Silicon Valley Comes to Manchester’s Graphene Alley

29th October 2015


Leading US and UK technology entrepreneurs to share insights and advice at Manchester business seminar.

Some of the UK’s most successful tech entrepreneurs will be joined by Californian investment specialists and international business leaders at a special ‘Silicon Valley Comes To Manchester’ (SVC2MCR) event on Wednesday November 4th. The half-day afternoon conference, being held at the University of Manchester and sponsored by Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) and the Manchester Growth Company (MGC), is free of charge and open to any Greater Manchester company, organisation or entrepreneur developing a tech-based business.

It has been designed to help Manchester’s rapidly evolving technology sector gain a better understanding of how international investors assess investment opportunities, how best to accelerate a tech-based company, and how to sustain commercial growth through more and better innovation, diversification and collaboration.

The panel of experts taking part include Andrew Thompson, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Californian-based Proteus Digital Health, one of the world’s leading medical tech companies which specialises in mobile-based health products and services. He will be joined by fellow health technology entrepreneur Dr. Jack Kreindler, CMO of Frost Data Capital, and founder of the Centre for Health and Human Performance (CHHP), the ground-breaking international health tech institute based on Harley Street.

Also present will be Silicon Valley entrepreneur Charles Songhurst, founding partner of equity hedge fund Katana Capital and head of the Songhurst investment group, and Manchester’s Dr Neil McArthur (pictured), founder of Opal Telecommunications, former Managing Director of TalkTalk for The Carphone Warehouse, and current TalkTalk Head of Group Innovation. During the event the panellists will be offering insights into their own companies, their personal journeys as entrepreneurs, and current tech trends in the USA, Europe and globally.

They will also be sharing thoughts on different funding models, tackling the skills gap and other tips to help local tech companies to scale-up. The SV2MCR conference will also see an announcement about the formation of the Manchester Tech Trust (MTT), a new, not-for-profit private-sector organisation which has been formed by successful North West entrepreneurs and investors.

The MTT aims to add the missing link to the city’s rapidly growing but fragmented tech enterprise scene, and full details will be revealed at a lunchtime media session on the 4th. Rowena Burns, CEO of Manchester Science Partnerships said: “MSP is very proud to be sponsoring SVC2MCR for a second year.

This brilliant event reflects the international respect for Manchester’s flourishing community of technology innovators, and the strides Manchester is making to become a globally recognised city for technology and innovation. “This year’s event creates the opportunity for Manchester based businesses to listen first hand to some of the world’s most successful tech sector investors and business owners, providing our ambitious innovators with insights and knowledge which will support their own growth and development.

For MSP, it’s another great example of how this city region works together, nurturing enterprise and talent, and helping to transform new ideas in science and technology into commercial reality.”

SVC2M will be held at the Renold Building, part of the University of Manchester’s campus which hosts the so-called ‘Graphene Alley’ on Oxford Road, around which are clustered two Graphene centres, The Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre and The National Graphene Institute, in addition to the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials. SVC2MCR is also part of the national SVC2UK programme, a series of national events bringing together early stage investors, successful serial entrepreneurs, students and academics to discuss how to create and fund today’s most disruptive technologies.