News - 14 April 2015

Big Crowds at first Venturefest East Midlands Event

Crowds flocked to the very first Venturefest East Midlands event – co-sponsored by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham today (Tuesday April 14).

More than 1,000 delegates attended the free event aimed at bringing together innovators, potential investors, entrepreneurs, and those with an interest in business and economic growth for the region. Exhibitors in the Innovation Showcase Expo included Nottingham, Derby and De Montfort universities, the East Midlands Chamber, Innovate UK, KPMG, SMS Electronics, Creative Quarter Nottingham, and the D2N2 LEP with the D2N2 Growth Hub and D2N2 Skills teams.

D2N2 – the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – was an early advocate of the event and one of its regional partners. It has identified and supported innovation as a key driver for economic growth in its area, and in helping towards the D2N2 target of creating 55,000 (mainly private sector) jobs in ten years.

Simon Woodroffe, YO! Sushi founder and one of the original ‘dragons’ on BBC business programme Dragons’ Den, spoke on ‘Changing the Game’ for business, at the event.

D2N2 Chairman Peter Richardson and the LEP’s Chief Executive David Ralph were part of an expert panel speaking in the event’s morning sessions, on ‘The Need for Innovation:National & Regional Strategies’.

David also spoke on ‘Business Growth’, as part of Venturefest East Midland 2015’s Innovation Hub sessions (pictured below), and MC-ed the afternoon sessions, announced the winner of a crowdfunding contest which had been run leading up to today’s event – won by Mobile Viva Venues – and closed the successful day’s activities.

D2N2 Chief Executive David Ralph (Left) giving a business growth workshop at Venturefest East Midlands

D2N2 Chief Executive David Ralph (Left) giving a business growth workshop at Venturefest East Midlands

Plans are already underway for Venturefest East Midlands 2016, to be held in Leicester in March 2016.

D2N2 Chief Executive David Ralph said: “There was a real buzz about Venturefest East Midlands 2015 today. We had more than 1,000 delegates signed up, very engaged audiences at the sessions and big name speakers such as Simon Woodroffe. Innovation is key to business and there was plenty of enthusiasm for it today. I look forward to an even bigger and better Venturefest event in 2016.”

For more information about Venturefest East Midlands 2015 go to the Venturefest East Midlands website 

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