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Venturefest Manchester 2017 announces host and headline speakers

Professor Vikas Shah to be joined by several high profile speakers, including Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Chief Executive of the British Business Bank Keith Morgan, and Pippa Hall, Director of Innovation and Chief Economist at the Intellectual Property Office.

We are delighted to confirm the serial entrepreneur and investor Professor Vikas Shah as the host of Venturefest Manchester.

Prof. Shah started his first business aged just 14, and is now CEO of Swiscot Group, as well as co-founding and investing in business from biotech to feature films. He is Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan (Lisbon) and was recently awarded an Honorary Professorship at the University of Manchester (Alliance Manchester Business School). He is also an established philanthropist, holding many public and civic roles. 

Image of Vikas Shah

Prof. Shah said: “I’ve been involved in entrepreneurship for over 20 years, and three of the most important factors in success are building strong networks, learning from others’ experiences and harnessing the latest innovations.

“Venturefest allows you to do this, and brings together entrepreneurs, professionals and investors at scale, encouraging them to mix, interact and create serendipity. I’m hugely excited to be a part of this fantastic event.”

Venturefest also allows entrepreneurs to share their stories, something Prof. Shah is passionate about having founded the journal Thought Economics – read in over 120 countries – where he has interviewed future-shaping entrepreneurs including Sir Richard Branson, Sir James Dyson, John Sculley, will.i.am, Steve Ballmer, Donna Karan and Steve Case.

Prof. Shah will be joined at Venturefest Manchester 2017 by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who will open the event with a speech welcoming all the attendees, and headline speaker Lasse Sørensen, Senior Business Advisor at Vaeksthus Copenhagen, who has extensive experience with business start-ups and in the financial sector in his native Denmark.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, said: “I am delighted that so many businesses, entrepreneurs and investors are coming together in Manchester to share expertise and develop their business ideas.  Greater Manchester’s strong track record of supporting business to succeed makes this the perfect place for an event like Venturefest. This event will strengthen Greater Manchester’s place at the forefront of innovation and move us closer to becoming the best place to live, work and invest in.”

Other speakers confirmed for the event include Keith Morgan, Chief Executive of the British Business Bank, and Pippa Hall, Director of Innovation and Chief Economist at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Keith Morgan said: “Access to a wide range of appropriate finance options is incredibly important for small businesses and Venturefest Manchester is a welcome platform for businesses to network and explore options for their business growth.

“Our Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is already helping businesses across the region and I look forward to discussing its progress and developments with businesses at Venturefest.”

Pippa Hall said: “I am delighted that I have been invited to speak at this exciting event. Bringing together innovators, businesses and academics in this environment is an excellent opportunity to identify new prospects for collaboration and funding.

“All of which will ensure that the UK continues to innovate and the economy continues to prosper, with IP at the heart of growth.”

As part of the event, Prof. Shah will also conduct an interview with Mike Anderson, co-founder of Nothing But Epic, who will outlines the numerous successes the company has had since winning the 2016 Innovation Showcase competition.

Venturefest Manchester 2017 is sponsored by Appleyard Lees, Avensure, Catax, Lombard, NatWest and Pomegranate Consulting and will be held at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on Thursday 14 September.

Book your place at the North West biggest annual innovation event today! 

Venturefest Manchester 2017 and the Innovation Showcase competition are both being run by the Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company, and are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the GM Business Growth Hub, which is designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester.

As a leading intellectual property law firm working with emerging and growing businesses on a daily basis in the city and further afield, we are delighted to be sponsoring the region’s biggest annual innovation event and offering our extensive legal knowledge and commercial experience to the attendees.

With IP strategy crucial to a business’s establishment, development and investment, we are keen to offer our support in helping local start-ups and scale-ups evolve and thrive. We are well-positioned to provide guidance and advice to the attendees and help them create an IP strategy for the lifecycle of their product/s and services. With its wealth of new and emerging companies and technologies, Manchester is an exciting place for us to be. We are looking forward to the event and supporting local businesses in celebrating their success and that of the region.”

Sponsors of Venturefest Manchester and Venturefest East, Appleyard Lees is a leading intellectual property law firm with over 40 patent and trade mark attorneys and specialist solicitors, providing clients worldwide with a full spectrum of advice and a fully integrated approach to all aspects of IP. In addition to the Manchester office, Appleyard Lees has a network of UK offices in Cambridge, Leeds, Halifax and the Alderley BioHub.

Kerry Hough, Marketing and Business Development Manager, Appleyard Lees [Venturefest Manchester sponsors]

Venturefest is a fantastic event which brings together business leaders and finance experts from across the region to support new and developing businesses. It’s essential that we have an eco-system that can support the local economy and Venturefest is a great way for this to develop.

For new businesses, they can meet contacts who can support their growth. And for sponsors like ourselves, it’s a good way for us to see what’s happening locally and look at ways we can better connect with the business community to support local growth and development. We look forward to seeing what’s in store at this year’s event.

Heather Waters, Enterprise Manager, NatWest [Venturefest Manchester sponsors]

There are thousands of pounds being lost in tax relief by eligible companies every year. This reflects the common misconception that Research and Development is confined to manufacturing plants, tech giants or research laboratories, when in reality, the ideas and inspirations that move industries forward have their roots in everyday innovation by the professionals on the ground.

If you want to know more about R&D tax relief, updates on legislations and qualifying criteria, come to Venturefest Manchester and talk to Catax.

Rob Allan, R&D Technical Manager, Catax [Venturefest Manchester sponsors]

Sponsoring Venturefest, for us, is a no brainer. It is an event which encompasses both the philosophy of Pomegranate and the primary reason that we started nearly five years ago: to help businesses succeed.

Over the last couple of years we have built relationships with innovators, through our partnership with UMIP (University of Manchester Intellectual Property Department), Manchester Entrepreneurs and TiE specifically, and Venturefest gives us the opportunity to engage further with innovative, interesting companies and individuals that we believe can benefit from our experience and insight.

Ansar Mahmood, Company Director, Pomegranate Consulting [Venturefest Manchester sponsors]

Research and innovation are key areas of Manchester Metropolitan’s identity. So Venturefest provides us with an excellent opportunity to highlight the ways we can interact with business through consultancy, contract research or the commercialisation of our intellectual property.

We’re looking forward to meeting businesses, investors, entrepreneurs at the event, all with a shared desire for commercialising innovation.

Justine Daniels, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, Manchester Metropolitan University [Venturefest Manchester exhibitors]

As a law firm working exclusively with startups and growth companies, Venturefest 2017 offers a fantastic opportunity to meet and support some of the most exciting businesses in the North West.

It is important that the startup ecosystem in the North West comes together to celebrate the diversity and innovation of business here, and to explore how startups, funders and service providers can work more closely together. Venturefest 2017 provides the venue for this.

Michael Buckworth, Partner, Buckworths [Venturefest Manchester exhibitors]

Venturefest Manchester 2017 exhibitors

British Business Bank • Buckworths • Dehns • Innovate UK • Intellectual Property Office • Manchester Central Library • Manchester Metropolitan University • Nexus IEORCHA • Sci Tech Daresbury • The LandingTRUSTECH • University of Manchester • University of Salford

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