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Enhancing the economy through the fourth Industrial Revolution

How will the fourth industrial revolution benefit businesses and how do we make sure we have the skills we need to maximise opportunities? That was the topic of a packed session at this week’s Venturefest East event. We heard about the smart automation and comprehensive sets of analytics which are now being rolled out in some sectors, but the need to up-skill workers to allow for automation of many manual tasks was a theme across all the presentations.

Andrew Strong (Head of Industrial Innovation at Cambridge Consultants) reminds us how new technologies have always improved yield, resulting in larger profits for manufacturing companies. He cited statistics showing that the revenue of businesses taking on the new technologies has increased by an average of 2.9% and their costs have been reduced by an average of 3.6%.

Meanwhile, Caroline Gorski (Head of IoT and Digital Manufacturing at Digital Catapult) turned her focus to the issue of where employees fit into these new trends. She tells us that although there is a potential for job loss if automation takes over many of the processes within an industry, there is the option of up-skilling the current workforce to be able to take on new roles that have better pay and higher skill requirement.

So, what can businesses learn from this session? The aforementioned speakers, as well as Abhi Naha (COO of Cambridge Wireless, who led the session) and Andrew Cowey (Head of Digitalisation at Siemens), encourage us to seek out new technologies and be ahead of the curve. At the same time, speakers urged those considering implementation to consider whether the investment will pay off for them. ‘Technology for technology’s sake’ was something to avoid. Therefore, preparation for incoming trends in industries is vital to ensure that businesses get the best out of them.

How will the fourth industrial revolution benefit businesses and how do we make sure we have the skills we need to maximise opportunities? That was the topic of a packed session at this week’s Venturefest East event. We heard about the smart automation and comprehensive sets of analytics which are now being rolled out in some sectors, but the need to up-skill workers to allow for automation of many manual tasks was a theme across all the presentations.

Andrew Strong (Head of Industrial Innovation at Cambridge Consultants) reminds us how new technologies have always improved yield, resulting in larger profits for manufacturing companies. He cited statistics showing that the revenue of businesses taking on the new technologies has increased by an average of 2.9% and their costs have been reduced by an average of 3.6%.

Meanwhile, Caroline Gorski (Head of IoT and Digital Manufacturing at Digital Catapult) turned her focus to the issue of where employees fit into these new trends. She tells us that although there is a potential for job loss if automation takes over many of the processes within an industry, there is the option of up-skilling the current workforce to be able to take on new roles that have better pay and higher skill requirement.

So, what can businesses learn from this session? The aforementioned speakers, as well as Abhi Naha (COO of Cambridge Wireless, who led the session) and Andrew Cowey (Head of Digitalisation at Siemens), encourage us to seek out new technologies and be ahead of the curve. At the same time, speakers urged those considering implementation to consider whether the investment will pay off for them. ‘Technology for technology’s sake’ was something to avoid. Therefore, preparation for incoming trends in industries is vital to ensure that businesses get the best out of them.

By

Scott Whittell – New Anglia LEP

Pull up a bean bag and get some sound business advice

Struggling to find the time to research R&D tax credits, scientific due diligence or new ways to fund your innovation? Ever wished you could grab 30 minutes with an expert to gain some helpful advice?

This year at Venturefest East we are proud to launch the brand new Bean Bag Briefing Lounge -sponsored by Price Bailey and PA Consulting. Here you will find a wealth of learning opportunities, where you can pull up a bean bag for 30 minutes of practical advice from a range of experts.

Topics covered will include:

  • IP strategy – The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and leading Intellectual Property experts, Marks & Clerk, will explain why it is vital to have an IP strategy to protect your ideas and business.
  • R&D Tax Relief – Hear from Price Bailey’s expert R&D Tax Relief specialists, and find out how you could benefit from R&D Tax Credits.
  • Accessing the NHS – If you’ve got a product you’d like to sell into the NHS, but aren’t sure how to start, then this is the session for you. Led by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EASHN), you’ll receive practical advice and support to bring your products to the NHS.
  • People Magnets – Find out how to attract and retain the best team possible, with advice from recruitment specialist Claire Button at Bailey Fisher.
  • Scientific Due Diligence – PA Consulting and Dr Giles Courtice from Technologica will share their top tips for undertaking Scientific Due Diligence.
  • Funding – Find out more about new ways to fund your innovation – from developing a business funding strategy to considering crowd funding. Kevin Ward and Justin Grainger from Conatus Associates will share their insights into this important topic.

