The Region's
Innovation Conference



2016/11/08 00:00:00

VentureFest North East is all about bringing people together to create new business opportunities and make exciting things happen. Growing to 700 people this year, VentureFest has an excellent track record in delivering direct benefits for businesses.

It’s a unique day in the business calendar that’s packed with inspirational speakers and practical workshops to help you make new connections, raise finance and explore opportunities.


Launch your ideas

Starting out or running an early-stage growth company? If you’re just getting your idea off the ground you’ve found the perfect place to give you a lift.

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Growing businesses

Exploit your ideas to accelerate growth

Running a business that’s looking to grow? You’ll find plenty of inspiration and practical support here to take your ideas further.

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Meet exciting business opportunities

Angel investor, fund manager, lender or crowdfunder? Meet exciting North East businesses in a format that’s fast, simple and effective.

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Meet innovative businesses

Provide a service or product that could be used by innovative businesses in the North East of England? Join the Venturefest family and feel the benefit.

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Venue: St James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4ST

Venue: St James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4ST

A snapshot of VentureFest 2015
Innovation Challenge North East

Turning real-world challenges into commercial opportunities. What are the big issues facing large corporates, the public sector and society at large? Does your business have the technology, talent or services to provide solutions? Come and explore with our Innovation Challenge team.

FinanceCamp at VentureFest

Need to finance your business ambitions? FinanceCamp is where you’ll meet lenders who want to lend and investors who want to invest. Whether you’re strengthening an existing business or launching a new one, we’ll help you to navigate your options.


Innovation Showcase

Innovation Showcase provides an opportunity for 15 regional businesses to promote their latest products, services and innovations to a large business audience free of charge.



Growth Hub Live

Get answers to the questions that are standing in the way of your business growth at Growth Hub Live.

We’ll have a range of experts on hand throughout the day to discuss a whole range of issues including product development, marketing, intellectual property, employing people, raising funding and much more.



VentureFest North East is packed with inspirational speakers, debates, discussions and workshops aimed at lifting the lid on innovation and inspiring ways of doing things differently.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be introducing you to those who’ll be taking to the stage.


“The VentureFest event was a fantastic platform for us to get our brand out into the region amongst other leading North East businesses. It gave us the opportunity to get together with a range of companies to discuss best practice and hear success stories on a local and national scale.”

Ashley Westgate, Marketing Manager, ievo Ltd

“VentureFest highlighted for us the innovation that is going on in the region, and much of it that we were not aware of.  Too often we assume we need to travel outside the region to collaborate and innovate, but there is so much going on here, and VentureFest was a good platform to highlight that.  Whether it be direct collaboration, or just meeting other companies and people going on similar journeys, it is always very helpful to be inspired and motivated by what’s going on in a thriving region.”

Dr Craig Rose, Founder and Managing Director, Seaweed & Co. Ltd

“VentureFest is a great event for the region to highlight the excellent innovative work going on around us. The event had an outstanding line-up of speakers and we found the ample opportunities to network very useful, enabling us to cement a number of relationships.”

Stephen Chilton, Global Product Manager, Sevcon

“We’ve attended VentureFest two years running and found it provided a great opportunity to start discussions with investors and established businesses from the North East. Most importantly, we were delighted to secure a significant amount of funding through meeting investors at the event, which enabled us to launch our product successfully. The event also helped us to open conversations with fellow entrepreneurs on ideas and the direction of where to take our product.  We now have a number of exciting opportunities in the pipeline involving some large corporates – watch this space!”

Paul Miller, Co-Founder and CEO, VEO Ltd

“Securing the right finance at the right time is crucial for any growing business. We see this programme as a great opportunity for us, alongside other investors and business-supporters, to make contact with potential clients and for businesses with limited spare time available to access a whole range of information under one roof and in one day.”

Sarah Thorpe, Regional Executive, UK Steel Enterprise

“FinanceCamp is an innovative platform for investors and businesses to network and FW Capital is delighted to be part during VentureFest North East. We’re looking forward to meeting lots of ambitious businesses looking to make a step change in their growth plans. FW Capital can provide both short and long-term funding solutions across the North East from the North East Growth Plus Fund and the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund.”

Joanne Whitfield, Fund Manager, FW Capital

“Mercia targets regions of the UK that are typically under-served by sources of risk capital. We see events such as this as integral to our deal flow in sourcing high-growth businesses in the North East.”

Alex Hoppenbrouwers, Investment Associate, Mercia Fund

“When businesses pitch to investors it’s really important they’re able to succinctly present a compelling investment opportunity. VentureFest North East supports entrepreneurs and business owners so that they’re well prepared for investor meetings and this maximises their chances of securing funding.”

Stephen Price, Investment Manager, Northstar Ventures

“VentureFest North East excels at bringing people together to create new business opportunities. It attracts and delivers results for businesses of all sizes and sectors. We have taken part in previous events and found them outstanding, with a great mix of people. We’ve made several new contacts who have been looking for help to de-risk new ventures – and we have been asked to quote for strategic market research as a result. VentureFest North East is proving a really good way to expand our network in the innovation community.”

Jacquie Potts, Managing Director, Marketwise Strategies

“Much of our work at Ward Hadaway is about helping and supporting innovative businesses. VentureFest has enabled us to further expand our network of connections and to establish and build relationships with forward-thinking companies across a range of different sectors.”

Alex Shiel, Partner and Head of IP/IT, Ward Hadaway