More than 1,000 business delegates have been arriving at Venturefest this morning, a showcase for innovation and hi-tech entrepreneurship.

This year's event, the 18th, is the biggest yet, and it is being held for the first time at the King's Centre in Osney Mead, West Oxford, after switching from the Said Business School.

Lord Willetts, former minister for universities and science, will chair a panel this afternoon on the implications of Brexit.

Venturefest executive chairwoman Lynn Shepherd said: "Businesses have to be innovative and turn Brexit into an opportunity.

"Oxfordshire itself voted overwhelmingly to remain so the result of the referendum has come as a shock to the business community.

"Venturefest is a good opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs to meet and talk and try to find new opportunities because they are resilient and flexible.

"Businesses need to be pro-active and keep the conversations going with each other."

Mrs Shepherd said the King's Centre was working well as a Venturefest venue and she hoped it would return there next year, if the feedback from delegates was positive.

As part of this year's showcase 13 businesses, including electric motorcycle developer Meteor Power, are competing for the attention of potential investors after taking part in Pitchfest.

Director Mark Edwards said: "Venturefest is a brilliant opportunity for us to try to attract investment."

TechTonic, a new network is being launched for entrepreneurial and aspirational women in the technology sector.

The network was the brainchild of Nicola McConville, a corporate lawyer specialising in the technology sector and a partner at Penningtons Manches.

She said: "This is a soft launch today and we will get lots of feedback and then launch TechTonic properly in October."

For the full Venturefest programme or to book tickets visit