VENTUREFEST Oxford is looking forward to its 20th anniversary in 2018 and will mark the occasion with a change of venue.

The showcase for innovation and hi-tech entrepreneurs is to move to a new location to avoid clashing with a major business networking event.

Venturefest Oxford, which has previously been staged at the King's Centre in Osney Mead, West Oxford, is usually held in June.

But to mark its landmark anniversary the 2018 event will move to a new venue at Oxford Brookes University on Wednesday, September 12.

The switch to the autumn will avoid it being staged so close in the calendar to Business in Oxford, a networking event at the King's Centre, due to take place on Wednesday, May 23.

Business in Oxford last year attracted 900 delegates and is one of the biggest networking events in the calendar.

Venturefest Oxford chairwoman Lynn Shepherd said: "Although our audiences are different the events were so close together that I think there was a danger of some people muddling them up.

"Business in Oxford switched from the Said Business School to the King's Centre and I didn't think these two major events in the same venue should take place just a month apart."

Mrs Shepherd, who is looking forward to the move, said Venturefest 2018 would return to its roots of showcasing innovation in Oxfordshire.

She added: "We will go back to our original mission of showcasing the cutting edge work being done across Oxfordshire.

"At the same time we will look into the future by focusing on space technologies, Quantum computing, digital health, and autonomous vehicles and robotics.

"All of these sectors have the potential to significantly impact both our lives and the local, UK and world economies."

Mrs Shepherd said she wanted to build a 'simpler and more streamlined' programme, focusing on Oxfordshire businesses alone.

She added: "Local businesses – big and small – will be alongside representatives from both universities, local organisations, government authorities, and a cross section of local support services and investors.

"Venturefest will be offering an overview of the technologies involved, and insight into their applications and a look forward to the opportunities they will create."

Mrs Shepherd added that a Pitching for Success session would focus on showcasing start-up businesses - but no individual 'Pitchfest' events have been scheduled for 2018.

Last year, businesses vying for attention and future investment included electric motorcycle developer Meteor Power and a group promoting 'edible insects'.

The chairwoman said the new Oxford Brookes venue, in particular the new Clerici building, has given her the chance to radically improve the programme.

Professor Alistair Fitt, vice-chancellor of Oxford Brookes and board member for Venturefest Oxford, said: "We are delighted to host Venturefest Oxford 2018 at Oxford Brookes University.

"Next year marks 20 years since it first began and in that time it has grown into a premier business networking event.

"The university is proud of its strong partnerships with business and industry both in the UK and globally and we recognise the value of these events in providing opportunities, support and connections.

"We will be working with our award-winning Oxford Brookes venues team to create an exciting hub for innovators, investors and businesses to come together."

For more information on the event, exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities visit