Venturefest North West 2018: finalists revealed

Now in its fifth year, the innovation contest was open to small and medium-sized businesses across the region Twelve businesses have been shortlisted for the Innovation Showcase Competition at Venturefest North West 2018. Now in its fifth year, the contest was open to small and medium-sized businesses across the region and attracted a record 173 entrants.

They were competing across four categories including: product innovation, service innovation, digital innovation and innovative established business. There is also an overall winner and audience winner which will be chosen by attendees after the finalists make their pitches at the Manchester Central event on Thursday September 13. Each award comes with thousands of pounds worth of business support for the winner, provided by organisers GC Business Growth Hub and its partners. The competition is one of the highlights of the Venturefest North West 2018 programme, sponsored by NatWest, Dehns, Manchester Metropolitan University and Pomegranate Consulting. A full programme includes keynote speeches from Jenny Tooth CEO of the UK Business Angels Association and Richard Noble project director of the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car project, which will attempt to break the land speed record next year. Richard said: “Nothing about the Bloodhound project is easy and it never will be, but success here will bring great rewards in terms of education and confidence.

“I’m looking forward to sharing some of my learnings and experiences, as innovation is something that should apply to all businesses, large or small, in the north-west and across the country.” More than 1,000 attendees are expected at the event, where they will have access to business leaders and entrepreneurs, potential new partners, collaboration opportunities and a wide range of support. Heather Waters, national enterprise manager at headline sponsor NatWest, said: “We know that entrepreneurs and small business owners are looking for more than a provider of financial services. “They want a bank that helps them to concentrate on what’s important to them – establishing and growing their business. “That’s why we’re delighted to support Venturefest North West 2018 and be part of an event which gives businesses in the region the opportunity to innovate, grow and access the knowledge, finance and expertise they need to progress to the next stage of their business journey.”

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