Tech community discusses West of England’s smart future

South West
West of England Metro mayor - Tim Bowles
West of England Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles

500 delegates from local, national and global businesses will gather in the West of England on Tuesday October 17, to discuss innovative approaches to the way we live, move around and work in future.

Venturefest Bristol and Bath 2017 promises to be the region’s largest ever gathering of tech companies.

They will meet at The Watershed in Bristol to share, pitch and learn ideas and talk about products and services that can transform homes, transport, work and health.

The event is culmination of eight months of Venturefest events delivered by Invest Bristol & Bath, the investment promotion agency for the region, part of the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership.

Venturefest aims to generate growth for start-up companies; provide them with the opportunity to engage with big corporations and find new business opportunities.

This year the theme is Smart Cities, which looks at how a city region can link up assets such as transport, housing, water supply, hospitals and schools using technology and data.

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, who will speak at the conference, said: “Smart tech has the potential to revolutionise the way we all live, travel and work. We’re well placed to become a smart region as we’re home to the largest cluster of digital expertise outside London and our businesses and universities are at the forefront of innovation in super computing, sensor technology, internet of things and next generation networks or 5G.

“I’m delighted that more than half of the companies supported through Invest Bristol and Bath are new or expanding digital and high tech businesses, creating 800 new jobs in the last year. The tech industry – which contributes £1.6bn to the regional economy every year – is critical to our growth and sustainability, and we will continue to be bold in attracting innovators.”

At Venturefest, start-ups, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, city planners and businesses will hear from 40 speakers on the challenges and opportunities on smart cities; network in the largest gathering of the regions tech community; take part in one of six workshops on growing your business, using data or attracting finance; and meet, see and experience some of the latest technologies emerging to make smart cities real at the Venturefest Marketplace.

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