About Venturefest SW 2019

  • Venturefest South West champions the most cutting edge innovation, technology and entrepreneurship coming out of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.
  • The June event brings together talented small enterprise innovators and entrepreneurs from across the region along with investors on the lookout for emerging talent.
  • Attendees can make valuable new connections and take away insights and advice from world-class speakers and the region’s trailblazing technology companies.
  • Venturefest South West is on 17th June 2019 at Sandy Park, Exeter
  • The event is being spearheaded by the universities of Falmouth, Plymouth and Exeter, the South West Academic Science Health Network, Plymouth City Council and Plymouth College of Art. Innovate UK facilitates the event with funding.

Thanks to our funding partners, tickets for the event are just £40 (plus VAT) for the full day, including lunch.


Following market research feedback for more networking opportunities, the 2019 event will begin each session with networking, creating more opportunities to meet and talk with other attendees.

The Industry Sessions

Each session will focus on a panel discussion led by a chair person with expert panellists. These will be broad in content with several viewpoints expressed, acting as a taster to the subject.

The themes for 2019 are:

  • Health
  • Blockchain
  • AI and Big Data
  • Agri Tech
  • Marine Tech
  • Creative
  • Space
  • Environment
  • Advanced Engineering
  • Funding and Start Ups

Innovative start-up businesses can apply for Pitchfest 2019. This free-to-enter pitching competition enables start-up businesses to pitch to influencers and investors. Selected business will also be given guidance and training before the event.
Pete Morris from Lockabox entered Pitchfest 2016, “Entering Pitchfest was very helpful for our company even though we didn’t win. The feedback we received help us to change the shape of the business and move into new areas, which have proved beneficial for us as a company.”


Hackfest will engage secondary age students from across the region in innovation – designing and manufacturing working prototypes of their ideas with some students being invited to showcase them at the event.

Commercial showcase

New for 2019, this is an opportunity for businesses to take exhibition space at the event. Limited to just thirty stands on a first come, first served basis stands cost £350, plus VAT.

Innovation showcase

New technology companies with visual / interactive products or prototypes to demonstrate can apply to showcase their products free of charge in this area. The most engaging, interesting and innovative applications will be allocated space.

VIP Networking breakfast

The VIP Networking breakfast, sponsored by Michelmores LLP, will kick off the 2019 Venturefest South West.

Meet the organisers

Michael Dickinson

Commercialisation & Investment Manager

Michael looks after commercialisation and investment at Falmouth Launchpad, which is a demand led tech incubator / accelerator at Falmouth University. Prior joining Falmouth Launchpad in March 2017, Michael spend 30 years in the banking world. Through his career he has worked in development capital to provide finance to growing businesses and developed portfolio management activities at three global banks.

Rich Adams

Corporate Project Manager

Rich joined University of Plymouth in 2011 following a career in both public and private sectors. With a background in innovation and business support Rich leads on business engagement activities across the whole university as well as project and partnership development with industry stakeholders. Key responsibilities includes leading the Enterprise Solutions team, developing innovative business support solutions that enables industry to access the universities skills, facilities and state-of-the-art equipment. Rich also works closely with businesses to explore joint funding and research collaborations.

Jennifer Nimmo

Account Manager, One Voice Media and PR

Jennifer joined One Voice in January 2013 following a stint in London where she built a career in retail management and honed her impeccable customer service skills. Jennifer is studying for a diploma in marketing with the Open University and works across multiple accounts, specialising in business, leisure and event management.

Lisa Vanstone

Director, One Voice Media and PR

With more than 17 years’ experience in event management, PR and marketing, Lisa leads the One Voice team. Lisa joined One Voice in 2008 and became a company director in 2014. Lisa has been instrumental in the continued development of Exeter’s hugely successful Chamber of Commerce and, more recently in leading the marketing and PR for Exeter BID.

Oli Raud

Strategic Funding Manager – Plymouth College of Art

As Strategic Funding Manager for Plymouth College of Art, Oli Raud actively supports young people, local communities and businesses in the Creative and Cultural Industries, in Plymouth, the wider South West and across Europe through the development of partner networks, project consortia and funded projects in key themes such as creative and artistic education, innovation and business growth and the promotion of social cohesion. He brings with him a background of languages, translation and interpreting, European funding and transnational project management, working closely with many different sectors across Europe.

Dr Andrew Dean

Senior Impact and Partnership Development Manager within IIB at the University of Exeter.

Dr Andrew Dean is an experienced project manager, bid-writer and researcher and a specialist in the topics of employment, skills, labour market monitoring and impact.
He is part of the Marchmont Observatory, a research centre dedicated to supporting real-world interventions in local and regional labour markets.
His main interests include: local and regional higher education impact, labour market and employment policies; vocational education and training; regional and local labour market monitoring; the role of social partners in employment and skills policy and, linking policy with practice.

Vanessa Terzoni

Business Development Co-ordinator

Vanessa has a professional experience in Project Management, having previously worked in a Vocational School of English and in the Event Management industry. Since she joined Enterprise Solutions at the University of Plymouth she is involved in actively supporting business engagement matching businesses, public sector organisations and students to the wide range of services offered by University of Plymouth.
Vanessa is the main contact point for all the marketing communications for the University of Plymouth regarding Venturefest.