‘Don’t Believe the Doubters – Just do it!’

Tapping into the successful founder and investor expertise at Venturefest East

Behind the Silicon Fen success of becoming a hub for thriving ventures and a global phenomenon was the university’s focus on knowledge sharing. This very concept of sharing know-how and the idea of strengthening connectivity between innovators, investors and founders, has brought local innovation eco-systems together to launch one of the most important events in the East Anglia region – Venturefest East (VFE).

At St John’s Innovation Centre (SJIC) we find everything about Venturefest exciting: we enjoy working with the Local Economic Partnerships (GCGP and New Anglia) to create a powerful speaker line-up; we are grateful to the major clusters in the regions for the delivery of the track sessions on Wireless, Life Sciences, Agri-Tech, Cleantech, Digital and Creative Sectors; and we are excited about the Pitching Competition and Innovation Showcase which showcase the best of the innovation in the region!NUA student demonstrating gaming technology

Venturefest East will also coincide with the pre-launch date of Charles Cotton’s new book The Cambridge Phenomenon International on 1st June 2016. Cotton, who is also a keynote speaker at the event has been keen observer of the tech cluster and start-up culture set against the backdrop of the University of Cambridge for over five decades. He will be joined on the day by two serial entrepreneurs and icons of the angel investment sector, Hermann Hauser, the Co-Founder of Amadeus Capital Partners and Dr David Cleeveley CBE, who has invested in over 35 companies and is the Co-Founder and Chairman of five of them, including the award winning restaurant “Bocca di Lupo”. They will lead the first, “Making it big or failing disastrously’ session and share war and success stories from their investor experience.

Alongside the exhibition, topical track sessions and networking across clusters, delegates will have an opportunity to meet successful start-up founders, high-profile speakers and panellists during the Open Forum themed ‘Don’t Believe the Doubters – Just do it!’, including Neil Garner, CEO of Proxama and Anthony Tomlinson of Google, an avid gamer, whose speech synthesis company Phonetic Arts was acquired by the tech giant in 2010.

This interactive hands-on open forum will perfectly set the scene for the ‘Fast and Furious Pitch-Off’ featuring 12 most promising start-ups in the region. Five lucky winners will be announced during the after party with live performance from the band ‘Dirty Rumours’ and beer sponsored by Adnams.

Venturefest East graphic

Applications for the ‘Fast and Furious Pitch-Off’ are now being accepted; Please contact your local LEP or the following organisations:

• St Johns’ Innovation Centre Tenants: Please contact anadolna@stjohns.co.uk for further details.
• If you are based in Suffolk or Norfolk and wish to apply to Fast and Furious, please visit www.newanglia.co.uk to download the form and return it to info@newanglia.co.uk by Thursday 24th March.
• Agri-tech: Agri-Tech East, Social and environmental: Allia Future Business Centres, Clean-tech: Cambridge Cleantech, Wireless technology: CW (Cambridge Wireless), Gaming technology: Games Eden, Technology:Cambridge Network, Early Stage innovation: IdeaSpace, Life Sciences and Healthcare: OneNucleus and Early stage business innovation centre

We are definitely looking forward to the main pitching competition and meeting the start-up founders with some good grit and determination to blaze a trail across new areas. We also expect the room to fill up quick so don’t miss it on the day!

With great start-up and business stories coming from across the east region, we truly believe that Venturefest East will become a flagship event supporting and promoting local talent and innovation. We also love the “make things happen” motto that drives VFE which is tailored to address issues specifically related to building a business in today’s fast moving market and highlight the type of support and funding currently available.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Aerial photo of Rowley Mile Racecourse in Newmarket

Aerial photo of Rowley Mile Racecourse, Newmarket

Venturefest East will take place on Tuesday, 24th May 2016 at the Rowley Mile Racecourse in Newmarket.

To find out more about Venturefest East, please visit www.venturefesteast.co.uk


Author: Anna Nadolna | Marketing and Operations Officer | St John’s Innovation Centre