The inaugural Cambridge Wide Open Day proved a great success last week, with science and technology companies opening their doors to connect the cluster with the local community, with a special emphasis on residents, pupils, students and jobseekers.
Organizer Prashant Shah, co-founder of o2h group, said: “We were delighted with the outcome of the inaugural Cambridge Wide Open day. We had over 600 people register and 60-plus companies attending and venues participating.”
“There were a wide range of presentations, talks, product demos, clinics and tours from a wide range of companies small and large, covering a wide range of sectors from genetics to the green economy.”
“The idea was to get the local community involved and see what exists behind the gates and walls of our science and tech parks. It’s important to inspire talent from the local community as well as let them see the terrific work that happens in and around Cambridge so that we have a healthier evolution of our ecosystem necessary to compete with the best innovation clusters in the world. It was great fun zipping around from venue to venue on a beautiful summer’s day seeing the care and love each of the companies and venues had put into the event and then hearing from the attendees that they had always wanted to go and see some of these places and never had a chance to go.”
Speaking on an episode of Cambridge Tech Podcast, he added: “The obvious issue is that the public need to feel that the life sciences and the tech and the innovation community, has something in it for them.”
“At the very least let’s show them what we’re doing, let them participate and understand and take pride in the amazing things that are happening in Cambridge, so at least they’ll also participate in the trade-offs. Let them find jobs as well, let them be inspired, let them understand what we’re doing and then, that’s where you get for the healthy evolution of an ecosystem, where people are not on different sides of the fence cutting us in different directions.”
“This is a key part of involving the representatives in it, and the residents, in terms of the long term evolution of the ecosystem so we can compete with Boston, and compete with a lot of other emerging ecosystems, where San Diego and so many others are moving at a really quick pace. So we really need to get our act together in terms of ecosystem development and that definitely means including the politicians, the elected representatives, and the residents”
After the tours, talks and events were concluded, it was over to Hauxton House for Feel the Buzz II, the second annual garden party hosted by the o2h Group.
“Feel the Buzz II was our garden party after Cambridge Wide Open Day,” says Prashant. We did “Feel the Buzz” last year for the opening of Hauxton House. This year It was the inaugural Cambridge Wide Open Day, so we celebrated in the evening.
“It started at 4pm with cocktails, ice cream, and food from Stem & Glory, and it went on to 9pm. There were many fascinating conversations as people were mingling and sharing opportunities to chat or catch up.”
Prashant added: ”Cambridge has never had an open house event of this nature and we look forward to doing this again next year and to continue to make the amazing work that happens in Cambridge more accessible and convenient for people to enjoy regardless of their background”
CA mayor Dr. Nik Johnson concluded: “Cambridge Wide Open Day has been incredibly successful as far as I can see.”
“Speaking as an invited guest and, as the mayor of the Combined Authority of Cambridge & Peterborough, I’m beginning to see the perfect example of what a community can do almost in terms of showing off its wares but also connecting with the local communities and making sure that the communities that are around these fantastic organizations make those meaningful links which then help with selling roots into a community and then you have the hope that you can inspire kids in the local area and they want to be part of a growing community which is bringing investment and wealth into the local area.”
Ajit Singh Guller
Marketing Manager @ o2h group