Hunt for sponsors for tenth birthday

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ORGANISERS of Venturefest Yorkshire hope to attract more corporate sponsors for next year’s event.

The expo will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2013.

It was founded with sponsorship from regional development agency, Yorkshire Forward. However, 2011’s event marked the first without public funding.

Private sector sponsors, including Lord Sainsbury, rallied round. However next year, he will not be making a contribution.

This year, sponsors of the event, created by York Professionals, included UK Trade & Investment, Nigel Botterill’s Entrepreneur’s Circle, The University of York, Finance Yorkshire, Blacks Solicitors and a host of others.

Tony Hardy, chairman of Venturefest Yorkshire, said: “Next year is our 10th anniversary and we want it to be a bigger platform that will enable us maybe to bring other sponsors on board and other funders on board. We are looking at bringing more corporate funders into the equation.”

He said the organisers are talking to other Venturefest events, such as those in Bristol and Oxford, about possible collaboration, “while retaining our regional identity”.

Prof Hardy said: “What we will do is we will have a strategic meeting in about a month’s time to learn all the lessons from today and to look at what we need to do to get to a sustainable funding platform.”

He said this year’s event was “sparkling”, and praised Chris Wilson, project manager, and his team.