As the region’s fifth annual innovation event approaches, we caught up with the Innovation SuperNetwork’s Deputy Director, Estelle Blanks, to find out how businesses can benefit from attending VentureFest North East, and what’s new for 2017.
Who is VentureFest North East aimed at?
VentureFest North East brings together more than 700 people who wouldn’t usually connect with each other to inspire new ideas, solutions, and collaborations.
As well as local businesses, we welcome investors, researchers, experts, and support professionals. The whole idea is to create an exciting environment where people from all different sectors and backgrounds can explore new opportunities and learn from each other. VentureFest is aimed at any size business. Start-ups, growing businesses, sole traders, SMEs, not-for-profits, larger companies operating internationally – it’s a valuable event for anyone looking to remain relevant and competitive.
What will people get from the event?
Investing a day at VentureFest North East will get you access to advice from leading innovation experts from a range of industries who can provide practical tools and techniques to apply directly to your business. There are obviously opportunities to make new contacts and networks, but also to access new market opportunities, and get inspiration from outside your usual business sector too.
As always, we will be hosting FinanceCamp at VentureFest North East, which is a programme of preparatory workshops that lead to a series of one-to-one meetings with investors. Whether you need a £1,000 start-up load or a multi-million pound equity funding round, FinanceCamp makes it easier and speedier for businesses to get hold of the money they need to grow.
What can you expect on the day?
You can expect lively debates on topical issues affecting your business, real-life stories of innovation, practical workshops, inspiring exhibitions, speakers, one-to-one meetings with investors, and expert advice sessions.
We’ll also be working with innovation experts at the North East BIC to put on our popular Innovation Showcase, which is a very special part of VentureFest North East, and is designed to shine a light on innovative North East companies. We can’t wait for everyone to see some of the products, services and other big ideas of the region’s most cutting-edge businesses.
Why is it important that businesses attend?
VentureFest is all about exploring innovation, and innovation is a vital toolkit for a business’s survival.
Successful companies not only respond to the current needs of their organisation and customer base, but they also anticipate future trends or demands and design processes, tools, products, and services to meet these.
VentureFest is their opportunity to identify what else is out there that could help their business grow, whether it’s a connection with another company, a new product on the market, or an upcoming trend.
What’s new for 2017?
As VentureFest 2017 enters its fifth year, we continue to evolve the event in response to what businesses tell us they want to learn. This year we have some new additions to the programme such as a People’s Choice theme, which has been shaped directly by the business community. The People’s Choice agenda will be focusing on emerging technologies, and we look forward to sharing more details of that soon.
A ‘Women in Innovation’ theme will also feature throughout the conference and we’ll be tackling some core issues facing the business world and society at large throughout the day.
Our Innovation Challenges will be running throughout the event, which will be looking at how smaller companies can help businesses overcome their challenges through innovation.
We’re really excited by the new features of VentureFest North East 2017, and think it’s going to be bigger and better than ever before. We hope you can join us!
VentureFest North East is being held at St James’ Park, Newcastle, on Tuesday 14th November. Register now for free here or visit venturefestnortheast.com for more information.