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‘The networking opportunities here are great’ – Begbroke Science Park boosts industry start-up rates

Spaces filled up fast at Begbroke’s free, annual and ever-popular Transfer conference on ‘Financing Technology Start-Ups’. Delegates from spin-out companies, fledgling businesses, academia and industry came together in the pursuit of knowledge on how to fund new projects and develop early-stage financial business cases.

Now in its 4th year, Begbroke Transfer rewarded delegates with expert advice. The event offered outstanding guidance from first-class speakers drawn from business and academia. Delegates had the opportunity to analyse current case studies, highlighting common mistakes and discussing approaches within a supportive environment. The speakers furnished their audience with many useful techniques and strategies that could translate into well executed financial plans.

Sam Stephens, from TBAT Innovation, presenting the case for R&D funding, advocated the need for business cases to leap off the page to attract the attention of potential investors. Using The Sun newspaper as an example, he urged his audience to make their grant applications “sexy, sporty…but not Bingo!” finishing with, “the proof is in the pudding, success rates are far higher for those who get help to secure funding.” Victor Christou, of Wellington Partners Venture Capital Funding, advised that businesses looking for rapid growth must not underestimate the amount of work and the time commitment required during the fundraising round. John Catling, from WheelRight Ltd, stated, “it was worth attending just to meet Victor!” Kevin Fullerton, from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP commented, “how current and topical all speakers were.”

Stephen Clough, Senior Adviser to the Further and Higher Education Sectors said, “(the event was) the most useful to date, a great programme has been put together. It is useful to hear how Professor Dobson combines his personal interests with encouraging commercial projects, business and academic collaborations. It was also beneficial to understand how important the complexities of integration are and that we should never underestimate the power of others in our own business plans.”

After a full day of interactive talks, delegates had an opportunity to network and tour the site whilst sharing their experiences of starting up businesses. Aeron Buchanan from Lancaster Logic Response told us, “it is very much about networking and I have learnt that the timescales for funding are a lot longer than I initially thought.”

Susan Jones, from Cage Concepts Limited said, “I will go away today with a lot of fresh expertise. I will be looking more closely at NOMADs and Angel funding versus Capital funding and will definitely be visiting a bank to find out other options.”

Begbroke Science Park Manager, Caroline Livingstone was, “delighted with the event, speakers and delegates’ positive response, which showed that the day as a whole focussed on the right subject at the right time. We are already looking forward, planning for the next in the series.”

For more information about Begbroke Transfer events, and to sign up for our series in 2013, please contact the events team on 01865 283700 or email events@begbroke.ox.ac.uk

Begbroke hosts a series of free breakfast seminars on site, and the next in the series invites The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851- 2013 Industrial Fellowships to site this December to speak about major awards for engineers or scientists in industry. For 2013 we have topics covering Project Management for Scientists and The Pensions Reform-How It Affects You. See our Events Timetable for further information or call the events team on 01865 283700.

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Ben Roeves