Take a look at all the fantastic presentations we have this year, we would like to thank all of our speakers for coming to BIO2019

Look out for the forthcoming official BIO2019 Programme!

Break / Refreshments

Breakfast available

Location: Foodcourt. Time: 8:00 - 8:30


Opening Ceremony

Location: Cooper. Time: 8:30 - 09:15
Opening Speakers:
Angus Horner - Director, Harwell Science & Innovation Campus
Nigel Tipple - Chief Executive, Oxfordshire LEP
Susan Brown - Leader, Oxford City Council
Ian Corkin - Cabinet Member, Oxfordshire County Council

Factory tour at MINI Plant Oxford (9.25am)

Max 15 available: £20 +Fee & VAT each

The MINI Plant Oxford factory tour gives visitors a behind the scenes look at how the iconic British car is made. Limited to 15 places only. Tours last ~2 hours and give an in depth look at the manufacturing process and history of MINI.

tickets can be pre-booked here


Location: Cooper. Time: 9:25 - 10:35

The traditional way of working within a company and in the wider marketplace is changing at an ever increasing rate

Simon Biltcliffe : Webmart
In this speech, Simon Biltcliffe, CEO and Marketing Consultant, Tom Maskill will demonstrate a new way of engaging and aligning the talent within your business based on ethics and culture… and then show how using this same set of skills you can crowdsource new business models throughout your marketplace- whatever that is.

WARNING: there will be swearing. It just happens.

5 myths of starting a business

Lindsay Willott : Customer Thermometer
Lindsay has founded two successful businesses, a tech marketing agency, The Marketing Practice, and customer survey software provider, Customer Thermometer. In this talk she will describe the lessons learned, and share foundation 5 myths she’s discovered.


Location: Countryman Time: 9:25 - 10:35

Discovering the future of the Oxfordshire economy

Nigel Tipple : Oxfordshire LEP (OxLEP)
It is undeniable that Oxfordshire presents significant economic potential for the UK, particularly in the context of a post-Brexit economy.

Assets such as the University of Oxford and its world-class research programmes, Harwell Campus, Culham Science Centre and a thriving automotive sector not only have worldwide reach but are already internationally-established too – not to mention a flourishing small business community that boasts one of the best five-year survival rates anywhere in the UK.

Join the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s chief executive Nigel Tipple, who will explore the significant opportunities that exist within the county’s economy, through the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and the emerging Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy.

Promoting Good Growth in Oxford

Gordon Mitchell : Oxford City Council
Gordon will highlight the council’s evolving approach to the economy and the city’s growth. The city remains a priority location for a range of investments, and alongside this, we have identified a clear need to shape a collective view on ‘good growth’ and explain what means for the city, its residents, workers and visitors. In doing so, Gordon’s presentation will highlight the progress on some of the main projects and initiatives that will exemplify the approach.

Demand Responsive Transport and Future Mobility

Phil Southall : Oxford Bus Company
Demand responsive transport is almost certainly going to play an important role in future mobility solutions. Whilst not a silver bullet, it has the potential to effectively complement traditional public transport in an efficient and cost-effective way. It’s far from simple though – the technology behind it is still in its infancy and requires significant work to set up and operate. Furthermore, commercial partnerships are critical to its viability as operational and regulatory overheads remain high – almost as high as those of a regular bus service. Despite these challenges, our trial in Oxford is showing positive signs and we’re excited about its future.


Location: Clubman Time: 9:25 - 10:35

Rethinking disputes: Your SOS guide to resolving conflict

Jane Gunn : Consultant, Facilitator & Speaker & Toby Walker : Hedges Law
Conflict is everywhere: in boardrooms, family businesses, and pretty much any organisation, large or small. Mediators Jane Gunn and Toby Walker team up for this ‘Learn’ session at BIO2019 to explain more about why conflicts emerge, how they escalate and what you can do about them. Toby and Jane draw on their experience as mediators and lawyers and will show that there are common themes underlying most disputes, much that can be done to avoid them, and what practical steps you can take when they do arise.

Helping you communicate globally

Craig Harrison : Conversis
An insight into the pitfalls of translation when communicating to a global audience and how getting it right can help build your business.

