With only days left to register, organisers of Venturefest North West – the region’s biggest annual innovation expo and conference – have confirmed a record number of registrations, with more than 1,700 entrepreneurs and business people already signed-up to attend.

Organised by GC Business Growth Hub and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the free-to-attend event takes place at Manchester Central next Wednesday, 20 November. It will welcome investors, innovators, business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking to grow and build their operations, whether they are starting out, scaling up, or already well established.

Venturefest North West takes place from 09.00-16.30 with a packed schedule comprising keynote business presentations, industry breakout sessions, table-top seminars, a new themed exhibition hall, and the prestigious final of the annual Innovation Showcase Competition.

Speakers on the day will include former BBC Dragons Den judge Jenny Campbell, Founder & CEO of YourCash Europe; Cat Lewis, CEO, Joint Creative Director & Executive Producer for Nine Lives Media; and pioneering US investor Nitin Rai, Founder & Managing Director of Elevate Capital. The event will be hosted by Vikas Shah MBE, CEO, Swiscot Group and Co-founder of 53 Degrees North.

GC Business Growth Hub Director of Business Growth Richard Jeffery said: “Venturefest is in its sixth year in Manchester and, with such an exciting speaker line-up, terrific interactive panel sessions and a whole new-look for the expo, this will undoubtedly be the biggest and best one yet.

“I’d like to thank all of our brilliant sponsors, and especially NatWest, who have supported Venturefest and enabled its free registration. Sign-ups are at an all-time high and I’d encourage all business people to take some time out of their day for a unique event packed full of inspiration, collaboration and innovation.”

The final of the annual Innovation Showcase Competition will see a shortlist of 12 businesses – chosen from more than 120 entries from a cross the North West – pitch their innovations to an independent expert panel in the conference hall.

Audience members will have the opportunity to vote for one of the winners, with finalists having a chance to win two top prizes of up to £10,000 worth of business support packages.

Running alongside the conference, a themed expo includes highlights such as a ‘meet the cobot’ (collaborative robot) experience offered by Manchester-headquartered engineering firm Morson Projects. There will also be a Virtual Power Plant demonstration kit showcasing Evergreen Smart Power’s new software platform which helps users manage their energy more effectively and efficiently.

Manchester Metropolitan University’s ‘innovation through collaboration’ themed area includes projects from PrintCity, a 3D additive and digital manufacturing centre based in Manchester and the Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre, which will be demonstrating different uses of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Venturefest North West is run by GC Business Growth Hub, in partnership with Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub, Cumbria Growth Hub, Liverpool City Region’s Local Growth Hub, and Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub.

Registrations close at 5pm on Tuesday 19 November. Those wishing to attend can register at venturefestnorthwest.com.


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