News - 27 February 2015

Business gets ‘bullish’ with D2N2’s help at Nottingham Business Expo

A team devoted to helping businesses start-up and grow was among the judges on a business ‘pitch of your life’ competition, held as part of the very first Nottingham Business Expo.

Law, accountancy, apprenticeships, social and digital media, science and technology, and the creative industries were among the sectors represented at the one-day Nottingham Business Expo 2015, held at the Nottingham Conference Centre, Burton Street, in the city-centre yesterday (Thursday February 26). It featured more than 70 exhibitors, and speakers including ‘Rogue Trader’ Nick Leeson and fashion guru Wayne Hemingway.

The day’s events included a ‘Bull Pit’, which gave businesses or individuals with an innovative idea the chance to pitch it to a judges’ panel of Nottingham’s finest business brains – including Manny Agalamanyi, D2N2 Growth Hub Co-ordinator from the D2N2’s Growth Hub team.

D2N2 is the Local Enterprise Partnership supporting business, jobs and skills development in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Its Growth Hub – launched in Nottingham in December (2014) by Business and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock MP – aids businesses with the information, guidance, support, expertise and financing they need to start-up or grow their business. 

L-R Aamir Butt - Next Business Generation, Simon Gray - NMB, Simon Curtis - Potter Clarkson and Manny Agalamanyi - D2N2 LEP

Inside the ‘Bull Pit’ L-R: Aamir Butt (Next Business Generation), Simon Gray (NMB), Simon Curtis (Potter Clarkson) and Manny Agalamanyi (D2N2 LEP).

Manny and fellow judges (Pictured), including career guide and job market strategist Simon Gray, listened to a range of pitches on business ideas around food allergies, voucher schemes and gadgets.

The winning ‘pitcher’ – Nicky Gray of Food Freedom – was awarded a year’s free membership to the Nottingham Business Club and to Nottingham Means Business, as well as an exclusive feature on them in relaunched Nottingham Post magazine, The Business.

Manny said: “I was impressed by the high standard of business ideas that were pitched to us, which featured a real variety of thoughts on how to improve the way business works.

 “It’s the kind of creativity, drive and ambition we look for in businesses that come to us for help through the D2N2 Growth Hub. There was also a lot of interest at Nottingham Business Expo 2015 in the advice, guidance, and help with financing, the Growth Hub can offer.”

 As well at its Bull Pit judge’s role the Growth Hub team’s Lisa Hoyland, Growth Hub Co-Ordinator, delivered a presentation – with partner the Business Growth Service, which is behind the Growth Accelerator service for businesses – at the Expo on the range of ways businesses can access help.

 For more information about D2N2 see website and to learn more about its Growth Hub see

 Further information on Nottingham Business Expo 2015 can be found at

 For more information on this media release or D2N2’s work contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Officer, on 0115 9578749 or email:

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