Tech entrepreneur Nick Richardson has been appointed as an innovation ambassador for Greater Manchester.

He will work across the city region with the aim of accelerating commercialisation and growth of local businesses as part of Innovation Navigator, launched by GM Business Growth Hub.

Richardson set up market intelligence company The Insights Family in 2016 and helped steer its turnover to more than £4 million. In 2023, he secured a £5.6m investment round.

GM Business Growth Hub has said that firms will now benefit from even more ‘focused support’ with the launch of the programme, which targets health innovation, clean growth, advanced materials, manufacturing and the digital, creative and media sectors. 

“GM Business Growth Hub has been a huge part of The Insights Family’s journey almost from day one,” said Richardson.

“Without their support, guidance, counsel and introductions, there is no way we would have achieved what we have. 

“So, when I was approached about getting involved as an ambassador and mentor for this fantastic innovation programme, I didn’t have to think twice.”

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In 2022, Richardson was awarded an honorary degree in innovation from the University of Bolton for his contributions.

He added: “My message to businesses in Greater Manchester is simple: stand still in this market environment and you will ultimately die; innovate, and you’ll probably create opportunities beyond your wildest dreams. 

“If you come into this programme with an open mind, and recognise where you are as a business, this is the chance to accelerate your competitiveness.” 

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The Innovation Navigator programme is focused on turbocharging business innovation projects from delivery to market, promptly, without complication and at no cost to the business.

It is a perfect fit for those businesses who operate or want to operate in the artificial intelligence, data and advanced computing, diagnostics and genomics, and sustainable advanced materials sectors.

The initiative, which is set to run until March 2025, will see businesses in the area receive specialist advice aimed at bringing new ideas to the market. In addition, businesses will gain greater knowledge and the programme will equip them with the skills for future growth.

Yvonne Grady, head of innovation at the GM Business Growth Hub, said: “Nick is going to be a huge asset to the Growth Hub’s Innovation Navigator programme.

“He has experience and insights businesses across the region will benefit from. We are delighted to appoint him to the role.

“Being the official ambassador and mentor will mean firms in Greater Manchester will get even more targeted support so they can bring their innovative products to market.”

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