Automotive and Engineering – Led by Hethel Innovation

With the new UK environmental target set to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars by 2040, there hasn’t been a more pertinent time to find out more about the future of battery sustainability, and the evolution of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Will they be ready to support our milestone shift towards electric vehicles in the coming years? How far has this technology really got to come?

From super-efficient batteries through to future technology opportunities, a must attend track session has been unveiled at Venturefest East.

Venturefest East, being held on the 21st September at Newmarket Racecourse, is pleased to welcome a timely and poignant track session on Aerospace, Automotive and Engineering led by Hethel Innovation, a major player in supporting low-carbon technology initiatives in the East of England and beyond.

Leading entrepreneurs and experts from the field of low carbon technologies will join Hethel Innovation to share their own stories, giving valuable insights into the strengths and challenges faced by this evolving sector, as they prepare to shape the future of eco-tech for generations to come.

We will be joined by expert entrepreneurs who will unpack the concept of ‘Lightweight EV’, and the growth technologies supporting future applications for lightweight design and frame manufacture.

Covering many of the key questions surrounding this sector, we will also hear contributions on the developments of a low carbon infrastructure to support electric vehicles. As well as offering discussion around the revolutionary technology supporting the development of ‘sustainable super-efficient batteries’, before finally ‘whetting our appetites’ with what’s to be expected from future technologies.

Alice Reeve, Innovation Manager at Hethel Innovation:

“Our local SMEs are creating some of the most innovative solutions to the challenges we currently face. We have expertise and innovations bursting from automotive and engineering businesses, a selection of which will be presented in this session. We are excited to hear about future technologies and how they will impact our lives, hopefully you can join us!”

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

“This is a must attend session for anyone with an interest in the future of the automotive and engineering sector. You don’t have to be a manufacturer or supplier to this industry to benefit from the specialist knowledge that will be shared on the day. From future transport system to sustainable super-efficient batteries, this session will be an inspiring and engaging highlight of Venturefest East.”

Followed by a lively Q&A opportunity, giving you a chance to delve into this cutting-edge knowledge economy, and a platform to pose your innovation questions to the experts.

This future fundamental session is one not to be missed, as it will undoubtedly shape your expectations for the future of eco-tech and low carbon emission infrastructure.

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:


Mike Greene will speak at our 'What Investors Want' session.

What Do Investors Really Want?

It’s a topical discussion among all innovators and entrepreneurs alike. How do you secure successful funding? What’s the criteria? What are investors really looking for?

Taking place at Newmarket Racecourse on the 21st September, Venturefest East will be hosting a rare opportunity to hear from the experts themselves. At the ‘What Investors Want’ session you will hear from real investors including, serial entrepreneur and ‘entrepreneur-in-residence’ at Allia Future Business Centre, Mike Greene.

Unpacking valuable insights into what they really want and expect from innovators, these experts will tell you exactly what’s needed before they are willing to commit serious investment; you’ll certainly learn how to turn your business idea into an investment success for the future.

Mike Greene, serial entrepreneur and ‘Secret Millionaire’, said: As an Investor who has also built businesses around the world, I know how frustrating it can be to get your venture funded …but it’s not just about getting investment, it’s about getting the right investment from the right partner(s) to protect you and your business. The most important thing is not to give up – Walt Disney went to 302 Banks before he got the investment he needed and Colonel Sanders (KFC) was turned down 1009 times – being focussed, well structured and properly prepared can massively reduce these odds in your favour.”

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

“If you’re a business looking for investment this is a must attend session at Venturefest East. Our panel will be offering honest, no holds barred advice to any entrepreneur looking to secure the funding they need to grow their business. There will also be the opportunity for delegates to ask their own questions on the day, making it a unique opportunity not to be missed.”

With over 650+ delegates, a dedicated innovation exhibition area, highly-engaging track sessions and keynote speakers, you will have countless opportunities to network with and hear from tech leaders serious about investing in innovation.

All you have to do to attend this valuable and insightful ‘What Investors Want’ session, as well as take advantage of all the other Venturefest features is book your ticket to Venturefest East, and with Early Bird tickets still available Book Now to avoid disappointment:  Follow us on Twitter for more event announcements @VentureFestEast #VFE17


Stacked Logo

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.

Connecting with local innovators to share expertise on how to access the NHS – by Eastern AHSN

Eastern AHSN is pleased to take part in this year’s festival to support the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, who will be leading the delivery of Venturefest East 2017.

As a designated innovation agency for the East of England, part of 15 Academic Health Science Networks set up by NHS England in 2013, we share the same vision of nurturing business growth and providing a wide range of support to spread innovation at pace and scale across the healthcare system – in order to achieve the ultimate goals of both improving health and generating economic growth.

We are particularly excited about the ‘Life Changers’ exhibition zone where we will showcase five innovators representing Eastern region to demonstrate new innovative products developed for the healthcare sector.

In addition to the exhibition zone, the Eastern AHSN will be holding a 30-minute “Beanbag briefing” session on ‘Accessing the NHS’ and six 45-minute 1:1 surgeries.

