Venturefest 2017 got off to a flying start on 3rd February at Future Space, UWE Frenchay Campus.
Over 350 delegates poured into the building to listen to seminars and panels, visit exhibitors with best-in-show tech and network with the best Smart City brains in the region.
The day began with talks from Sandra Baer at Personal Cities, sharing the message that Smart Cities need to be connected with their residents and that collaboration is key for communities. This idea was reinforced by Sam Mazloum of Mastercard, who quoted “to have the Internet of Everything you need to have the Inclusion of Everybody”.
A panel consisting of Miranda Sharp from Ordnance Survey, and Jason Collard of YTL developments completed the mornings activities and there was interesting debate about what Bristol and Bath need to be focusing on as they move as a region towards the future.
Opportunity to network and visit the Smart City Marketplace where available all day, and for those who couldn’t find a seat in the Seminar Room, the talks were projected into the Hub of Future Space. Delegates were encouraged to listen in using headphones, and the response was fantastic with many saying they felt as though they could listen in and tune out when needed without disrupting others. The Hub was also alive with demonstrations from Bristol Robotics Lab and from Opposable Games, showcasing the best in VR.
The Smart City Marketplace held 14 of the best-in-show tech companies who are all working towards better solutions to the challenges faced as we move towards a world where IoT and data applications are all too prevalent in society.
Divided into the five themes of Venturefest: Intelligent Infrastructure; Intelligent Transport; Smart Energy; Smart Living and Smart Money, the businesses presented a variety of Smart City tech.
The afternoon looked at the tech solutions to Smart City challenges, with some of the region’s finest presenting their companies. AppyParking, Bristol is Open, mySociety and Zeetta Networks, were able to demonstrate how tech can be used to solve congestion, network problems and how as a society we can empower each other and make our region a better place to live.
Jen Jackson, Marketing Manager at Invest Bristol & Bath commented: “We’ve had a fantastic reception to Venturefest today. What we want to achieve throughout the Venturefest series is to look at how we can best use the region’s tech cluster to evolve Bristol and Bath into a Smart City region. Today has definitely put us on the right path”
Jen went on to say: “We can’t wait to continue the region’s Smart City story as we go forward with our eight-month programme of smaller events, culminating in a one day Thought Leadership Conference in October to discover what we’ve learnt. We certainly hope that through collaboration we’ll get answers to the most pertinent Smart City questions.”