From the team behind the region's Venturefest, FinanceCamp is a programme dedicated to giving businesses all of the tools and knowledge they need to get hold of money to grow, culminating in yesterday's all day event which opened with regional business sharing their varied investment experiences and closed with a unanimous Pitch Black victor.
Digital innovators Whispering Gibbon and Durham University spin-out Applied Graphene Materials took the attendees through their investment journeys, detailing everything from grants worth £500 to an IPO valued at £11.6m.
A series of workshops educated those seeking investment on the range of options available to them, with advice from Blu Sky including 'make sure your ducks are lined up' helping firms to understand the importance of knowing as much as you can about every aspect of your business.
The team behind Entrepreneurial Spark were on hand to talk pitching, encouraging eagle-like behaviour and making sure pitches wouldn't be repeated parrot-fashion...
Sessions also focussed around financing options for more established firms, with a special strand looking at social enterprise investment. Transmit Enterprise's Richard Myers told BQ just how tricky financing was in that industry.
"There's lots of misconceptions about social enterprises; getting finance is a completely different proposition," he told BQ. "They've been recepients of grants in the past, and are now being more commercially minded so they're not reliant on handouts.
"There is money out there for social enterprises with potential - we have access to grants to help them get started, but it's not as easy as it was."
The day culminated in a series of investor meetings and pitching challenge, which saw a number of North East entrepreneurs go up against the clocks - and the lights - to make an impact in just three minutes.
Richard McCormack (pictured here with Venturefest's Simon Green) of E3D, which aims to improve the affordability and usability of 3D scanning specifically for the real estate market, was chosen as the winners both by the audience, and by a panel of judges that featured:
In total, ten firms have won the opportunity to take their pitches to London, where they will meet a panel of up to 30 angel investors who have been primed by UK Business Angels Association and are actively seeking North East companies in which to invest.
In addition to attending the London pitch, Richard secured first class travel to Virgin Headquarters in London to meet key members of staff from Virgin Group who will spend time reviewing their plans and sharing knowledge on how to make them fly.
Other ideas going forward to pitch in London include:
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