Successful Venturefest and Innovation Showcase back for 2017

Last year's Innovation Showcase finalists

Successful Venturefest and Innovation Showcase back for 2017

The region’s biggest annual innovation event returns to the Bridgewater Hall on Thursday 14 September, supporting entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and academics alike.

Organised by the Business Growth Hub and now in its fourth year, the 2017 event theme is ‘Fuelling Growth through Commercialising Innovation’.

Chris Greenhalgh, head of innovation and programme development at the Hub, said: “Venturefest Manchester is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet the investors who’ll fund their innovative ideas, for academics and local entrepreneurs to connect, and for businesses to get the support they need from the Business Growth Hub.”

This year’s event will again include the Innovation Showcase Competition, in which start-up and young companies, as well as growth businesses, have the chance to pitch their business idea to an audience of potential investors and win a package of support provided by the partners of the Hub.

And for the first time, there’ll be winners in two different categories: early stage innovation companies and established small and medium-sized growth companies.

Chris Greenhalgh continues: “Greater Manchester has a reputation for leading the way on innovation, and the Hub is there to support game-changing businesses every step of the way.

“We have just broken through the £1million barrier for funding offers to the 88 businesses that entered the 2016 Innovation Showcase Competition. That’s £1,039,225 of support small and medium-sized businesses across Greater Manchester have received directly as a result of the connections they made at Venturefest Manchester.”

Attendees to Venturefest Manchester will also have the opportunity to listen to last year’s winner Mike Anderson of Nothing But Epic share their success story one year on.

Also in session will be the Three Tribes panel, consisting of investors, innovators and entrepreneurs from across Greater Manchester and beyond.

Chris Greenhalgh said: “Venturefest Manchester is the perfect platform to bring each component of commercialising a product or service under one roof with a day’s worth of presentations, networking and one-to-one support – not to forget our greatly anticipated business showcase competition.

“In 2016 we had 645 attendees and for anyone interested in starting or developing new products or services, Venturefest provides the necessary mix of talent and experience to help you overcome issues that might be holding back world-beating innovations.”

Event organisers, the Business Growth Hub, will be releasing more details about the competition, prizes, guest speakers and much more over the next few weeks.