Venturefest announces 2016 Innovation Showcase shortlist

Venturefest announces 2016 Innovation Showcase shortlist

Business Growth Hub has announced the shortlist for the Venturefest Manchester 2016 Innovation Showcase, where North West SMEs will have the opportunity to win a unique business support package worth £30,000.

Organised and led by Business Growth Hub, part of Manchester Growth Company, Venturefest brings together the North West’s most exciting innovators, entrepreneurs and investors on September 21st at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

The 23 shortlisted businesses will now pitch their innovative services and products to a panel of three expert judges: digital and technology investment expert Peter Wall, angels’ syndicate chairman and young business specialist Neil Wolstenholme, and innovative B2B start-up specialist Alan Hodari. The trio will cast their entrepreneurial eye over each business and select the top 10 as competition finalists.

Following coaching on their pitches from the Hub’s Access to Finance team, the 10 finalists will present at Venturefest to a live audience. The winner will be crowned following an audience vote.

Businesses in the shortlist come from a range of sectors across the North West, including life sciences, manufacturing, and design, creative and technology. They include: Click Your GP; GCOFN; Extreme Low Energy; Rescutec; LIG Biowise; Limon Attire; GatorDuct; Pearlman Technologies; HairClone; Mymanu; Cube121; EveryWalk; Swifty Scooters; Langford Direct; Nothing but Epic; GJD Manufacturing; Actiphons; MPMsim; Hydro Water Management Solutions; Social Circle; Bri-Tek Technologies; and C-Major; VST Enterprises.

Now in its third year, Venturefest is organised by Business Growth Hub in partnership with Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). Over 700 people were in attendance when Tom New and Al Mackin, co-founders at Salford-based online shopping specialists Formisimo, won the prize package at last year’s event. Formisimo used the winnings to help fund and launch Nudgr, the software that predicts whether or not a customer will complete an online purchase.

The day of pitches will be interspersed with keynote speeches from some of the North West’s most influential people, including:

  • Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive at Manchester City Council
  • Juergen Maier, CEO at Siemens PLC
  • Mike Biddle, Deputy Director at Innovate UK
  • Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor at University of Manchester
  • Tom New, last year’s Innovation Showcase winner and Co-Founder at Formisimo.
    • Attendees will also be given the opportunity to network, share ideas, and develop new partnerships with some of the region’s most successful business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors.

      Richard Jeffery, director at Business Growth Hub, said: “The quality of the applications for the Innovation Showcase has made the task of compiling this shortlist very difficult. We have seen an abundance of talent and entrepreneurial ingenuity on display and that is encouraging for the North West as a whole. With that and the speakers we have in attendance, this year’s event promises to be a highly engaging and inspirational experience. I wish all of the businesses the best of luck and look forward to seeing their innovative ideas come to life at the event in September.”

      Tom New, co-founder at Formisimo and 2015 Innovation Showcase winner, said: “The Innovation Showcase is an excellent opportunity for businesses to shine on a big stage in front of some of the North West’s most influential people. We were thoroughly delighted to be involved in last year’s event and the experience has given our business a massive lift. I can’t wait to meet this year’s finalists and hear about the latest innovations happening on our doorstep.”

      To get involved with all the news and events at this year’s event, follow Venturefest on Twitter with the hashtag #VenturefestMCR