The power of the buyer is changing sales forever

David Greenaway : Forty3 Consulting
Change the way you think about sales to sell more, and sell better. Inbound Marketing has changed the way companies earn buyers’ trust and build their brands – through meaningful, helpful content. But with that change comes unprecedented access to information in a few quick keystrokes. Enter the age of the empowered buyer, one who no longer has to rely on a sales rep to research their challenges or learn more about how a company’s offering might fit their needs. Now, with more than 60% of purchasing decisions made in the absence of a sales rep, the role of the rep itself has been called into question.


Location: Cooper. Time: 10:35 - 11:45

Why Apple Won’t Invent the Next I-Phone: How Disruptive Innovation Really Works

Mike Lawton : Oxford Space Systems
Mike Lawton, CEO of Oxford Space Systems (OSS), will give a lively and thought provoking look at how large companies confuse innovation with incremental improvements – and what this means for today’s leading tech firms. Mike will use numerous real-world examples and cover the implications of how companies & funding agencies really approach R&D in the UK. Mike is the founder of OSS and the current Barclays Bank UK Entrepreneur of the Year. OSS is a venture capital backed space hardware business based at the Harwell Space Cluster and is ranked as #52 in the UK’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies.

Running in Heels

Jo Stevens : Oxford Innovation
Jo will focus on her journey to becoming MD of Oxford Innovation and in particular how is the workplace changing, and how you stay true to your roots, but create an engaging and modern company work place.


Location: Countryman Time: 10:35 - 11:45

Climate change, the biggest change management process the world has ever seen…reframing climate change into something we can action and understand

Charly Cox : Charly Cox Coaching
Climate change is a topic that leaves many of us feel powerless. In her engaging talk, Charly will explain why and put this huge topic in business terms we can all relate to. Charly is a business person turned social entrepreneur and will show us why we don’t need to be environmentalists or scientists to act on climate change. Her talk will give you some of the keys to make any change successful and leave us all feeling more capable.

Starting up and running your business - so what are your priorities?

Grant Hayward : Collaborent Ltd
Setting up and running a business is one of the most challenging and rewarding things you might ever do. So what are the most important things you should focus on? Sure, great products - exceptional people - excellence in customer service - brand, marketing and promotion - finance. No time then for considering your purpose, CSR, doing good, concern for the environment or developing creative, cross-sector collaborations? Join us at this session to learn how, these elements can be embedded in your business to become the fuel for those vital, headline components of successful businesses - and how, if you don’t, you’ll be left in the wake of your competition.

The B Corp Movement: Business as a Force for Good

Charmian Love: B Lab UK
Come learn about the movement of people using business as a force for good. We’ll explore what it means to be a B Corp and how to join this amazing community of businesses who are ‘walking the talk’ of what it means to operate for both shareholders and stakeholders, to deliver both profit and purpose.


Location: Clubman Time: 10:35 - 11:45

A year on from GDPR – Has anything really changed?

Kellie Peters : Databasix UK Ltd
12-months ago your email accounts were being bombarded with consent emails and updated privacy notices. To many SME business owners the GDPR was considered the next Y2K, and even considered a tick box exercise. Using real life examples, I will talk through 5 lessons that we can all learn from the GDPR coming into force.

Your accounts – what’s behind the numbers?

Ian Parker : Whitley Stimpson
We all know what makes up a set of accounts, right? Several pages of figures which contain a basic profit and loss account and a balance sheet which shows whether you have had a good or bad year. However, I believe that you can delve a lot a deeper into these numbers and when used properly this can help to drive significant business improvements and efficiencies. Here I will show you how this is done and help start your journey to a more successful business.

Why do businesses get digital marketing so wrong?

Jon Ellard : Ellard Outloud
I constantly meet talented business people with great products or services but when it come’s down to Websites, Search and Social Media the majority are useless. During my 10 minutes I will explore the top five reasons why businesses get it so wrong and what they can start doing to rectify it. With 15 year’s experience in digital marketing and over 250 projects under my belt I have seen the good, bad and the damn ugly.

