Monday, 25 June 2012

Technology Ventures Conference 2012

By: Kingsley Egbuonu, IP Analyst

Last week Friday, Amoo Venture Capital Advisory was present as a sponsor at the 2012 Technology Ventures Conference hosted by Cambridge University Technology and Enterprise Club (CUTEC) at Robinson College, Cambridge, UK. We were guided right from the station to the venue by the excellent TVC2012 app.
The conference, rightly themed “Innovation in an Uncertain World”, was very well attended by domestic and international delegates from all walks of life with interests in technology and entrepreneurship. Also present were start-ups, early stage companies as well as established companies, for example ARM, and professional service organisations such as Mathys and Squire as exhibitors.

The atmosphere was exceptional; it kept delegates engaged with one another whilst constantly being refreshed at intervals. Logistically, moving from one room to the other for breakout sessions was made easy with the help of signposts; for some, like us, the TVC2012 app became useful once more as one could also get session details.

Having settled, it was insightful to hear from experienced individuals in the world of finance and technology as we kicked off with keynote Julie Meyer of Ariadne Capital  who emphasised on the need to keep track of non-financial and non-traditional data. After lunch, we were addressed by an entertaining keynote, David S. Rose of Gust who took the audience through a fascinating timeline on technology’s impact on our way of life, livelihood and business operations over the past three decades.

David’s presentation centred on the understanding of four key points: globalisation, the long tail, web 2.0 and singularity. He shared with the audience various notable changes in the digital era including the rise of the Kindle by Amazon; crowdsourcing projects such as Wikipedia; online advertising strategies and the free product phenomenon in the ICT sector. We took particular notice of David’s point that globalisation has little or nothing to do with just jobs moving to China, India or other emerging markets and one of the companies that he mentioned in this area was Panjiva, a platform that facilitates international trade by providing business intelligence across borders.  Even more exciting, or for some, spooky, was David’s prediction that human beings will eventually merge with technology/computers by the year 2045 in what is called the singularity.

After a short break for tea and biscuits and yet more networking, we joined the global investment session moderated by Professor Alan Barrell with Gervais Williams, Brigitte Baumann and Mark Cheng as panel. The panel shared their views on investment trends between OECD and the emerging economies including those in Africa. Mark Cheng shared some interesting observations in the world of social enterprise. Rounding off, the panel were asked further share three words of advice for entrepreneurs going into these difficult times in the developed and developing economies.

The conference ended with the result of the Technology Showcase Finalists’ Pitches conducted earlier. All the contestants had exciting innovative products and great team behind their start-ups, but it was to be that the eloquent Bill Munday of Blendology, who allow brand managers and event organisers to connect, engage and interact with their customers in real-life and online,  had to take home all the prizes as the winner. Bill had enough to convince a panel of seasoned investors in three minutes and we believe Blendology’s product has the potential to revolutionalise the events industry.

The conference ended with yet more drinks, more networking opportunities and live music. It was truly a splendid five star conference staged by a vibrant team and we are proud to have supported it. Well done CUTEC, we look forward to next year’s instalment.

                            Amoo Booster Series for June 2012

Following on from CUTEC, this month's Amoo Booster Series event on 26th June 2012 from 18:30 to 21:00 is themed "Making your tech start-up investor-ready". We have a diverse panel for this event who will talk through various issues ranging from financing to intellectual property matters relevant to start-ups and would-be entrepreneurs. This event is sponsored by Snipe Chandrahasen LLP and Kingston Smith. If you would like to attend this event, there is still time to register.

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