Skip to content

Business & Economy

Dragon’s Den winner set to inspire delegates at FinanceCamp 2019

Parking-tech pioneer Chris Reed is set to share his experience and inspire delegates attending FinanceCamp following his success in the Dragons’ Den earlier this year.

The annual conference launched in 2016 and will take place in Sunderland for the first time at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday 22 May. It connects growing businesses seeking finance for growth across 400 meetings with active investors and lenders in one afternoon.

Chris entered the Den in February and secured an offer of £80,000 from Jenny Campbell for his app ParkingPerx, which rewards users who shop on the local high street with free parking.

He said: “The journey to securing investment for ParkingPerx was very much influenced by the FinanceCamp programme. The opportunity to get to know how investors think, and hone my pitch with expert presentation training, gave me the skills and the confidence to beat more than 10k applicants to not only get in to the Den, but deliver a successful pitch.

“I’m excited to have the chance to share my experience with fellow regional entrepreneurs embarking on their own investment journeys. FinanceCamp is a great way for businesses to get in front of potential investors, mentors and support resources to help them achieve their objectives for growth.”

Elaine Warburton, CEO of QuantuMDx Group, will also take to the stage. As an entrepreneur with over 30 years’ healthcare & biotech experience, Elaine founded the pioneering diagnostics company behind the revolutionary rapid DNA analyzer the Q-POC™.

The company has taken an entire molecular diagnostics laboratory and compressed it into a credit card sized disposable cassette costing a few dollars. Having raised funds through a mix of grants and private investment, QuantuMDx Group is one of the UK’s top 10 female-founded companies by amount fundraised (Beauhurst 2018).

Elaine, who was awarded an OBE in the 2014 Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to innovation in healthcare, will be talking about the global growth of the business, which is rooted in the North East.

Organised by the Innovation SuperNetwork, the popular annual event provides a unique opportunity for the region’s most ambitious businesses, from fledging start-ups to established companies, to meet with the people who can give them the money they need to grow.

The event attracts a wide variety of regional and national investors. This includes venture fund managers, angel investors, banks, social investment funders and crowdfunding platforms.

The programme also includes advice and training to ensure delegates are investment ready before being expertly matched in a series of fast-paced meetings on the day.

Preparing companies to maximise their chances of securing the funds they need, the workshops are delivered in partnership with experts in a range of professional fields and focus on strengthening the businesses’ proposition, considering different finance options and understanding investor needs.

Estelle Blanks, executive director at the Innovation SuperNetwork, which organises FinanceCamp, said: “We recognise that accessing funding and investment can be complex. Many businesses seeking to secure new sources of funding, or entering an investment round for the first time, simply don’t know how to get the ball rolling. FinanceCamp aims to simplify the process by carefully matching businesses with the right types of investor or lender – not just from the North East, but the wider UK.

“There are some truly innovative ideas and talent coming out of the region and we know that investors and lenders who take part in FinanceCamp are always impressed. This has been recognised with investors from outside the region starting to pay close attention to our business community. The number of out-of-region investors attending FinanceCamp has quadrupled since 2016 with the event playing an important role in bridging the funding gap between the North and the South.”

North East businesses of any size or sector can apply to be considered to take part – whether an entrepreneur looking for a £1,000 start-up loan or an established business searching for multimillion-pound equity funding.

For more information visit