The Bean Bag Briefing lounge is designed to give you an informal, stripped back, tech free setting to soak up vital advice, without any of the modern-day distractions.

With so many experts under one geodesic dome the only thing left to do now is book your Venturefest East ticket now, for a chance to find a bean bag in the front row: https://events.blendology.com/vfe17

 

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Why should you protect your IP? – by Marks and Clerk

Protecting your Intellectual Property can be crucial for your business; here are our top 5 reasons why:

  1. Registered IP protection (patents, designs and trade marks) can be a very valuable corporate asset which can be sold, licensed, used as security or monetised in the same way as any other business asset.
  1. Registered IP protection assists with attracting investment which can be critical for early stage companies.
  1. By protecting your innovation by way of a patent you are securing up to 20 years of market exclusivity. An invention does not need to be ‘high-tech’ to be considered patentable, as long as an innovation is new and inventive you can secure patent protection.
  1. A patent is a badge of innovation which enhances a firm’s credibility when talking with customers and partners.
  1. A trademark protects your brand by stopping competitors posing as you and jeopardising your product’s reputation, and can be a valuable marketing tool.

We are proud to have Marks and Clerk as the main sponsor of our “Elevator Pitch” Session.

£200 Eye Openers Stand Offer

Poseur and Pop-up Stands Now Available for ‘Eye Openers’

Calling all Eye Openers! We are pleased to announce we now have Poseur and Pop-up stand opportunities for ‘Eye Openers’. So if you are a new, or up and coming company, with an innovative product or service, you could be eligible for one of these limited spaces at a special price of £200 per stand*.

To apply for your Poseur and Pop-up opportunity please contact catherine.holmes@gcgp.co.uk for more details.

*Your stand will include a poseur table and space for a pop-up. Eligibility will be based on you proving that you are a new company or, SME with an innovative business idea.

 

Elevate Your Business Idea at Venturefest East

Do you have a new idea or innovation that you’d like expert feedback on? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to pitch your business idea in a Dragons Den style environment? Well, the Elevator Pitch, sponsored by Mark & Clerk at Venturefest East 2017 could be that very opportunity.

What is the Elevator Pitch?
If you have an innovative business idea that you want to get in front of the right investors, or that needs support from specialist experts, Venturefest East offers the ideal Elevator Pitch opportunity for you to showcase your concept and distil knowledge from key influencers.

With just 60 seconds to present your new idea to a leading industry expert who will deliver immediate feedback to help you refine your pitch further, and advice on what to do next. Covering a wide variety of fields, our experts are keen to hear from entrepreneurs and innovators from all backgrounds – no idea is too out there for them!

Remember – the key is to deliver a pitch that’s as engaging and innovative as your concept, rather than just reading like a script.

Bring your idea to life in a lively, concise way, then receive immediate feedback and advice from our experts that you can take away with you to shape and elevate your idea and future business success.
All you need to do to take part in the Elevator Pitch is to book a place to attend Venturefest East on 21st September at Newmarket Racecourse, and then sign up for an Elevator Pitch spot. You can book your ticket now by visiting: https://events.blendology.com/vfe17

Don’t think ‘what if’, book your space now and see if you can impress our expert panel of judges!

5 Reasons to visit Venturefest East 2017

Venturefest East is back on 21st September for an even bigger, better event to bring together innovators, entrepreneurs and investors in one location to make things happen.

 

This not to be missed event is set to be a celebration of innovation like no other, and here are five reasons to come and join us in 2017:
Network – Establish, develop and strengthen your network of influence. With over 650 highly engaged innovators, investors and entrepreneurs all under one roof, you will have countless opportunities throughout the day to come face-to-face with the right influencers for your future.

