Showcase revamp to boost region’s profile

This year's Venturefest Yorkshire promises to be the biggest ever. This library photo shows Sam Heather with Google Glasses at Venturefest Yorkshire in 2014.....SH1001/190b... ..Picture by Simon Hulme
This year's Venturefest Yorkshire promises to be the biggest ever. This library photo shows Sam Heather with Google Glasses at Venturefest Yorkshire in 2014.....SH1001/190b... ..Picture by Simon Hulme
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YORKSHIRE’S entrepreneurs could meet the investors of their dreams at this year’s Venturefest Yorkshire.

The one-day festival brings investors, innovators and entrepreneurs together to help our region’s economy pack a punch on the global stage.

This year’s event, which is due to be held on November 16 at York Racecourse, is being organised by Make It York, the organisation that encourages more people to live and work in York.

The organisers stress that this year’s event will act as a showcase for the whole region, and they’ve hit the road to attract as large an audience as possible.

Steve Brown, the managing director of Make It York, said: “There are a number of venturefests around the UK. Quite simply, we want Venturefest Yorkshire to be the best.

“This is our first year of organising Venturefest Yorkshire, and our vision is to re-invigorate it, freshen it up, and make it as interesting and compelling as possible.

“We want people to come to Venturefest and have a whole range of options they might wish to do.

“We want Venturefest to reflect the best of what is happening around Yorkshire in terms of enterprise and entrepreneurship.”

Mr Brown said he wanted to attract a minimum audience of 1,200 people to Venturefest this year. Around 100 entrepreneurs are expected to attend, and many of them will be hoping to find an investor who shares their drive and ambition.

Mr Brown added: “The key thing is that we really want to make it a truly pan-Yorkshire affair.

“We want people to travel from places like Bradford, Hull and Sheffield. We are reaching out to encourage as many people as possible to attend.”

By helping innovators to develop their ideas, and by helping entrepreneurs to secure investment, Venturefest Yorkshire aims to entertain and amaze delegates, according to the organisers.

There will be five floors of themed exhibition zones, keynote speakers, seminars and workshops, and a chance to meet the experts.

The event will also include an innovation showcase, and a live ‘Pitchfest’ final in which delegates will have the chance to pitch their ideas in return for a support package which includes £5,000 of funding.

There will also be a special lounge for investors and a spectacular end of day show.

A series of Venturefest roadshows are drumming up support for the event around the region.

A spokesman said: “The roadshow events are free of charge. Refreshments and a light lunch will also be provided; so pre-event registration is necessary.”

The Leeds roadshow event will be held on Wednesday, August 3 from 1pm at AQL in Hunslet Road, Leeds. More information can be found at www.venturefestyorkshire.net/.

Venturefest has been held at York Racecourse every year since 2004. Over the years, it has helped a large number of companies in the technology, IT and digital sectors to gain advice and funding which has created jobs.

It was founded with sponsorship from the regional development agency, Yorkshire Forward, which was scrapped as part of the coalition Government’s spending cuts.

Venturefest survived after private sector sponsors decided to rally round.

This year’s Venturefest will celebrate the value of “creative intervention” in generating innovation and growth in business.

“We want to make it the most successful Venturefest ever,’’ said Mr Brown.