Entrepreneurs in the East Midlands are being offered a golden opportunity as part of a new regional drive to match “capital with creativity”.
The government-backed Venturefest, a project bringing together innovators and investors, has been brought to the East Midlands by a leading group of regional public bodies and universities.
The national initiative aims to drive the development of new business opportunities culminating in the awarding of contracts following a tendering process at a business expo in April next year in Nottingham.
David Ralph, Venturefest East Midlands project board member and chief executive of the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire (D2N2), said: “Innovation is a key component of the D2N2 Strategic Economic Plan and this event is of particular importance in that it looks to bring together entrepreneurs, investors and innovators into a single venue to be inspired by each other and by impressive presentations.
“This will be mobilised by a showcase of best practice but crucially getting innovators and the investors to do deals and grow their businesses is what this exciting event is all about.”
Michael Carr, member of the Venturefest East Midlands project board and director of business engagement and innovation services at the University of Nottingham, said: “The East Midlands is teaming with innovators at the cutting edge of their industries. We are celebrating this wealth of creative talent through Venturefest East Midlands by creating opportunities and encouraging collaboration and innovation – matching capital with creativity.
“We are developing an entrepreneurial incubator to help create the next generation of commercial pioneers to boost the local economy and create jobs.”
Venturefest East Midlands will take place on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham and is free to attend. There will be leading keynote speakers, advice and workshops through an Innovation Hub and the awarding of contracts as part of the ‘Open Innovation’ scheme.
It will focus on six sectors, including aerospace, the creative services and digital economy, energy, healthcare, precision engineering and transport.
There will be opportunities to showcase achievements, network and build business skills in the build up to the event through workshops, activities, resources and access to contracts. An app will also be launched to enable delegates to connect with each other and potential partners ahead of the big day.
As well as creating new opportunities, the event aims to celebrate the county’s wealth of innovative companies.
Graham Mulholland, managing director of EPM Technology, which makes parts for Formula 1 cars, aerospace firms and the defence industry and is based in Raynesway, Derby, said: “Innovation has helped our offering and helped our engineering team with their core knowledge. It has also helps our business to perform at exceptional levels, with confidence.
“We supply time and we supply know-how, but our ability to support customers and nurture these relationships is key, and learn with them through research and development programmes.”
Michael Carr, member of the Venturefest East Midlands project board, said: “The East Midlands is teaming with innovators at the cutting edge of their industries. We are celebrating this by creating opportunities and encouraging collaboration and innovation, matching capital with creativity.”
For more information, visit www.venturefestem.com.