The Celtic Manor Resort is known throughout Wales as one of the most luxurious 5 star escapes one can find. The home of the 2010 Ryder Cup; home of the 2014 NATO summit.
Well now the Alacrity Foundation can add to that list – the Celtic Manor has become home of the inaugural #CelebrateWales event.
Influential staff from every university and incubator in Wales were invited to come together for a relaxed day of food and drink, thought leading speakers and networking and it proved to be a real success. With over 40 people in attendance the day began at 12pm with a reception in the opulent Monmouth Lounge.
1st to arrive was Jacqui Ho who had travelled all the way from Aberystwyth University. She was soon joined by Jo Banks from Falmouth University’s Launchpad project and many more.
At 1230pm our guests were all ushered through to the Denbigh Suite where Dr Wil Williams (CEO of Alacrity Foundation) opened the event. A presentation followed on some of the great work being done Welsh Government, Wesley Clover and the Waterloo Foundation – specifically how important it is that we give our talented graduates the opportunity to stay in Wales. One of the facts that caught my attention was that over 50% of the graduates who join the Alacrity Foundation travel from outside of Wales to be part of our movement…a reverse brain-drain indeed!
Professor Simon Gibson OBE (CEO of Wesley Clover) then got up to talk to an enraptured audience. He spoke passionately about how vital innovation is within an organisation and that he will keep on sounding the clarion call with government and universities alike to ensure talented and creative individuals across Wales have the opportunity to own their own businesses and create product.
A wonderful lunch was then served back in the Monmouth Lounge where we saw members of the current Alacrity Foundation 2017 cohort sit amongst all of our guests. Discussions around 5G, the Swansea City deal, the work being carried out at Innovation Point and the formation of Development Banc all came up as hot topics. Attendees included senior staff from Swansea University, Bangor University, Cardiff University, University of South Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Aberystwyth University, Falmouth University, the National Software Academy, University of the West of England and University of Wales Trinity Saint David. We also had 2 of the founders of Tramshed Tech in Cardiff (Mark John) and Town Square Spaces (Mandy Weston – formerly founder of Welsh ICE).
To finish off the day we were very fortunate that Damon Rands – MD of Wolfberry was able to present some of his thoughts. He produced an inspirational rousing call to action; the importance of a cyber ecosystem…and ultimately how important it is that businesses, government, academia and law enforcement work together. His closing message: “We need to be more Welsh”.
All in all, this was a fantastic event and the Alacrity Foundation hopes to ensure this becomes an annual date in the calendar. #celebratewales #alacrityuk