The #VFS22 event is a festival of innovation between Hampshire companies | So Good News
The celebration of innovation highlighted inventions ranging from an artificial intelligence assistant for shopping for clothes to sustainable wooden bicycles.
Around 1,000 people attended the #VFS22 innovation festival at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, which saw over £1bn of support, funding and investment delivered by organizing partners Venturefest South (VFS).
VFS is a partnership-based, year-round program where partners, exhibitors and sponsors fund advertising and exhibition space for innovators and entrepreneurs in the South.
This year, 47 innovators won funded places, over 50 innovators took part in the Battle of the Battles competition for the chance to win £10,000 and 12 open mic events.
Five innovators pitched their business proposals to a panel of judges in the Battle of Pitches competition to win a top prize of £10,000 from headline sponsor CATAX.
The top prize went to Gil Satchwell of PowerQuad, who helped develop his business creating a battery-powered alternative to diesel generators used at events.
He said: “Delighted that our innovative powerQuad technology has won this fantastic award from CATAX at the excellent #VFS22.
“We invest our prize funding not only in growing our business, but also in supporting our community and ecosystem.” Other finalists in the pitch battle included Everessence, KCC Packaging, Labl.It and Portsmouth Distillery Co. was. Paul Foley, innovation finance director at Catax, which specializes in research and development tax credit claims, said: “It’s been a challenge. battle, but we are delighted to award Gil and his team £10,000. Helping businesses unlock innovative funding is our day-to-day work and it was a pleasure to be involved again at VFS.”
Other award winners include Shawn Larsen, Kyle Wilkes and Rhys Wilkes of Labl.it for Innovator of the Year; Laura Liddell and Jessica Jobson Journal for Early Stage Innovator; Aimee Dobson, Carrie Lomas and Sarah Bennett for Sustainable Innovation Leadership; and Charlie Gray and Ben O’Nion attended the Open Mic event.
Ed Gould, Creative Director of #VFS22 at Carswell Gould and Founding Partner of VFS said, “The kind of entrepreneurial and creative innovation we saw at this year’s VFS22 is more important than ever. Great Britain.
“The collaboration between big business, education and startups shows their willingness to come together to make big things happen. I was once again inspired by the bold and ambitious delegates, partners and innovators at this year’s event supporting our region’s thriving ecosystem.”
Matt Chinn, Head of Partner Platform Systems at Dstl, said: “There was a really positive energy at the event and we got great feedback from everyone we met. It was a truly refreshing and productive day of making new connections.”
#VFS22 board member Sarah Duckering, director of research and innovation services at the University of Portsmouth, said: “VFS22 really plays a key role in supporting local innovation to thrive and support the region’s future prosperity, which is vital in today’s economic climate.”
Independent business support was available from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Hub team.
Cllr Satvir Kaur, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “Southampton is a forward-looking and future-ready hub of innovation.
“It’s important to understand our future growth directions and take advantage of the opportunities they bring to our city and region, which makes events like this important.”