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Business & Economy

VentureFest Tees Valley event promises ‘inspiration and connections’ for businesses

Organisers behind a conference supporting next generation innovation have promised this year’s event will offer “inspiration, information and connections” for North East businesses.

VentureFest Tees Valley takes place in September, with speakers, a networking exhibition and investor meetings all lined up to motivate attendees.

Providing a setting for connectivity and collaboration around new ideas, the free event will highlight the innovative work already being undertaken in Tees Valley and provide a platform for businesses to engage with commercial opportunities through open innovation challenges and secure investment with FinanceCamp.

The event, taking place for the fourth time, will see Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen join established, growing and start-up enterprises as they come together to tackle the big questions around driving innovation for economic growth.

“From start-ups to scale-ups, Teesside is home to a raft of amazing businesses that are leading the way nationally,” said Mayor Houchen.

“Innovation is key to our region’s continuing ability to compete on a global stage, and VentureFest provides a great opportunity for local companies to look at how they can improve their business by doing things differently.”

More than 330 delegates attended last year’s event, at Wynyard Hall, and Peter Riddell, partnerships director at ed/ge Innovation Limited, which delivers VentureFest Tees Valley with support from Teesside University, said the latest version has tremendous promise.

He said: “We’ve been delivering VentureFest Tees Valley since 2016, and what stands out is the sheer volume of innovation taking place across the region.

“But this event isn’t just for businesses already leading the way with innovative products or services.

“It’s for companies from all sectors and at all stages of growth to look at how adopting innovative practice could transform their productivity, turnover and bottom line.

“This year we’re focused on ensuring attendees leave with the inspiration, information and connections that could transform their operation.”

Sharing its journey at the event will be Middlesbrough-based sportswear firm Presca Teamwear.

Launched by GRN Sportswear Ltd in 2018, the company creates cycling teamwear from sustainable materials, including recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets.

GRN demonstrated its product in 2017 at VentureFest Tees Valley and met with investors as part of FinanceCamp.

Peter Lillie, co-founder, said: “VentureFest Tees Valley presented us with a number of opportunities.

“Crucially, we had the chance to meet with investors and make new business connections, which have led to us securing investment and taking our business to the next level.”

VentureFest Tees Valley takes places on Wednesday, September 25 at Middlesbrough Football Club.

Businesses can secure a place at