Date Announced: 29 Apr 2016
New profile emphasizes higher-level networking; scope broadened to spot bankable opportunities in nanotechnology, IoT, biotech and healthcare markets
Bordeaux, France – The new Inpho® Venture Summit, Photonics and Beyond is a financial investor and strategic business partnering event focused on growth market investments and providing innovative SMEs with better access to finance. The biennial conference will take place October 6 – 7, 2016, at the Palais de la Bourse in Bordeaux, France. Bordeaux has one of Europe’s highest concentrations of industrial expertise in photonics; this has led to major advancements in many areas.
New chairman George Ugras, managing director of IBM Venture Capital Group, will preside over the 5th edition of Inpho Venture Summit, previously known as Invest in Photonics®.
The two-day conference has expanded to include equity investment opportunities in hardware technologies that, in parallel to photonics, also develop the growth of digital innovation and connected devices, impacting vast numbers of industrial sectors.
Approximately 200 participants from across Europe, North America and beyond are expected to attend Inpho Venture Summit 2016. These will include representatives of the European Fund for Strategic Investment’s Juncker Plan. This plan has investment capital worth €315bn ($357bn), of which one-quarter will be made available to SMEs and mid-cap firms through banks, intermediaries and VCs.
“Photonics continues to evolve. Combined with other smart technologies, it has led to exciting innovations addressing bankable economic challenges,” said Inpho 2016 chairman George Ugras. “I am pleased to chair a new chapter in the Bordeaux region’s initiative to further private placement investment in photonics and other disruptive hardware technologies developed in Europe. Each edition draws increasingly higher profile industrial players and investors with a singular objective: to strike a deal. Inpho Venture Summit is an exciting place to be for high-level business networking in a unique setting where, over two days, everyone is accessible and very proactive.”
Since 2008, the conference has attracted more than 500 European participants, 50 international keynote speakers and over 80 VCs and corporate fund managers. More than 60 start-ups have participated, which together have sought more than €100m ($113m) in funding. A former participant, German-based LED Linear was recently acquired by the Swedish lighting manufacturer Fagerhult Group in a €40m ($45.2m) deal.
Samsung, Philips Lighting, Volkswagen, Carl Zeiss, Bosch, Airbus Defense and Space, GE Global Research Europe and Alcatel Lucent, among other major industry players, have participated.
European start-ups or later-stage companies developing advanced hardware technologies, including hardware to support software developments, are invited to join the closed roundtable meetings with global investors. Among these will be investment directors of corporate ventures, institutional investors, business angels, EU project promoters, entrepreneurs and a range of senior decision-makers from global industrial firms, all seeking to connect.
Similar to previous editions, a short-list of 20 innovative SMEs will be selected to each make a 5-minute elevator pitch for funding. Registration is now open to European companies. An award of €5,000 ($5,650) will be given to the most promising company. Within months of winning the award in 2014, Netherlands-based Effect Photonics closed a Series-A funding round.
Photonics impacts many industrial sectors, from medical, industrial and consumer applications to data collection, automation and robotics. The program committee will headline five themes this year: energy efficiency, mobility/autonomous vehicles, health/consumer applications, telecom/datacom and a new session: ‘crazy technologies’. This projects visitors into the future, showing them the technologies the world can expect 10 – 15 years from now.
Program committee members include: Karl Gedda, director, Optics Valley – Paris; Dieter Kraft, investment partner, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH; Eric Mottay, CEO, Amplitude Systems; Nithan Patak, investment partner, European Investment Fund; Christian Reitberger, investment manager, Wellington Partners, B-to-V partners; Stéphanie Schöhn, SME & ecosystem manager, SCS (Secured Communicating Solutions) World Class Cluster; Paul Thurk, managing director, Arch Venture Partners and chairman George Ugras, managing director, IBM Venture Capital Group.
George Ugras previously worked at ACM, an early stage venture fund, where he was general partner and managed investments across big data infrastructure, cloud computing and analytics. He has lectured on entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon, UCLA and Stanford and advised on technology spin-offs to the faculty at various universities. He also provides oversight to the space electronics group at Caltech and NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory.
Web Site: www.inpho-ventures.com