Big Tent Ideas Festival is coming to Bristol – but what’s in it for businesses?

Victoria Matthews
Initiative Manager | Business West
1st June 2022

We at Business West are delighted to be partnering with the Big Tent Ideas Festival that is coming to Bristol next week.

Taking place in Queen Square on 11th June, the festival hopes to provide a business boost to the region’s organisations and entrepreneurs. The festival brings together local, national and international speakers – including front-bench politicians - to discuss a range of issues that really matter both to the public as a whole and to the business community. This year, we are delighted to introduce the Pitch Pit Tent, focused on nurturing and supporting both new and well-established companies.

The Pitch Pit Tent will host a series of sessions, introduced by Kwasi Kwarteng, Cabinet Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which will leave a legacy of support for individual organisations as well as giving the business community in Bristol the opportunity to tell Westminster what they need to thrive.

Minister Kwasi Kwarteng will introduce the Pitch Pit itself where Bristol and West of England based start-ups will pitch their business to the Big Tent Angels, looking for both mentoring and investment. The Angels, investment specialists from large and prestigious investment organisations include Andy Rice, Founder  of Adjuvo, Tilly McAuliffe, Director of Think Publishing Ltd, Tim Barnes, Founder of The Rain Gods, Hadley Diest,  Investment Manager at Ascension Venture Capital and Matt Cooper, Chairman of Octopus Capital. As in a similar TV programme, the Angels will have the opportunity to question the entrepreneurs in more depth before deciding if and how much time and money to invest.

Following the Pitch Pit, George Freeman MP, Minister for Science and Innovation and Darren Jones MP, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee at Westminster will be taking part in a special Q & A session. The audience will be able to ask the panellists about their own party’s business policies and to explain what they themselves need to thrive. This will be the perfect opportunity for local businesses to explain the support that politics needs to provide – for their own industry and region.

The Pitch Pit sessions will be followed by networking drinks for speakers and members of the audience.

The business-oriented Pitch Pit is one of four tents at the Big Tent Ideas Festival in Queen Square, Bristol. 11th June. Other sessions will discuss the drive to net zero, a more equitable society, better public services and how new media is driving new conversations. Other big names attending the festival include Shadow Ministers Stephen Kinnock MP and Anneliese Dodds MP, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP, Emma Cherniavsky, CEO UNHCR (UK), Ex Head of Twitter (Europe) Bruce Daisley and founder of Prospect Magazine, David Goodhart.

Tickets for the festival are available here. We are delighted to offer our members discount to the festival – please use the discount code BRISTOLBIZ22 for a 15% discount off all tickets prices, including two for one.

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