Worldpay, Consumer Behaviour & Payments Reports

Kevin Bibey : Worldpay
In June 2018 Worldpay surveyed 2,500 consumers to understand their behaviour when paying for goods and services. The findings help to understand the current mindset of the UK consumer, what they expect from their customer experience in each channel, and how that might impact your payment strategy. Kevin Bibey, Sales & Activation Manager at Worldpay will share some of the highlights of the report and direct where you can view a full version of the findings.


Location: Cooper. Time: 11:45 - 12:45

Good to grow - Managing your comoany culture through periods of change

Sharon Parker Lines : Oxford Innovation
Culture is defined as the character and personality of your organisation. It is what makes your organisation unique, and it is the sum of it’s values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviours and attitudes. The very biggest mistake  is a complete failure to craft a culture. You wouldn’t dream of leaving any other aspect of your business to chance, so why would you chance it with your company culture?

Is Your Office Boring and Ugly?

Dan Brown & Darren Stevens : COEL
We at COEL are experts in Commercial space fit-out and design, we make your space work for you, and create fabulous workplaces. With over 30 years of experience in the Industry, we will be presenting the highs and lows of that 30 year journey from sole trader to £25million turnover business. We will also explain why your office environment is vital to the success of your business, how it can help you retain and attract the best talent and how it is essential to the mental health and wellbeing of your most important asset, your people.


Location: Countryman Time: 11:45 - 12:45

Cyber Security Threats to the SME and what the Future holds

Neill Lawson-Smith : CIS
Neill will review the current state of the cyber security threats the SME are facing. Neill will also review emerging threats, tips and tricks to avoiding them, and what technologies the SME will need to employ in the future to stay ahead of future threats.

Real-Life Cyber-attack stories from the SME, the costs and lessons learned

Neill Lawson-Smith : CIS
We will discuss a few cyber security attacks that hit the local SME. We’ll cover what happened, the outcomes, the costs, and the steps taken to secure their networks and data

The challenges of modern Cyber Security and the technologies needed to succeed

Security Operations Centre Engineer : Sophos
A Sophos Security Operations Engineer will revile the latest trends in Cyber Security threats. We will review how the threat landscape is growing and evolving, and what sorts of technologies are emerging to deal with the crowing threats.


Location: Clubman Time: 11:45 - 12:45

Storytelling – where to start with your PR strategy

Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies : Coconut PR
Ditch the cynical view on ‘storytelling’ as over-used marketing jargon and get back to basics. Who you are, what you stand for and how you deliver your product or service is the crux of your story and getting customers or clients to buy. Learn how your beginning, middle and ending can make that a swift and effective process for your PR and marketing strategies as well as your bottom line.

How long could your business survive without being connected?

Paul Ballinger : STL Communications
Technology is changing the way we live, work and do business, breaking down boundaries and exploiting opportunities.  But get it wrong and it has the power to shut down your business in a heartbeat.   Learn how, in a world where connectivity underpins everything your business does, it can be the conduit for smarter, new ways of working – better connecting you to both your people and your customers.

How to Attract Talent in Oxford’s Candidate Driven Market

Ben Thompson : Thompson & Terry Recruitment
The presentation will focus on the difficulties of recruiting talent in Oxfordshire specifically and the best ways to combat these difficulties. This will include highlighting the importance of retaining employees and the best ways to do so, as well as discussing the advantages of different methods of recruitment, including head-hunting, digital advertising and how to use recruitment agencies to your advantage.

Break / Refreshments


Location: Food Court. Time: 12.45 - 13.05
Food is available from 12:00 - 2:00pm.


Location: Cooper. Time: 13:05 - 14:15

The Westgate Development – A 20 Year Journey

Brendan Hattam : Westgate Oxford
The new Westgate Oxford opened its doors on 24th October 2017.

The challenge leading up to that – was to develop a building the size of 11 football pitches employing 3500 people in the centre of one of the UK’s best known historic cities. A City with a complex reputation for traffic congestion, planning, sustainability, employment, stakeholders and the cost of living.

The launch was the culmination of a 20 year journey involving a group of people with a lot of determination! They were also inspired for Oxford to realise its potential.

Brendan Hattam, Westgate’s General Manager will talk about the challenges of developing a major shopping centre in Oxford and the qualities of the people who had the vision to deliver it.

