Record-breaking event held to drive innovation draws the crowds at the Ageas Bowl

MORE than 1,000 people packed out an event to bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and businesses from across the south.

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 1:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 1:36 pm
Pictured L to R: Chris Allington (VFS), Ed Gould (Carswell Gould), Bruce McLelland (Innovate UK), Douglas Umbers (Dstl), keynote speakers Tom Phipps and Max Beech (Intro) at VentureFest South

Venturefest South returned for a third, and record-breaking year, to The Ageas Bowl on Friday. 

Not only did the event attract record numbers, it also set an event record with a total £90m worth of investment opportunities, including £45m pledged by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), available to innovators and entrepreneurs. 

Chris Allington, chair of Venturefest South, said: ‘This is the third year of Venturefest South and each year it grows in stature and importance leaving me amazed by the quality of the innovators pitching for investment and the sheer imagination and creativity on display.

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‘On behalf of the partners, I would like to thank all the innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, large companies and sponsors that help make this event the success it is.

‘The south is a national economic asset which is unique in its research, scientific, technical and innovative capability. Success here resonates across the UK.

‘Venturefest South is about driving economic growth by showcasing success, highlighting opportunities, connecting people and inspiring thinking.

‘This year is the first time we are delivering massive opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to engage with large organisations with big supply chains looking to work with innovative and dynamic businesses. We are also smashing records with more attendees, more sponsors, more investment opportunities and more excitement.’ 

A not-for-profit partnership, Venturefest South supports the south’s innovators by providing them with a platform to showcase their cutting-edge innovations to investors, key influencers and potential business partners.

Some of the innovators and companies that exhibited at this year’s show included DocHQ, an employee healthcare benefit, HOLM, an ‘express styling’ service, and Proofer, a social media scheduling tool.

Venturefest South was created by partners including: Solent LEP, Innovate UK, Carswell Gould, the Knowledge Transfer Network, University of Portsmouth, Southampton City Council, Solent University, the University of Southampton, Basingstoke and Deane Council.