Sector spotlight: Innovation and insight explored at the Healthcare, Consumer & Retail and Emerging Tech Sector Conference
Professor Tim Spector OBE was the headline speaker at the BVCA’s Sector Conference in London last week. He provided insight that was relevant to all three sectors covered at the conference — Health, Consumer & Retail and Emerging Tech — as he talked about the gut microbiome and the investment journey that took the ZOE app from a research tool to a Covid tracker — and finally to the personalised nutrition app that it has evolved into now, with a waiting list of 250,000 people.
The breakthrough drug Lecanemab, dominated headlines in recent weeks as the first potential drug to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and reverse some of the pathological changes in the brain. Against this backdrop, the audience learnt of SV Health Investors’ Dementia Discovery Fund, a £250m specialist VC fund focused on innovative therapeutics for dementia, with the rigor of for-profit VC investing.
EMV Capital-backed Vortex Biosciences talked about the leading-edge innovation in cancer treatment and what the future landscape could look like.
Gen Z and the booming influence of the ‘zoomer’ was deconstructed by Shira Jeczmien, founder of media company SCREENSHOT, who was in conversation with investors backing businesses, actively targeting this generational demographic.
The audience learnt of the latest trends and challenges in Biowearables and why the metaverse matters as a 3D version of the internet where people come together to learn, shop, play and live.
The afternoon sessions were centred around emerging tech and topics covered included cybersecurity, data analytics, fintech and digital transformation. It was encouraging to hear Paul Scully MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Tech and the Digital Economy talk about the government’s unwavering support for tech and delegates also heard from Chi Onwurah Labour MP and Shadow Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy talk about what a Labour government would do to support the growth of the sector.
I left the event feeling inspired by the amazing impact that private capital can have on business growth and innovation. An industry that works tirelessly to improve and advance people’s lives and the world that we live in.
Authored by Jess Carter, Events Producer, BVCA