Venturefest announces new chair as Oxfordshire entrepreneur event celebrates 21 years


New chair of Venturefest Oxford, Mike Foster, said he is looking forward to the challenge of the role.

He has taken over the position from Lyn Shepherd who left last December and he joins the event which is now celebrating 21 years of bringing together the county’s entrepreneurs, innovators and investors.

“Lynn is a tough act to follow, but I have some good ideas that should keep Venturefest thriving and growing into its third decade,” he said.

Mike has recently been appointed Centre Manager at Oxford Innovation. “I am excited by both roles,” he added.

“I can already see that they offer mutually beneficial opportunities.”

The next Venturefest Oxford event will be held at Oxford Brookes University on September 11, 2019.

Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of the University and a long-standing member of the Venturefest Board is delighted it is returning to the Headington Campus following its successful event last year.

“We had an outstanding event last September, and I am very pleased the University will once again have the opportunity to showcase the entrepreneurial spirit that is so special to Oxfordshire” he said.

Building on the success of last year, the 2019 Venturefest will focus on inward investment and outward growth.  This will broaden the programme to include special sessions on three of the areas targeted by the new UK Research and Innovation body; USA, China and India.  UKRI seeks to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish.

Alongside this, there will be sessions around the four grand challenges identified by the UK Industrial Strategy; Artificial Intelligence and data, the ageing society, clean growth and future mobility.  There will also be exhibitors, innovation showcase and Pitching for Success competition.

“Our programme has the potential to bring together business, government and many other organisations to showcase the strong contribution Oxfordshire is making towards tackling these grand challenges, improving people’s lives and the country’s productivity,” said Mike.

“We are busy looking for outstanding speakers and exhibitors to bring our programme to life.”

More information will soon be available on the Venturefest website and tickets will go on sale in May 2019.