 

Interact – We are delighted to be hosting some inspirational speaker sessions, that will include something for everyone. We are delighted to be hosting some inspirational speaker sessions, that will include something for everyone. Announced so far is the renowned “scale-up” guru, Dr Uday Phadke, Author of a new book published in February 2017 called ‘Camels, Tigers & Unicorns: Rethinking Science and Technology-enabled Innovation™’. He will be joining us for a highly engaging session to unpack the concept of “Scaling-Up” and what it means for your business, as well as sharing some of the valuable insights from his new book. We are also excited to be joined by healthcare sector entrepreneur, Dr Ian Campbell from Innovate UK, sharing his expertise from an innovative and varied career in health and life sciences.

 

Immerse – Come and interact with industry specialists in our immersive track sessions that promise to connect you with the right fundamentals to launch your future successes. Visit our Beanbag Briefing Lounge for some helpful, expert advice – sponsored by Price Bailey and PA Consulting.

 

Engage – Take advantage of the many inspiring exhibitors in the room, with a wealth of knowledge, experiences and opportunities to share from a wide range of sectors including cutting-edge technology, digital health, Agri-Tech, automation, through to photonics and game development. The sharpest thinkers will have plenty to share with those who are eager enough to discover.
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Date revealed

SUCCESSFUL INNOVATION EVENT CONFIRMS IT WILL RETURN IN 2017

It has been announced today (Monday 20th February 2017) that following the success of Venturefest East 2016, the team will be holding the event again this year.

Last year, over 650 delegates attended the inaugural Venturefest East event held in May 2016, and since then the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP have been working with partners to secure the future of this new innovation event.

Laura Welham-Halstead, Venturefest East Champion and Head of Communications & Connectivity at the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, explains:

“Venturefest East surpassed our expectations last year. With such overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who attended, we knew then that we had to run the event again. We are therefore delighted to announce that we will be back on 21st September 2017 at Newmarket Racecourse with an even bigger and better event. We have a dedicated member of the team – Robin Childs – working on Venturefest East five days a week to make sure it is an event not to be missed!”

Venturefest East brings together innovators, investors and entrepreneurs to make things happen, with a packed one day programme that brings together inspiring speakers, engaging track sessions, and some of the best new innovations in its exhibition space.

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP is working with New Anglia LEP, Innovate UK, KTN and other key partners, to deliver a world class event in the East of England.

Laura added: “Whilst tickets aren’t yet on sale, we would encourage people to save the date and follow us on Twitter (@VenturefestEast) to find out more about our plans for this year.”

Venturefest East 2016

The first Venturefest East was a great success; attended by more than 650 investors, entrepreneurs and innovators including 75 exhibitors.

You can watch the video from Venturefest East below:

Cambridge based technology firm Alviol won the 1,000 Guineas fast and furious pitch off prize. Alviol was first past the post out of eleven finalists from the East of England’s most innovative tech businesses.

The firm is an early stage MedTech business developing Occoris, an elegant and simple inhaler technology that delivers drugs more efficiently to the lungs. The judges thought Alviol gave a strong pitch, and that the product was destined to have a real impact on the lives of asthma sufferers in the future.

You can download the presentations from the likes of Hermann Hauser, David Cleevely and Ruth McKernan, here.

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5 HABITS OF HIGHLY-EFFECTIVE ENTREPRENEURS

It’s a topic debated for decades by academics, politicians and economists – what makes entrepreneurs tick? Authenticity? Desire? Self-belief? Realism?

Taking place at Newmarket Racecourse today, Venturefest East will welcome over 800 delegates – to hear tech leaders taking about investing in innovation and entrepreneurship – www.venturefesteast.co.uk

Greater national attention continues to shine on the East of England, following the publication of Tech Nation 2016 – which recognised 150,000 people from the region work in the digital tech sector, with Cambridge tech companies alone having a combined turnover of £11bn annually.

1. EMBRACE UNCERTAINTY

Dr Tim Minshall

“Start-ups face a set of challenges. They have to understand what they can’t do or are not very good at. That’s why it’s useful for them to seek advice and guidance, and support from others. But they’re not always very good at that, they often find it hard to do. It’s the case of the elephant [big business] and mouse [start-up] problem – the elephant has size, scale and resources, while the mouse has agility, speed and the idea. They need each other but getting them to work together is not easy; just as in the animal world, the two do not really behave like each other.”

