On Monday 17 June, Sandy Park showcased the most cutting edge innovation, technology and entrepreneurship coming out of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Venturefest SW saw more than 650 participants unite at the largest event of its kind.
The event featured an exhibition showcase where pioneering research and development companies demonstrated amazing inventions including a robotic arm that can harvest fruit invented by a team of scientists working for Agri-Tech Cornwall.
The day was packed full of bespoke business workshops, industry sessions on leading topics, Hackfest and PitchFest, a competition aimed at startup businesses.
SETsquared Exeter, member of the global number one business incubator was an event sponsor and the business support team hosted the afternoon’s workshop sessions including Accelerating Growth, Grant Funding and Scale-up.
The team at SETsquared Exeter facilitated engaging panel discussions, with the opportunity for participants to ask more in-depth questions. They introduced some helpful quick-guides for attendees covering a wider range of areas that start-ups have to face including hints and tips on: accelerating growth, angel investment, grant funding and scaling-up your business.
David Solomides, SETsquared Exeter Entrepreneur in Residence said: “We had a really productive session, with a great interactive fireside chat from the panellists, who focused on the What, Why and How of non-diluted funding. It was a fascinating panel, with a crowded room, discussing different aspects of non-diluted funding for early stage businesses and we were fortunate to have the Knowledge Transfer Network as an administrator and partner of funds for Innovate UK, a commercial grant funding organisation in Granted, and a recipient of funding and an end user’s perspective from Magpie Education.”
David continued: “We learned that grant funding is not just free money and that the application can be a lengthy process, which requires focused effort and has to be timetabled into the businesses’ calendar, with a nominated individual responsible. We had a queue of people waiting to ask questions at the end. I had some great feedback and it was a great way of showcasing what SETsquared Exeter has to offer.”
The PitchFest element of the event was also supported by the SETsquared Exeter team and delivered by Falmouth University.
The winners were:
Pre-seed category: Winner : Devon Garden, graduates of the University of Exeter MBA Programme. They provide sustainable plant-based food.
Seed category: Winner: Smarti sustainable water saving, providing water free urinals. Smarti Water are a SETsquared Exeter virtual client. They are working with Prof Gavin Tabor, Associate Professor of Computational Fluid Dynamics and establishing a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Exeter.
Growth category: Winner: Hertzian – Hertizan AI power solutions for some of the world’s biggest companies.
For more information on how SETsquared Exeter can support your business, visit the about us pages.
For more information on Venturefest and upcoming events visit the website.