Speaker Interview: Michael Dickinson

Commercialisation & Investment Manager at Falmouth Launchpad talks Venturefest South West 2019.

1. Why is Venturefest SW important to the region?
There are a lot of exciting tech businesses in the South West and a very large number of early stage investors, but the geography of the region means that there are limited opportunities for these groups to meet. Venturefest creates that innovation and business focus for the region so that we can showcase the breadth and depth of innovative businesses in the south west

2. Why are you supporting Venturefest SW?
As a major part of the innovation and creative ecosystem, we help build these innovative businesses. To help these business succeed we need to create the investment opportunities that start-ups in London are able to access. Venturefest as a regional initiative is allows us to showcase the region as a whole to the investment community and we are delighted to support. It is important that we work well as a region and being able to develop this collaboratively with Exeter and Plymouth Universities and Plymouth college of art shows what we can do when we pull together

3. What three pieces of advice would you give to a technology innovator?
• Believe in what you are doing and that you can succeed
• Be ambitious.
• Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. If you get it wrong recognise it quickly, learn the lesson and keep on driving forward.

4. What’s the most exciting piece of tech you have come across in the region?
There is so much interesting tech being developed. I hope to see some very new and exciting products at Venturefest. Of the businesses I have invested in I would highlight Codices Interactive. This is a business which recognises the shift in the ways that broadcasters and viewers interact is changing fast. They have developed tools that allow new game-show formats to be tested quickly, scaled and monetized. The business and market is moving very fast and we have one of the leading businesses globally based here in Cornwall running shows in the US, Scandinavia and South Korea.

5. What tech do you think will have the biggest impact on the region in the future?
I am seeing all sorts of interesting businesses developing, I think that the creative digital sector will have a significant impact because it is growing fast globally and the UK is already a market leader. In addition I see a lot of opportunity in agri, marine and environmental tech given the beautiful location of the southwest. Finally I would love to see some strong fin-techs start to emerge out of the region and I see no reason why that could not happen, especially if bridging between sectors such as Glas Data is doing with agri into financial.