Venturefest Scotland 2016 innovation summit programme unveiled

New for this year’s event is Pitchfest, a workshop in the skills and understanding needed to pitch to potential customers, suppliers, funders and partners

This year’s Venturefest Scotland innovation summit will have the theme of ‘Innovation and Design as enablers of business growth’ to reflect 2016 being Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
The free, one-day event takes place on 1 September at the Glasgow Science Centre and will bring together small and medium sized ambitious Scottish companies, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to connect and explore ways of growing and innovating.

Venturefest 2016 LogoThe event was held for the first time last year and has been hailed a major success, attracting around 700 business owners, influencers, investors, entrepreneurs and academics from Scotland, the rest of the UK and overseas.

Nigel Walker, head of access to finance at Innovate UK, said: “Venturefest Scotland 2016 will be an excellent showcase for the very best of Scottish innovation. The event will bring together innovators, investors and entrepreneurs, with a wide range of business support and advice organisations.

“Innovate UK is determined to build on innovation excellence throughout the UK, and this is why we value our sponsorship of the nationwide network of Venturefest events. We look forward to Venturefest Scotland 2016; if you are an innovative company looking to make the right connections to grow your business, then I’d urge you to register.”

Jim Watson, director of innovation and enterprise services at Scottish Enterprise, said: “New ideas are the lifeblood of our economy, so we need to harness all of the innovation support and expertise on offer to help our businesses develop their competitiveness.

“Venturefest Scotland is where companies can make a wealth of connections under one roof, making it easy to find the right support, partners and suppliers. If you only invest your time in one event this year and you want to scale and grow your business, I’d encourage you to come along.”

Inspiring industry leaders are a vital part of Venturefest Scotland attendee experience, according to organisers. Keynote speakers already confirmed include Chris van der Kuyl – founder, owner and chairman of 4J Studios, Kevin Baughan – chief development officer at Innovate UK and Adrian Gillespie, managing director of Growth Companies, Innovation and Infrastructure at Scottish Enterprise. More speakers are to be announced over the summer.

New for this year’s event is Pitchfest, a dedicated workshop designed to equip attendees with the skills and understanding needed to pitch their business to a potential customer, supplier, funder or partner. Pitchfest will provide practical advice on how to pitch and why it matters, how to use pitching as a means to problem solving and the chance to see how other companies pitch to funders and what those funders might want to know about the company.

Following last year’s positive attendee feedback, the Venturefest Scotland 2016 workshop sessions will continue to provide a mix of inspiring company case studies, insights from experts and practical hands-on advice that can be implemented in a business immediately. Confirmed workshop topics include:

  • How to transform your business through digital innovation, led by Knowledge Transfer Network
  • How to understand future digital trends, led by Interface
  • How to reach new customers online, led by Google
  • How to approach the business of business development, led by Scottish Enterprise
  • How to bring disruptive innovation to the 3rd sector, led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • How small can help big work wonders – collaborating, thinking and innovating for growth, led by Standard Life
  • How to ensure your values carry through into the design of your business, led by Glasgow City Council
  • How to identify innovative opportunities and how to avoid innovation killers, led by Scottish Enterprise
  • How to maximise opportunities within your supply chain, led by Glasgow City Council
  • How to improve productivity to increase your bottom line, led by Innovate UK
  • How to use lending for impact: an understanding of social impact investment, led by Social Investment Scotland
The Venturefest Scotland innovation summit is flanked by a year-long series of smaller ‘feeder sessions’ taking place across Scotland that provide further support to Scottish SMEs to innovate, enter new international markets, find fresh talent and find access to growth finance. One of the most successful of these sessions was Hack_Construct, Scotland’s first construction focused hackathon. Held at the Whisky Bond, Glasgow in February, the event attracted a mix of over 70 technology and construction industry participants from all over the UK and Ireland. The innovative solutions emerging from the session aim to create new digital tools for the construction industry.
About Venturefest Scotland
Venturefest Scotland is spearheaded by Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network, Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City of Science and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Key sponsors include Standard Life, SP Energy Networks and University of Strathclyde, with support from the Scottish Government, Interface, Social Investment Scotland, LINC Scotland and Young Company Finance and many more organisations and supporters of Scotland’s business landscape.

About The Venturefest Network
Venturefest Scotland is part of a UK-wide family of 12 Venturefest events, spearheaded by Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network. It’s a growing network of events designed to strengthen connectivity between innovators, investors and entrepreneurial businesses.

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