Dr Tim Minshall, Reader in Technology & Innovation Management, University of Cambridge

2. KEEP AHEAD OF YOUR CASH

Dr Hermann Hauser

“To be attractive to investors, you need to consistently scale financial challenges. Contrary to popular belief, financially vulnerable start-ups are simply unappealing to investors – companies need to show steady progress, rather than running out of cash. For most, that’s game over. So, surround yourself with the right team – both in terms of creating and supporting your business, very few entrepreneurs are equally strong on both ideas and finance.”

Dr Hermann Hauser, Co-founder Amadeus Capital Partners / Acorn Computers

3. BE PURPOSEFUL

Dr Tim Whitley

“For me, the overwhelming characteristic of successful innovation has been, and likely always will be, that it is ‘purposeful’. Scientific breakthrough, combined with practical real-world engineering, and a clear understanding of the business problem to be solved, are the ingredients to success. It worked for Cooke and Wheatstone in 1837, inventing the world’s first practical electric telegraph. Their invention led to the founding of what became BT and we’re continuing the principle of purposeful innovation today. ‘Purposeful innovation’ is the future and can transform the world.”

Dr Tim Whitley, Managing Director Research and Innovation – BT

4. COLLABORATION IS WHAT YOU NEED

David Cleevely

“We know that getting people together always sparks new ideas, and events (Like Venturefest East) provide a great opportunity for people in different sectors and from different parts of the region to get together to learn from each other. I hope we will look back and say that other successful businesses were started because of conversations here”.

David Cleevely, Founder of Analysys Mason and Serial Entrepreneur

5. LEARNING IS KNOWING

Dr Soraya Jones

“Innovation does not take place in isolation, you need to understand what is in the ecosystem and learn from each other. This what Venturefest East is all about- the gathering and networking of the three tribes: entrepreneurs, innovators and investors!

“You may think you are the expert in the area or you know best in what you do, but you don’t really… learn from those who have done it before, seek their advice and guidance, and always recruit for people who have better skills in the area you are lacking…no entrepreneurs have ALL the skills to run a successful business.”

Soraya Jones, Entrepreneur in Residence, St John’s Innovation Centre, Cambridge

For more information, media should contact Paul Howlett-Davey on 07802 655070 or email paul.howlett@milnerltd.com

Purposeful Innovation by Dr Tim Whitley

In a world where commercial success is ever more dependent on innovation, but where ‘patient money’ is in increasingly short supply, what will successful innovation look like in the future?

Collaboration is rightly already recognised as a key ingredient. When we think of major breakthroughs and great innovation we often think of a team: Crick and Watson; the founders of Apple or Google. At BT we collaborate with academia and industry from around the globe – we call this open innovation. In the future, successful innovators will need to collaborate even more widely. Collaboration across industries and disciplines will increase. Applying techniques and insight from another field that may seem far removed from your own will be the key to going further, faster, first.

In the future, it’ll be harder to predict where innovation will come from. Many of the plethora of apps available for smartphones and tablets weren’t developed by large companies, or even small companies, but by individuals with a good idea. The Internet of Things and the networked world it enables is ripe for citizen innovation. As a partner in the MK: Smart project, we’re encouraging people and businesses to develop apps which exploit the data from sensors around the city. This democratising of innovation will continue, which is why it is vital that young people have the ICT skills required to participate.

For me, the overwhelming characteristic of successful innovation has been, and always will be that it is purposeful. Scientific breakthrough, combined with practical engineering to make it work, and understanding the business need are the ingredients to success. It worked for Cooke and Wheatstone in 1837, inventing the world’s first practical electric telegraph. Their invention led to the founding of what became BT and we’re continuing the principle of purposeful innovation today.

‘Purposeful innovation’ is the future and can transform the world.

The BT design Showcase exhibition at Adastral Park Dr Tim Whitley - MD Research and Technology

Dr Tim Whitley is the Managing Director of Research and Innovation at BT. Join us at Venturefest East to listen to his keynote talk on “The Future of Innovation”.