Venturefest winner praises 'fantastic' event

Venturefest winner praises 'fantastic' event

The winner of the big competition at Venturefest Yorkshire has praised the event for giving a huge boost to the region’s entrepreneurs.

Dr Stephen Smith, who leads the ClearSky Medical Diagnostics company, had joined around 1000 delegates, more than 100 exhibitors and sixty guest speakers for the event at York Racecourse and was named winner of the Pitchfest final.

He told BQ: "Venturefest was an absolutely fantastic event, with two really big achievements. One is to bring together this network of people from throughout a very well-connected region. But also I think there is a way through events like VFY to demonstrate that there is so much going on up here and that is an important area of technological development."

Andrew Sharp, head of business at Venturefest organisers Make It York, said they are already making their plans for next year.

"We were delighted with how things went," he said. "This was the first Venturefest that Make it York has organised and we certainly want to see it continuing as a pivotal showcase for the region and a platform for business and we want to take it forward next year.

"We are here to help those innovators and entrepreneurs be successful and get them all in the same space for some networking and collaborative projects and to get the investment they are looking for."

ClearSky won £5,000 in cash and a tailored package of support for the next 12 months. The company is based at The Catalyst on York University’s Heslington East campus and specialises in medical devices for the diagnosis and monitoring of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and a range of other neurodegenerative conditions.

Another winner on the day was BQ cover star Rachaeal Dunseath, whose allergen-free skincare range Myroo won the People’s Prize after an audience vote.