Business Growth Hub

Venturefest 2017 mixes Manchester spirit and international flavour

Venturefest Manchester 2017 attracted 648 people from across the UK, providing further evidence of the North West’s place as an emerging force in the global economy.

The event, now in its fourth year, was held at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on September 14th and was organised by Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company.

The region’s influence on the world was also reaffirmed by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham’s welcome to delegates, in which he underlined Manchester’s position as a city that has long been recognised as innovative, while calling for stronger links between businesses and universities.

Event host Professor Vikas Shah, CEO of Swiscot Group, set the tone by encouraging collaboration, saying that in his experience three of the most important factors in success are building strong networks, learning from others’ experiences and harnessing the latest innovations.

Other speakers included Lasse Sørensen, Senior Business Advisor at Vaeksthus Copenhagen; Keith Morgan, Chief Executive of the British Business Bank; and Pippa Hall, Director of Innovation and Chief Economist at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

At the centre of the event was the annual Innovation Showcase Competition, spotlighting the most innovative business ideas from across the region. Ten finalists pitched to the audience, with Beatstream Media winning the Early Stage Innovation Companies category and MELLO scooping the Established Small and Medium-Sized Growth Companies prize. Each receives more than £20,000 worth of business support.

Richard Jeffery, Director of Business Growth Hub, said: “Venturefest Manchester is going from strength to strength. From the competition pitches to the advice clinics, break-out sessions and expert panels, the whole event has epitomised the creativity, innovation and ambition that define our region.

“Venturefest symbolises what the Business Growth Hub and The Growth Company are all about: bringing businesses together, sharing expertise, and stimulating economic growth through innovation and collaboration.”

Venturefest Manchester 2017 was sponsored by Appleyard Lees, Avensure, Catax, Lombard, NatWest and Pomegranate Consulting.

Business Growth Hub

Venturefest Manchester is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the GM Business Growth Hub’s innovation service. We’re passionate about supporting your business. Visit or call 0161 359 3050.

Published: 03 October 2017

Article by Special Feature: Business Growth Hub
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