Venturefest returns to Yorkshire

Venturefest returns to Yorkshire

BQ Yorkshire Editor Mike Hughes takes a look at the highlights in store at the region’s new-look Venturefest

With just a few weeks to go to the first Venturefest to be run by Make It York, the city's destination management organisation is pulling out all the stops to make November 16th an essential date for any Yorkshire entrepreneur.

There have already been record entries for two of the big events: Pitchfest, an investment competition with a £5,000 cash prize and 12 months of support, and the Innovation Showcase which allows new businesses to showcase their ideas at the York Racecourse venue.

And now Venturefest Programme Manager Dermot Boylan has come up with ten unmissable reasons for attending:

1...Profile: There are big UK agencies like Innovate UK, Enterprise Europe Network, the Knowledge Transfer Networks and Department of International and Trad, attending, along with investors, around 100 innovators and entrepreneurs exhibiting from across Yorkshire and 1,200 delegates.

2....Training: We have sponsors running hands-on workshops in Agile start-up methodologies, Google garage sessions on marketing and clever ways to work out your market share amongst other things, so there will be lots of opportunities to be trained in the latest techniques.

3....Beer: There is always a logical time for a beer! This time we are scrapping the traditional dinner to give you an earlier finish and some relaxed chat and entertainment time, with some fine curry and a beer to whet your whistle after all that chat.

4....Play & Fun: We will have a pop up fab lab full of cool 3D printers, advanced manufacturing and prototyping equipment for you to play with, robots, virtual reality headsets, painting in 3D – all sorts of things ensuring no-one gets bored -  and if you do you can go and play with the Tesla cars on the ground floor!

5....Inspiration: Our main aim is to inspire and excite through creating the greatest gathering of the best and brightest innovators, and showcasing them and the most successful entrepreneurs from Yorkshire.

6....Investment: There will be the investor community from the North of England in attendance all looking for fabulous new businesses and ideas to invest their money in. Investors include the British Business Bank, Complete Resourcing, Mercia and AXM.

7....Discussion: The interactive themed hour-long sessions in Creative Digital, Innovation, Agrifood and BioSynergy will present lots of opportunities to ask questions. There are also one-to-one networking sessions you can book through our app, a VIP lounge to chat with colleagues or in the café on the ground floor.

8....Knowledge: There are plenty of new and exciting things to learn about; from block chain innovation, to what not to do when moving your business to the other side of the world, how to ensure your whole community benefits from your new innovations, and what to do to make your business culture innovative and dynamic.

9....Networking: Lots and Lots of opportunities for this, but unlike previous Venturefests our delegates are coming from across the whole region and farther afield, so there is a very high chance that as well as the usual suspects, there will be many more new faces for you to meet and do business with.

And even number 10.....Dancers on Hoverboards - because we can and because it is fun, innovative and a great way to end the day! Entertainment while you eat curry, and drink beer and a nice way to celebrate the winners of the Pitchfest Competition, the Innovation Showcase competition and to meet and chat to all the speakers and contributors of the day.

Dermot told BQLive: “We have travelled all over Yorkshire and have found a groundswell of young people with some great ideas and enthusiasm. There is a new generation coming through in Yorkshire. Now we want visitors to meet, engage... and be prepared for the unexpected.”

To register, go to