Venturefest Manchester announces Innovation Showcase shortlists

Richard Jeffery, director of Business Growth Hub

Venturefest Manchester announces Innovation Showcase shortlists

Ten North West businesses have been shortlisted in the Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business categories of the Venturefest Manchester 2017 Innovation Showcase competition.

Organised by Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company, the competition is one of the highlights of the Venturefest Manchester 2017 programme, sponsored by NatWest, Lombard, Avensure, Appleyard Lees, Catax and Pomegranate.

Open to businesses from across the North West, the competition has two awards – one for the best start-up (for businesses trading for less than three years) and another for the best established business (three or more years trading). Each winner will be awarded £20,000 worth of business support.

The shortlist for the Best Start-Up Business is;

Actiphons Ltd – Based in Atherton, this company has created a television show and teaching resource, Alphabetty and the Actiphons, to help children learn phonics.
Bee Industrious – Based in Central Manchester, Bee Industrious is a market research agency also known as APEX & Partners Ltd that has regional offices in New York and Lagos, Nigeria.
Beatstream Media Ltd – Also based in Central Manchester, Beatstream have developed a love music app and boasts Inspiral Carpets’ keyboard player, DJ and radio presenter Clint Boon as its Director of Music.
Virtual Training Centre - Based in Salford, this online training solutions provider offers regulatory, bespoke and accredited online courses.
Energi Mine – Based in Oldham, this firm have developed an app that allows users to find the best energy prices.

The shortlist for the Best Established Business is;

Mello Drinks – Based in Central Manchester, Mello manufacture and distribute a range of natural fruit juices and snacks.
The Link – Based in Central Manchester, The Link is a free mobile app that provides an encrypted communication channel for those in the legal profession.
Avakino Limited – Based in Central Manchester, Avakino provides its Masumi Headwear range of products to two of the largest NHS cancer centres in the UK and has recently developed an exclusive collection for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Tile Master Global Ltd – Based in Stockport, this company manufactures and distributes professional cleaning products and systems.
Rochdale Circle CIC – This innovative community interest company flips traditional health and social care thinking on its head by focusing on ground-breaking service models.

The shortlisted businesses will now receive pitching advice and support by finance specialists from within the Growth Hub, and will create a three-minute presentation at Venturefest Manchester, held at Bridgewater Hall on Thursday 14 September.

More than £1m of funding offers have been made to the 88 small and medium-sized businesses who entered last year’s competition.

Chris Greenhalgh, head of innovation and programme development at the Hub, said: “The standard of entries for the 2017 Innovation Showcase has been exceptional, and the final promises to be hugely competitive.  

“With a unique mix of inspirational speakers, interactive workshops and networking and business opportunities, this year’s Venturefest is lined up to be better than ever. If you’re an innovator, investor, entrepreneur or academic, book your place now at”

Richardson, managing director of Bee Industrious, said: “All of us at Bee Industrious are absolutely delighted to have made the finals of Venturefest Manchester 2017. The hard work, collaboration and innovation of our core team and partners has been key in helping us achieve so much since our launch earlier this year. And whilst we are thrilled with our progress to date, this is only the start of our ambitious plans for the future.”

Rose Aldean, co-founder and director of Mello Drinks, said: “We’re really excited that Mello has been included in the finals and hope that by being involved in Venturefest it will really put Mello on the map in the North West! We’re leading innovation within the food and drink category and we’re confident that being a finalist in the Venturefest competition will bring further recognition of our innovative nature and achievements to date.”