All About Innovation – Venturefest North West 2018 Returns Following £4m-Worth Of Funding For 2017 Showcase Entrants


North West’s biggest annual innovation event comes to Manchester Central on Thursday 13 September

If innovative ideas are at the heart of your company, Venturefest North West 2018 is the place for you. And if they’re not, it’s a great place to start, say organisers GC Business Growth Hub.

The region’s biggest annual innovation event comes to Manchester Central on Thursday 13 September, providing a unique networking platform for companies across the North West.

Chris Greenhalgh, head of innovation and programme development at the Hub, said:

“Venturefest North West is the ideal opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet like-minded business leaders and experts, showcase their latest products and services, and meet funders who can invest in their innovative ideas.”

Now in its fifth year, one of the event’s centrepieces is the Innovation Showcase Competition, open to start-up and young companies, as well as established businesses.

Ten finalists will 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 are four new categories to enter: Product Innovation, Service Innovation, Digital Innovation and Innovative Established Business.

One of last year’s winners was Manchester-based Beatstream Media, which has developed a live music streaming mobile app and counts former Inspiral Carpets keyboardist and DJ Clint Boon as its Director of Music.

Co-founder Helen Fish said:

"Venturefest gave us a platform to showcase the business we believe in and are so passionate about. Winning the competition was instrumental in our successful raising of investment, and the support of GC Business Growth Hub has been integral to our growth leading to our very exciting upcoming launch.”

Chris Greenhalgh added:

“We have helped last year’s 90Innovation Showcase Competition entrants to secure over £4 million-worth of funding offers in total, eclipsing the £1m in 2016. We believe this demonstrates the value of the competition to entrants in addition to high profile PR coverage.”

Businesses that don’t consider themselves innovative shouldn’t be put off attending Venturefest, he explains:

“Innovation has a far broader meaning than people sometimes think: it’s not just about ground-breaking technology - businesses innovate in many different ways, developing new services, implementing processes and launching new business models to meet changing market needs. Venturefest is somewhere that can provide that important spark of inspiration, or new contact that will make a real difference to your business.”

Keep your eyes peeled on for further announcements, to register your attendance and to enter your business into the 2018 Innovation Showcase Competition, or to find out how to become an exhibitor.

Businesses looking to access specialist support can for more information about the organisation’s extensive range of services. This and other GC Business Growth Hub projects are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the GM Business Growth Hub project designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester.