News - 24 March 2015

Entrepreneurs showcase ideas online for innovation event contest

Writers, designers, musicians and financiers are going online now to showcase why their enterprise should win a new business contest to be staged at next month’s Venturefest East Midlands 2015 event.

Venturefest East Midlands – which will bring together innovators with ideas, investors with funding and entrepreneurs looking to create new businesses – will be held at Nottingham’s East Midlands Conference Centre on Tuesday April 14.


Its partners include the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, which helps drive economic growth and innovation through funding and free advice in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The Next Generation Zone will be a key part of the Venturefest East Midlands event. Entrepreneurs and others with a business idea are currently submitting their concepts to Next Generation, with delegates set to digitally vote on a shortlist of entries on April 14, via the official Venturefest app, to decide a winner.

Nottingham Trent, Nottingham, De Montfort, Leicester and Derby universities – who are jointly running the Next Generation Zone – will each choose a finalist to go on the shortlist before the event itself. There are two categories in the Next Generation Zone contest; Nottingham-based social business company SEEM will give £500 to the winner of the ‘New Business Ideas’ categoryand Venturefest East Midlands will present £1,000 to entrants in the ‘Early Stage Businesses’ category.

Next Generation entries can now be seen as part of a video showcase on the event’s YouTube channel here . Details of how to enter can be found here.

Entrants so far include a writer looking to create a range of must read children’s books, fashion and textile designers, a company looking to find a new life for old vinyl records and  a financier whose ‘pitch’ is to create a business making it far easier for fellow start-ups to create their own financial forecast.

David Ralph, D2N2 Chief Executive for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “As part of its mission to grow the economy and jobs in our area D2N2 actively promotes, funds and helps guide innovation; whether it comes from established firms, start-up businesses or universities. Last October (2014) we launched our strategic plan, called Time to Innovate – Helping Local Businesses to Grow Through Innovation.

 “I’ll be very interested to see the range of entries for the Next Generation Zone and in casting my vote for the winners, at the Venturefest East Midlands event on April 14.”

 For more information on Venturefest East Midlands 2015 see website

 To learn more about D2N2’s work, including how it supports local innovation, see

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