Venturefest South Festival

Venturefest South will hold the Festival of Innovation on 27 March in Southampton, with more than £100m of funding and investment potential available with innovators, investors and entrepreneurs.

Partners such as BAE Systems, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the University of Portsmouth, Solent LEP, University of Southampton and Greentech South, will be on hand to meet with companies and talk to them about pitching opportunities.  The partners represent a combined funding pool of £73 million, with an additional £50m of opportunity to invest coming from Venturefest South innovators and entrepreneurs, ranging in amounts from £25,000 to £20 million.

Dstl has made a commitment to spend £41 million on research directly with SMEs, up from £38 million last year. Gary Aitkenhead, Dstl Chief Executive, said: “Dstl places around 26 percent of its outsourced research with SMEs and being part of Venturefest helps us to achieve our aspiration to continue to increase this percentage. Dstl and DASA (Defence and Security Accelerator) representatives will be available at the event to discuss collaboration and funding.”

Venturefest South Chair Chris Allington said: “We bring together innovators, investors and entrepreneurs to help strengthen our regional economy and the community of businesses within it. All the money raised from sponsorships and ticket sales go toward creating opportunities for early stage businesses and start-ups to exhibit as innovators for free”.

Matthew Albans, Head of Innovation at BAE Systems Maritime Lab said: “Globally, we spend more than £10 billion a year with over 20,000 suppliers from across the world. In the south of England alone we spend around £24 million a year and work with 270 suppliers. Supplier relationships are important for BAE Systems, as we depend on them to help us deliver the products and systems our customers need on time."

Venturefest South stimulates the south’s innovation ecosystem by working with key partners and influencers to showcase the south’s talent, innovative companies and research capabilities by bringing together innovators, entrepreneurs and funders.

Workshops and expert talks on topics such as innovation, funding, sustainability and creative industries will also take place. Tickets are available on Eventbrite:

Susie Haywood
Article by Susie Haywood
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