BUSINESS SPARK: Put knowledge to work
Innovation is the life-blood of all successful business, large or small. The ability to embrace change, to develop new products, to identify new markets is essential – “standing still is not an option“.
Business owners and leaders in Devon are invited to attend one of two high profile “Business Spark” events. This will enable you to find out how to access the benefits of knowledge and innovation to improve your bottom line – without jargon and without breaking the bank.
At a glance:
- Free: registration required;
- Masterclass: to be delivered by John Bessant, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. John has advised various national governments and international bodies including the United Nations, the World Bank and the OECD, and brings considerable expertise and knowledge to the subject. This is a unique opportunity to hear first-hand, in a very accessible manner, what elements of your business you can fine-tune to encourage innovation, and will introduce the Innovation Fitness tool – a simple diagnostic that can be put to work immediately;
- Experience: hear from leading local companies how they have adopted innovation and improved their business;
- Learn: find out from the Design Council how good design should form the bedrock of your business;
- Networking: enjoy a networking lunch and exchange notes with fellow businesses;
- Next steps: find out about the Innovation Fitness tool and meet the partners who are able to deliver a range of subsidised support to help you take the next steps.
08:30 Reception, refreshments and networking
09:10 Keynote: Practical Tools for Innovation
Professor John Bessant, University of Exeter Business School
This easily accessible presentation will introduce practical evidence of how companies - large and small, from around the world - have successfully faced and met the Innovation imperative and, as a result, have significantly improved their business. The session will consider some key enablers such as establishing the right culture, considering how your company learns, and how being connected can be important.
10:10 Innovation Case Studies
Hear from 3 local business leaders about their companies, how they have developed, their products and services, and the markets they serve:
Crowdcube: a new way to raise business investment
Darren Westlake, Founder and CEO
Founded in 2010, Crowdcube is the world leader in equity crowdfunding. It is a new way to fund start-ups and business expansion; giving entrepreneurs a platform to connect with ordinary people and raise venture capital. Since launching in 2011, Crowdcube has raised over £5.5m for 40 businesses and has over 31,000 registered investors. www.crowdcube.com
Landmark Information Group: delivering comprehensive geographic data and solutions
Howard Davies, Group IT Development Manager
Landmark Information Group has quickly developed into the market leader in the field of property related environmental risk information and digital mapping since the inception of the business in 1995. Cementing its position, it has spent over £20 million establishing the Landmark database which is now one of the largest geographical information databases in Europe. www.landmark.co.uk
Met Office: the leading edge of forecasting science, data, and high performance computing
A global leader in weather forecasting and climate science, the Met Office delivers specialised services to the general public, Government and a broad range of businesses. It has maintained its lead at a pace with developments in science and technology, and an ever-increasing quanta and complexity of data - to keep us informed and to assist in mitigating the impact of climate change. www.metoffice.gov.uk
11:00 Tea & Coffee
11:30 Workshop Options (please pick only 1):
WORKSHOP 1: Understanding why design is critical to business success - the difference is design
Jonathan Ball, the Design Council
Businesses need to increase sales, open new markets and convert ideas into market growth. What does design have to do with that? Everything. Design is integral to innovation and innovation drives growth. Understanding how design can help identify and support different business challenges, from repositioning a business in the marketplace to communicating more effectively with customers, is often what is needed to unlock business growth.
WORKSHOP 2: High Involvement Innovation
Professor John Bessant & Dr Allen Alexander, University of Exeter Business School
Companies have long recognised that suggestions from their employees can be important in improving their products or services – but how many can say that they actually have an organisation that has a thriving employee involvement programme that delivers consistent and sustained business ideas, and real value in the resultant innovation projects?
12:30 Buffet Lunch & Networking
Due to coincidence of our event with a period of heightened alert at the Met Office we will be subject to additional security procedures which require that, all delegates must submit their: full name, date of birth, nationality, and organisation, no later than the 19 March, otherwise they will be not allowed onsite on the day. This information will be collected by Eventbrite during the registration process.
After the 19 March no further registrations or substitutions will be allowed.
On the day, if possible, please also avoid bringing bags, briefcases, etc, as all bags will be searched on entry into the building.
This event is supported by the Devon County Council, the University of Exeter, the Design Council, Exeter Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Manufacturers Association for East Devon & Exeter, and the Exeter Initiative for Science & Technology.