Speakers announced for inaugural Venturefest South West

Venturefest South West, a flagship event for innovators, entrepreneurs and investors in the technology sector has announced speakers including representatives from the Met Office, Crowdcube, MSubs, the Department of Health, Innovate UK and the region’s universities plus other leading lights from the world of technology and business.

Paddy Dowsett, Project Manager at autonomous craft specialists MSubs will be discussing the highly anticipated Mayflower Autonomous Ship, the first full-sized autonomous unmanned ship to sail across the Atlantic planned for 2020, in a marine tech discussion session. The project, which has grabbed international attention, is being developed by a partnership of organisations including MSubs.

Also joining the marine tech discussion sharing insights and case studies, will be Ken Wittamore MD at Cornwall-based Triskel Marine, Peter Beech from WITT Ltd., David Elson, Lead Technologist Marine and Maritime, Innovate UK and Patrick Hartop, Head of City Deal, Plymouth City Council as well as a host of other marine tech innovators and investors.

Dr Liz O’Driscoll, Head of Innovation at Exeter City Futures will be presenting its ‘smart city’ initiative. Exeter City Futures will also launch challenges for innovators and introduce Exeter City Futures Urban Impact Accelerator, an intensive start-up accelerator program for entrepreneurs.

Dr Vicky Pope, Head of Integration and Growth at the Met Office will be joining Ben Neild, Assistant Director, Marchmont Observatory, University of Exeter and Gerry Shattock, General Manager, Exeter Science Park to discuss new developments in environmental big data. The session will explain opportunities to foster innovation via the new Met Office Collaboration Zone and an Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab being developed by the University of Exeter with its regional partners.

Digital health will be another focus area at the event with Lars Sundstrom, Director of Enterprise and Translation at the West of England AHSN leading a session focusing on the future of digital health and discussing new innovations, including the West of England AHSN's Diabetes Digital Coach Test Bed, a, industry partnership project using digital technology to improve diabetes patient management.

The inaugural Venturefest South West will be held at Sandy Park, Exeter on 18th October and will bring together hundreds of talented small enterprise innovators and entrepreneurs from across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset along with investors on the lookout for emerging talent. The event will also welcome speakers from the fields of photonics, creative digital and agri tech.

Martin Brown, Chair, Venturefest South West said: “By collaborating with some truly innovative organisations we have a quality line up of contributors who will share their experience and expertise. It’s a unique opportunity to hear from these experts on one day and witness some of the cutting-edge innovation coming out of the South West.”

The Innovation Showcase at Venturefest South West will host companies at all stages of growth exhibiting their innovative products, services and technology in an interactive area giving delegates the chance to touch, try and experience the latest designs from the region.

Venturefest South West also hosts the finals of Pitchfest which will provide technology innovators with a platform to pitch their business ideas to potential investors as well as Hackfest, a schools competition for young technology enthusiasts and innovators of the future.

Venturefest South West is on 18th October 2016 at Sandy Park, Exeter. The event is free to attend and is sponsored by Innovate UK. Those wishing to attend need to register at www.venturefest-sw.co.uk.