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Tech community discusses West of England’s smart future

Over 500 delegates from local, national and global businesses will gather in the West of England on Tuesday October 17, to discuss innovative approaches to the way we live, move around and work in the future.

Venturefest Bristol and Bath 2017 promises to be the region’s largest ever gathering of tech companies. They will meet at Watershed in Bristol to share, pitch and learn ideas and talk about products and services that can transform homes, transport, work and health.

The event is the culmination of eight months of Venturefest events delivered by Invest Bristol & Bath, the investment promotion agency for the region, part of the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership.

Venturefest aims to generate growth for start-up companies; provide them with the opportunity to engage with big corporations and find new business opportunities. This year the theme is Smart Cities, which looks at how a city region can link up assets such as transport, housing, water supply, hospitals and schools using technology and data.

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, who will speak at the conference, said: “Smart tech has the potential to revolutionise the way we all live, travel and work. We’re well placed to become a smart region as we’re home to the largest cluster of digital expertise outside London and our businesses and universities are at the forefront of innovation in super computing, sensor technology, internet of things and next generation networks or 5G.

“I’m delighted that more than half of the companies supported through Invest Bristol and Bath are new or expanding digital and high tech businesses, creating 800 new jobs in the last year. The tech industry – which contributes £1.6bn to the regional economy every year – is critical to our growth and sustainability, and we will continue to be bold in attracting innovators.”

Kevin Baughan, deputy chief executive of event sponsor Innovate UK, said: “Innovate UK is delighted to be supporting Venturefest Bristol and Bath, which will bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers and investors to focus on the industries of the future, such as Smart Cities, where the region has the capability and leadership to excel.

“The mission of Innovate UK is to accelerate economic growth through funding and connecting business-led innovation. In 2018, it will join with the Research Councils and Research England to form UK Research and Innovation. Creating a globally unprecedented environment within which research and innovation can flourish.”

One of the latest companies attracted to the region by Invest Bristol & Bath is Oracle, who established one of eight global bases in Bristol where start-up tech businesses can link together.

Phil Bates, Lead Architect for Oracle in Bristol, said: “Oracle’s UK Startup Cloud Accelerator is based in Bristol because it is the best place to start and grow a business; it has the talent, connectivity and a thriving eco-system. There is a true collaboration within the eco-system between business, universities and incubators to foster growth and this is one of the strengths of the region. We are supporting Venturefest for this very reason, as it brings together tech businesses, investors and influencers to drive innovation and create a progressive society, where we all win.”

At Venturefest start-ups, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, city planners and businesses will:

  • Hear from 40 speakers on the challenges and opportunities on smart cities;
  • Network in the largest gathering of the regions tech community
  • Take part in one of six workshops on growing your business, using data or attracting finance; and
  • Meet, see and experience some of the latest technologies emerging to make smart cities real at the Venturefest Marketplace.

The event is sponsored by Osborne Clark, Innovate UK, GKN, University of the West of England, University of Bristol and Oracle.

For more information, to register and to sign up to the workshops visit www.venturefestbb.com

Venturefest Bristol and Bath 2017 raises the curtain for this year’s Festival of the Future City debate series that starts on October 18.

Invest Bristol & Bath supports foreign direct investment, UK companies and those already in the region as they grow and expand with hands on advice and intelligence. Find out more at www.investbristolandbath.co.uk

2017-10-09T14:30:45+01:00 October 9th, 2017|