Andy Street, the new mayor of the West Midlands, has been named as the keynote speaker for this year’s Venturefest West Midlands event on 27 June.
Venturefest West Midlands is a free, one-day event aimed at supporting business growth through innovation bringing together up to 1,000 entrepreneurs, innovators and investors.
The event will also see over 30 companies exhibiting to showcase the support and services on offer in the region for new and growing businesses.
Street was elected as the first West Midlands Mayor in May, marking a significant transfer of powers from Whitehall to the region.
The former John Lewis boss now chairs the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and its cabinet of the seven West Midlands council leaders.
In his keynote address, Street will explore the contribution innovation can make to driving up productivity and reforming public services in the West Midlands.
Street said: “The West Midlands region is already renowned for its science and innovation, but we can make it work harder for us to help deliver higher productivity and better services across the West Midlands.
"Venturefest West Midlands is a unique event that stimulates new partnerships, investments and approaches across our innovation ecosystem by brings together innovators, investors and entrepreneurs.”
Innovate UK’s regional manager for the West Midlands, Dr. Peter Dirken, added: “Venturefest West Midlands will be a showcase for the very best innovation, bringing together innovators, investors and entrepreneurs, with a wide range of business support and advice organisations.
"We are delighted Andy Street, new West Midlands metro-mayor, will have a prominent role in the event as keynote speaker. We know he is a strong supporter of innovation and we will work with him and his team to drive West Midlands innovation forward.”
The free event will have a packed programme delivered by our expert partners covering topics such as business scale up, innovation, intellectual property, innovation, as well as, accessing early-stage and growth investment.
Venturefest will also see finalists of Pitchfest, an investment competition taking place as part of the event, given the opportunity to raise their profiles and pitch to a panel of leading investors and industry experts for a £1,000 prize and chance for direct investment.