Andy Street to head up Venturefest West Midlands

Andy Street to head up Venturefest West Midlands

John Lewis managing director and chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, Andy Street, has been named as the keynote speaker for this year’s Venturefest West Midlands.

Venturefest is a free, one-day event aimed at supporting business growth through innovation. It will bring together entrepreneurs, innovators and investors with specific innovation expertise.

Street will speak about the importance of innovation having led John Lewis through times of significant change in both the economy and the retail industry at large since taking the helm in 2007.

During this time, the group's gross sales have increased in excess of 50% to over £4.4bn. It has opened 20 new shops, and the business has seen annual sales of over £1.6bn making the department store one of the UK's most respected and successful retailers.

He said: "John Lewis was founded by an entrepreneur with a visionary idea for a better way of doing business, and that innovative spirit still drives the business today.

"In a competitive world, innovation has become the marker of the truly successful business, and harnessing this innovation is key for business leaders.

"Venturefest is a chance for companies in the West Midlands to experience for themselves how innovation can unlock future growth."

Dr Ruth McKernan, chief executive of Innovate UK, added: "Venturefest West Midlands 2016 will be a showcase for the very best innovation in the region.  

"The event will bring together innovators, investors and entrepreneurs, with a wide range of business support and advice organisations.

"Innovate UK is determined to build on innovation excellence throughout the UK. We look forward to Venturefest West Midlands 2016 - if you are an innovative company looking to make the right connections to grow your business, then I’d urge you to register." 

Street will be joined by Stuart Miller, CEO of ByBox and chair of Lord Young's Small Business Charter, whose mission is to galvanise business schools and SMEs to drive economic growth.

The event will have a packed programme full with inspiring keynote speakers, interactive workshop sessions delivered by our expert partners. 

To book your place for the event on 23 June, click here.