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CONNECTING INVESTORS, INNOVATORS AND ENTREPRENEURS IN THE WEST MIDLANDS

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VenturefestWM is back!

With 100's of delegates expected to attend this free conference, this is your chance to engage directly with high growth entrepreneurs and service providers offering products, services, advice and support.

The programme features industry leaders delivering insightful, challenging and inspiring keynote and panel discussions. These sessions include:

08:45 - Welcome and intro to features of the day

08:55 - Keynote: Ben Francis, Founder & Chief Executive Officer - the Gymshark Story. Interviewer: Adam Dent, Advent Communications

09:35 (a) - Panel 1: Covid driven Innovation leading to better business long term

Panellists: Charles de Rohan, Binding Site (Chair)

Chris Thompson (You.Smart.Thing)

Peter Hughes (Kenton InStore; Pivot and Prosper grant recipient)

Perninder Dhadwar (Imobisoft)

Description: Most businesses have had to innovate, adopt technology or adapt to survive the Covid crisis, but some have turned this into a new, long-term business opportunity. Hear from four very different companies, from a range of sectors, how rapid innovation in response Covid challenges has variously led to long term changes in products, services, markets or business models for them, or their customers, that will lead to opportunities for business growth. The panel will discuss what lessons can be learnt and how we can encourage and support demand-led innovation in the future (without needing a crisis!)

09:35 (b) - PitchUp Heat

09:35 (c) - Panel 2: WM Digital Roadmap - creating business opportunity

Panellists: Sarah Windrum (C&W LEP and Emerald)

Kari Lawler (Youth4AI; young WMCA)

Alex Cole (Tin Smart Social; Digisheds; Midlands High Growth)

Robert Franks (WM5G)

Prashant Pillai (Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute)

Description: The new West Midlands Digital Roadmap – being launched by the WM Combined Authority in January 2021 – is an ambitious vision for how organisations can work together across the region to achieve 5 key missions across digital inclusion & skills, data, digital infrastructure, the digital economy, and digital public services. In this session, hear how the Roadmap brings together existing regional business opportunities around 5G, HS2, and the Commonwealth Games, with new projects including a coalition to address the digital divide and innovative scaleup projects to reach regional net zero carbon targets. This session will outline the key missions in the Roadmap, and discuss the opportunities and challenges it presents for our region’s businesses

10:40 (a) - Panel 3: - Opportunities in Green Growth

10:40 (b) - Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up Heat

10:40 (c) - Panel 4: Creativity, technology and innovation

Description: This panel will examine the ways in which businesses can maximise the potential of their products by working with new technology and involving creative industries to bring new ways of thinking into play. This session aims to provide insight into the value of collaboration with other businesses that you might not have previously considered, innovative ways of approaching funding potential and information on how to approach a new innovative project. Panelists TBC

11:40 - Networking – Informal discussion rooms. Topics to include:

- The Grid

- Start up space - early businesses and support meet

- Scale-up space - scaling businesses and support meet

- Challenges - led innovation creating new business opportunities

- Meet the WMCA and LEP Innovation boards

12:10 - Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up Final

13:15 - Close

Running alongside Venturefest West Midlands for another year will be Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up, a pitching competition for business owners, giving a unique opportunity for businesses to raise their profile both in the West Midlands and in front of a national audience of investors. Business owners are invited to present their ideas in a pitch for investment and stand a chance of winning one of several awards.

Register now!

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