the Technology Strategy Board) who are instrumental in realising the cluster’s full potential.


And if that’s not enough…

Alongside the stream workshops we will have the innovation show case, the exhibition area, and the ‘Meet the Experts’ sessions.  All this fuelled by an endless supply of coffee that will of again support what a participant last year described as ‘six months networking in a day’.


Punctuating the workshops we have three key note speakers at the start, middle and end of the day.  The last session will be followed by a drinks reception, that brings together the leaders of Oxfordshire’s innovation eco-system to celebrate its successes and discuss how we can best we can build on our achievements for the future.


Register now to make sure you don’t miss out.  We look forward to seeing you there.