Turn Lights On at Venturefest for a third year running

Turn Lights On has hosted a stage at Venturefest for three years running now. Venturefest is about inspiring and educating business owners along with connecting investors with entrepreneurs, and we are thrilled for this to be our third year of hosting the Turn Lights On stage.

The event has an energy and vibrancy about it as people are there to learn, grow and connect. With an agenda like that the atmosphere is electric, I spend the day smiling and being constantly inspired, returning back to my own business with a mountain of ideas and the sense of me not being on my own.

So what happens on The Turn Lights On stage?

This year we are inviting entrepreneurs to talk about how they have overcome barriers in their business and how did they coped. Having your own business is painful sometimes and it’s so important for people to share how they deal with celebration, the pressure, highs and the lows.  It’s important to share all what comes with business it’s not all about the balance sheets and strategy. Having something that requires so much of your energy and passion is personal thing and it will affect your relationships and your confidence. Emotional intelligence and understanding yourself makes the ride far less painful so this is our main mission for this stage to help you to be emotionally ready and armed for your business.

What you can expect?

Hearing how it really is from the people that live and breathe it. This stage is not filled with good intentioned experts, this is from entrepreneurs that have experienced first-hand on how to deal with the barriers that will happen in growing your business. I know from first-hand experience your network is critical to your success as we do have a tendency to think that we are the only people going through challenges at the time. There is nothing better than hearing from someone in your position say “I know how you feel and it happened to me and I did this!”

There will be a lively question and answers session so if you have any current challenge you can share what is on your mind and one of the entrepreneurs could support you to finding your answer. The talks start from 9.30 until 1.30 28th  September.

To end I thought I would share with you Warren’s blog about all the things he has learnt on his journey of being a successful entrepreneur and how hard it is at times.  We have been lucky to have Warren speak on the Turn Lights On stage for all the years we have been there and this year he is my first speaker at 9.45am. Come and see him as he is a fantastic speaker that leaves you inspired and informed!

Georgina Jones  will host the live ‘Turn Lights On’ sessions at Venturefest Wales. 


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Setting the Scene

Chair of Venturefest Wales, Ashley Cooper gives an overview of what you can expect from our 2016 event


Venturefest is a UK national initiative founded by Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), and Innovate UK working in association with local partners. Venturefest events bring together ideas, investment and expertise to accelerate transfer of innovation and technology into business growth.

In 2016 there are 11 Venturefest events set to take place across the UK, with Venturefest Wales taking place at Cardiff’s SWALEC Stadium on 28 September. We’re anticipating more than 1000 delegates from across a broad spectrum of Welsh business.

In 2015 Wales embarked on an international initiative under the umbrella of the MIT regional entrepreneurship acceleration program (REAP.) This program sees a team of senior Welsh representatives from across the ecosystem work together to grow innovation-driven enterprises within Wales.  The program focuses on bringing together five key elements of the ecosystem:

  • Government
  • Universities
  • Business
  • Funding / Risk Capital
  • Entrepreneurs

This program aligns completely with the objectives of Venturefest in bringing together all of the key elements to facilitate business growth.

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Venturefest Wales aims to bring together senior representation from each of the above five elements and to facilitate an interactive discussion among those key elements and to provide business founders, owners, managers, and executives with additional tools and information to grow their businesses.

In 2016 Venturefest Wales is focused on providing valuable content across each element of the business growth journey – from idea to start-up, to the early stage growth, to SME, to large corporate. At each stage of the business growth cycle there are specific challenges or barriers that any business routinely will face. The event will focus on addressing those challenges and giving our audience real quality input to help break through those barriers.

The key barriers that Venturefest Wales 2016 will address are; recruitment, people and team development, planning and forecasting, marketing and the use of social media, sales and business development, and the topic of innovation and intrapreneurship within an organisation – creating an entrepreneurial culture within a large corporate business.

Barrier-busting presentations will be delivered by industry experts, and a number of keynote presentations will be delivered by organisations and individuals who have experience in breaking through their own specific challenges.

Our Turn Lights On (TLO) stage will be a platform for business owners and entrepreneurs to tell their personal stories of challenges that they have had to overcome in building their businesses.

At each stage of a business cycle there comes a specific requirement to access funding to enable growth. While in some cases funding may be organically generated, often some level of external funding is essential. The ideal source and structure of funding can vary widely depending on the specific stage of growth for a particular business

Venturefest Wales will address different aspects of funding, including seed investment, and the key elements of initial capital-raising to start a business, growth funding for second stage growth, and Series A significant funding to move an entity into a major corporate player on a global scale.

Alongside the packed speaker schedule, Venturefest Wales will host a number of fringe events such as the Innovation Summit and a networking event for the Big Ideas Role Model network.

Venturefest Wales 2016 really will feature something for everyone. The content and quality of speakers is exceptional and the level of information and quality of networking opportunities on offer more than justify spending a full day with us in September.

Watch out for further information over the coming weeks as we reveal more key speakers and further details of the agenda.