Workplace wellbeing – how to develop a mentally healthy workplace and increase productivity

Dan Knowles : Oxfordshire Mind
There is an increasing understanding that mental health issues can affect employees in all sectors, with a negative impact on staff wellbeing, retention rates, and productivity. Dan Knowles is CEO of Oxfordshire Mind and in this interactive session he will introduce and develop a number of ways to make the workplace happier, healthier and more productive.


Location: Countryman Time: 13:05 - 14:15

Rising to the challenge of creating an inclusive economy for Oxford

Paul Roberts : Aspire Oxford
Stark inequality of income and life chances is holding us all back in Oxford. Despite its buoyant and growing economy, inequality in our city has only gotten much worse - the gap in life expectancy for adult males has increased from 4 to 15 years between different parts of the city in the last decade.

I will set out how, through adopting inclusive recruitment practices, paying a real living wage and nurturing the growth of local enterprise in areas of relative deprivation, we can rise to the challenge of creating a genuinely inclusive economy that not only can help reverse inequalities, but help our economy to thrive for everyone - and spell out what we can all do to make it happen.

Oxfordshire Uncovered

Jayne Woodley : Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF)
Despite the best efforts of the thousands of local charities and their generous supporters, Jayne Woodley CEO, Oxfordshire Community Foundation will uncover a reality that remains in stark contrast to the perception and stereotype of Oxfordshire as a global brand and thriving economy. With recent case studies, she will share her aspirations for how we might find ways to pool our resources and to focus our collective efforts on working together more collaboratively to solve social problems like homelessness.

Purpose First: Tap Social’s Measurement of Success

Matthew Elliott : Tap Social Movement
An exploration of Tap Social’s purpose driven business – a brewery and taproom with offender rehabilitation at its heart. Matt and Tess will talk about some of the issues and opportunities Tap has encountered while combining business with a social mission, and will tell the stories of some of those they’ve met along the way.


Location: Clubman Time: 13:05 - 14:15

GDPR: Lessons learned from year 1

Will Richmond-Coggan : Freeths LLP
Will Richmond-Coggan, an experienced data protection litigator, will discuss some of the first regulatory decisions to have been published since GDPR came into force from data protection authorities around Europe. These will include the largest fine imposed for a breach of GDPR to date; the implications of data protection law for the processing of data obtained from the public domain; and the risks faced by businesses who depend on sharing personal data with third parties as a revenue stream. He will use these examples to illustrate the importance of de-risking your business by avoiding such regulatory pitfalls.

Become a business for Good. It’s no longer enough to do less harm, we need to do more good…

Gareth Dinnage : Seacourt Ltd
Business can and should be enablers of positive environmental and social change, it’s the right thing to do and it’s also good for business. Everyone wins.

Hear how Seacourt have achieved this and how you can learn from their 20 year journey and implement positive steps that can help you transition your business to become a sustainability champion.

Through these steps you can start to show environmental leadership which can help support your brand reputation and future proof your business.

Humans Are Not Resources – How growth comes from Trust

Mike Jennings : Jennings
As part of a lecture series entitled Humans are not Resources, for this talk Mike will be focussing in on Trust. Mike will talk about the importance of trust when developing an exceptionally motivated, caring, welcoming and happy team. Taking examples from his own experiences in running his family property business he will be explaining how a happy and motivated team are essential in building a growth enabled, resilient business.

How to write a Successful R&D Grant Application

Matt Symonds : TBAT Innovation Ltd
Join Managing Director of TBAT Innovation Ltd, Matt Symonds, as he discusses how to navigate the Grant Funding application process and provides some top tips on how to get your project noticed by the assessors!


Location: Cooper. Time: 14:15 - 15:25

Money isn't enough

Renee Watson : The Curiosity Box
Moving from start-up to scale-up is painful. One of the most rewarding aspects is building the team you need to help realise your vision, but this can also be the hardest. What can you do when you have limited resources, are too small to accommodate inefficiency and want to retain the culture you have nurtured? How do you find and retain the best people? I will share my experience of: building a team that is diverse, motivated and agile; creating The Value Equation a personalised reward package that goes beyond money; and finding talent in unusual places with a total recruitment bill of £4.00.

