Business community come together for Big Networking Night

Over 200 delegates from the business community from across the region attended the University of Portsmouth’s annual Big Networking Night last week (15 November).

The event was a great opportunity for the local business community to access the University’s expertise and technology.

The event, which is held during Global Entrepreneurship Week, was attended by business owners and leaders, as well as University staff and students. All had the opportunity to network throughout the evening, where new business connections were formed, new contacts made and new ideas were generated. Prior to the main event, which was held in the University’s Future Technology Centre, a special VIP event was held with guests including Karen Blackett OBE, the University’s Chancellor, the Lord Mayor and the Leader of Portsmouth City Council.

Following an introduction by Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Nichol, Ross McNally, Executive Chairman of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, spoke of their future plans for the region.

The Dean of the University’s Faculty of Business and Law, Professor Gioia Pescetto, introduced the Entrepreneurs in Residence programme and welcomed 11 of the 14 who were present on the night. This programme provides the University with access to entrepreneurs from various backgrounds and at differing stages of their business journey.

Karen Blackett OBE

Karen Blackett OBE then gave a keynote address as to why businesses should engage with universities. Steve Rad, from event sponsors Radweb, responded to the Chancellor and spoke of ways he has engaged with the University since leaving as a student and setting up his own business based, in Portsmouth, with James Taylor.

Karen said: “Collaboration is crucial to success for any business and whether you’re a start-up, small business or a multinational, universities have a wide range of business services that can help take an organisation to the next level.

“This event is a great opportunity for the local business community to access the University of Portsmouth’s expertise and technology that they would otherwise not have access to.”

Event organiser Pat Smith, Small Business Manager at the University of Portsmouth, said: “It was an excellent opportunity for our students to engage with so many local business people and for the business people to connect with our talented students.”

Next year’s Big Networking Night will take place on 21 November 2019 in partnership with Portsmouth football club.

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