We will aim to share our expertise and educate delegates on what is required to get products and services, trialled, adopted and spread within the NHS. These will include support and advice around the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), clinical trials, tariffs, commissioning and procurement.

Speakers will include Mark Otto Smith, Economic Growth & Innovation Programme lead, Karen Livingstone, National Director of SBRI Healthcare, NHS England, and Director of Partnerships and Industry, and Ian Sandison, an independent healthcare consultant.

Karen Livingstone, National Director of SBRI Healthcare, NHS England, and Director of Partnerships and Industry, said: “Eastern Academic Health Science Network is committed to supporting innovative healthcare companies in the East of England to thrive and grow by providing a range of support from start up to scale-up. We’re thrilled to be part of the Life Changers zone, which will provide a platform for some of the region’s most exciting companies to demonstrate their unique offers.”

If you are an innovator with a new idea or an established business looking for support to develop, refine or scale your innovation into the NHS, we would be delighted to connect with you on the day.

You can find further information about the day on our website and book your ticket today.

Useful links

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Follow @TheEAHSN on Twitter and join our conversation under #VFE17 hashtag

£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 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:

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

Pitchfest start-ups set to showcase at region’s top tech event

St John’s Innovation Centre has announced nine companies to showcase their business ideas at Venturefest East 2017 – a feature packed one-day event celebrating the very best of innovative thinking in the East of England on 21st September at Newmarket Racecourse.

Carefully selected by Venturefest East organisers – the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP (GCGP LEP) – the successful businesses were chosen from twenty one companies that pitched to the UK and international investors during the Pitchfest Investor Showcase Day at St John’s innovation Centre.

“It’s inspiring to see this year’s Pitchfest joined up with Venturefest East”, commented David Gill, Managing Director at St John’s Innovation Centre. “This vital East of England event serves as an essential platform for successful companies to meet the region’s most influential innovators, investors and entrepreneurs under one roof.”

Laura Welham-Halstead, Head of Communications & Connectivity at the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP and Venturefest East Champion, added: “We are delighted to have such a strong selection of innovative companies taking part in our fast and furious Pitchfest competition at Venturefest East. All of the shortlisted companies are very strong, so I am looking forward to seeing them on stage battling it out on 21st September. I’d encourage as many innovators, entrepreneurs and investors as possible to join us on the day to be part of the best local innovation event of the year.”

The companies to showcase at Venturefest East are:

AMIHO Technology – a provider of LPWA networking solutions including LoRaWAN for smart metering and IoT applications.

Biotechspert Ltd – developer of an online platform technology for connecting businesses and investors to the right specialist expertise at the right time. – a developer of an out of the box, ready-made, business analytics dashboard solution built for the SME market. It connects directly with Sage 50 (other integrations planned).

Electric Blue Ltd – a provider of integrated charger and electric vehicle services, powered by renewable energy.

Hinton Bikes – a developer of lightweight folding electric bikes for the modern city.

PECK – a developer of a range of Protein beverages that use egg white destined for food waste. – a developer of a single music-centric platform for everyone who likes, buys, creates, perform and/or works in music.

TribeLab – a developer of the skills augmentation platform, enabling professionals to achieve things with data that they didn’t think they could, or were unaware were possible.

VegPatch – a developer of a free, multi-platform (iOS, Android, Web, Voice Assistants) companion app for vegetable gardening.

Venturefest East space and early bird tickets are selling fast. To avoid disappointment order yours today: Full details of the Venturefest programme will also be available soon.

Renowned Scale-Up Guru Dr Uday Phadke to lead track session



We’re delighted to announce renowned scale-up expert, Dr Uday Phadke as our latest speaker scheduled to attend Venturefest East 2017.

Author of a new book published in February 2017 called “Camels, Tigers & Unicorns: Rethinking Science and Technology-enabled Innovation”, Dr Phadke 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.

With a career spanning three decades across commercial business, academic research and teaching, and design and promotion of national and international initiatives, as well as roles including Chief Executive of Cartezia, the technology-based business builder, and an Entrepreneurial residency at the Judge Business School at Cambridge University, Uday promises to be an exciting highlight of our celebration of innovation. He believes that:

The process of commercialising science and technology enabled innovation needs to be better understood, in particular the challenges of crossing the three Chasms on this journey: Chasm II actually holds to key to success as firms scale up.”

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

We’re delighted that Uday has agreed to run one of our specialist track sessions focusing on Scale-Ups at Venturefest East. As one of the leading experts in this field, we are really looking forward to hearing his insights along with his other guest speakers, who will be announced very soon.”

Taking you on a journey that will include personal insights and practical action, you will also be introduced to the Digital Toolkit to help you achieve your Scale-Up potential. Hear from expert panel speakers from key sectors including; cleantech, IoT and engineering, with an opportunity to engage in an insightful Q&A session afterwards, and distil some of Uday’s expertise and experience for yourself.


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.