Why beautiful doesn’t have to mean big

Lucy Eckley : Build Your Brand Story
How do you build a sustainable consulting business in a world that is constantly changing? The highly successful services you provide today may no longer be relevant tomorrow. One solution is to build your business around a personal rather than a corporate brand - allowing you to pivot and seamlessly seize new opportunities. I’ll share the journey of my transition from stressed-out London commuter to fulfilled independent consultant, and how I’m building a model that fits my lifestyle and constantly evolving my business to meet current trends and client needs.


Location: Countryman Time: 14:15 - 15:25

How can we house people in Oxford at a reasonable price?

Kate Faulkner : Designs On Property Ltd
Oxford is often quoted as an ‘unaffordable’ place to live and this is causing issues with recruitment. This presentation will consider ways of working with existing and future staff to help put a safe and affordable roof over their heads.

10 key things all buy-to-let landlords need to know in 2019

Vicky Hernandez : Hedges Law
Times have never been so uncertain for residential landlords. Not only have many had to re-structure their residential portfolios as a result of changes to the rules on mortgage interest tax relief but they might be forgiven for thinking that the Government is doing its utmost to dissuade them from investing in residential property with ever increasing red-tape and bureaucracy. As this not to be missed session Vicky Hernandez will give delegates her top 10 guide to the changes they need to know about to keep up with legislation affecting the residential lettings market along with her hints and tips to help weather the storm and plan for the future.

Small changes – big impact

Emma Righton : Righton Group Limited
Shocking pollution levels during a recent visit to India sparked the idea for AMOEBIO, a carbon neutral professional cleaning service. Emma Righton, founder of Righton, the serviced apartment and short stay accommodation provider, then approached OXWASH founder Kyle Grant, who runs a sustainable laundry and dry cleaning service, for this exciting collaboration. The pair have a shared mission - to work towards reducing the catastrophic impact we are having on our planet and our ecosystems.

Developing our organisations for the future

Emma and Kyle will talk about their vision for employing teams of like-minded co-workers who are paid a living wage to deliver the cleaning and laundry services on electric bikes. Using renewable energy, biodegradable packaging and detergents, while incorporating best practice, technology, social responsibility, environmental sustainability, philanthropy into the ethos of each of their businesses


Location: Clubman Time: 14:15 - 15:25

It’s all about the people – Best practice HR support to ensure sustainable business growth and success.

Jonna Mundy : YouHR Consultancy
A session for You to explore:
Modern day HR practice,
Good governance in your people management,
What’s trending in the Thames Valley to attract, retain and develop your team.

Submit your areas of enquiry / questions in advance to to be addressed in the Q&A session on employment issues.

A poet’s guide to creative thinking

Beth Calverly : The Poetry Machine
How can poetry help us to think differently in business? Beth Calverley is a spoken word artist, creative coach and founder of The Poetry Machine. She uses techniques from poetry to help people approach problems creatively and express their ideas, with a focus on enhancing wellbeing. In 2018, Beth was published on Rife Magazine’s list of influential young Bristolians and was a Roundhouse Poetry Slam finalist. She has worked with leading companies such as Sky UK and Freeths, as well as charities and education/healthcare organisations across the country.

Vistage: Why, What and some smoking ideas for leadership

Peter Collins: Vistage Oxford
I lead a Vistage peer-advisory and executive coaching group in Oxfordshire focused on helping CEOs, MDs and senior business leaders make better decisions for themselves, their businesses, and their employees. In my presentation you will learn the why, what, how, when, and where of Vistage alongside some of the invaluable lessons in leadership I have gleaned along the way – it could be the 15 minutes that transforms your life. Can you afford to miss it?

How to reduce stress levels amongst the workforce to create calmer more productive environments using the energy that's all around us.

Tara Mehmet : Emprana
Introducing self development to the workforce, to ease and calm overloaded minds, bringing about mental clarity, re-energised people and re-vitalised bottom lines. The approach we use is very simple and extremely effective and has been described as "A brilliant glimpse into the future of how the corporate world can improve efficiency, productivity and general well-being and peace of mind" Hear how understanding energy can transform how you and the people around you feel beyond recognition.


Location: Countryman Time: 15:25 - 16:35

The Competitive Advantages of Inclusivity and Diversity

John Kennedy : Oxfordshire Voice Partner
JFK has been a long term advocate and champion of inclusivity and diversity and a leading speaker on the subject to a wide range of business sectors and audiences. In this session John provides insights to demonstrate the competitive advantages your business can benefit from by embracing inclusivity and diversity as key core values in your business strategy.

T Levels – Transforming Your Talent Pipeline

Lee Jamieson : Activate Learning
Technical education in the UK is undergoing the biggest reform in 70 years, creating valuable new opportunities for Oxfordshire businesses. The introduction of T Levels is the foundation of the government’s “modern industrial strategy” and aims to plug the skills gap that is holding back productivity. Discover what forward-thinking leaders are doing today to capitalise on this new, emerging talent pipeline. Discover how T Levels will transform how you will source, train and retain tomorrow’s talent. Discover how this educational reform could transform your business.

Workplace wellbeing - Oxfordshire businesses supporting each other to attract, support and retain their people

Grant Hayward : Collaborent
Workplace Wellbeing is an increasingly important topic - evidenced by the various expert speakers and topics at BIO this year. But when you go back to your desk, how will you either implement a programme to support your people, or enhance, develop and support what you already have in place? The Oxfordshire Workplace Wellbeing Network is here to help. It is supported by leading employers like Unipart, The Oxford Bus Company and Oxfordshire County Council - and it’s growing. Join this session to find out more.


Location: Clubman Time: 15:25 - 16:35

Can Military Leadership be Applied to Business?

Darren Bowyer : Cumberland Lodge
Daren Bowyer was an Army officer for 26 years and has since held a number of senior leadership roles in the education and charity sectors. Today he is COO of Cumberland Lodge, an educational charity and residential conference centre occupying a former Royal residence in the heart of Windsor Great Park. Having led teams, large and small, across a range of disciplines he strongly believes that the military approach to leadership – values based, transformational and focussing on the interlocking needs of Task Team and Individual – is as valid in the boardroom as it is on the battlefield.

Does your big ‘butt’ get in the way when networking

Cathy Dunbabin : Opendoorz
Lots of business owners feel they don’t get the best results they from their networking. We are going to run through the top ten reasons this could be the case and what you can do to improve them.

Faking it

Hayley Monks : Think, Inspire & Create
Can you imitate confidence and an optimistic mindset in order to realise those qualities in real life? If you can, how do you do it and just who are you fooling.

So you think you know what interior designers do? Think again…

Jill Treloggen & Frank Webster : JT Interiors
If you think interior design is all about cushions and candles, then think again.  JT Interiors have over 14 years’ experience in working with clients in both the residential and commercial sectors.  One thing they all have in common – the clients want their project delivered On Time, On Brief and On budget.  So how do you marry great design with commercial realities?  Come and listen to Frank and Jill talk about how JT Interiors does just that.

Closing Ceremony

Location: Cooper. Time: 16:35 - 17:20

Closing Speakers: TBC

50 To Watch Awards

A New awards competition for Oxfordshire Pace-Setters

Location: Cooper. Time: 17:20 - 17:35

We’re all intrigued by success stories in business. How did they start out? Who had the idea? Did they get a lucky break or was it sheer hard work and plenty of late nights which resulted in ultimate success?

Freeths Solicitors have teamed up with B4 to bring you 50 to Watch, 50 Oxfordshire companies who we think are doing something special which could grow and become really successful. We’re not trying to identify the next Air BnB or Uber, although that would be nice, we’re looking at companies across eight key areas who we think have something different to offer.

After deliberating we now have our award winners and will be announcing them tonight! Good luck to all companies that entered this years awards.


BIO After Party in association with NXT: Engaging the Next Generation

Location: Cooper. Time: 17:35 - 18:20

Let your hair down and mingle, in association with NXT.

NXT is focused on engaging the next generation under 30, in the first few years of their professional careers. Whether they are entrepreneurs, creatives, or building a career at a company, we want to help them develop skills at events held by us.

For all enquiries or to find out more about NXT please see: or email: