Posted on September 11, 2018 by staff

Venturefest to shine light on West Midlands’ tech innovators


Venturefest West Midlands will give innovative science and tech innovators a chance to shine later this month.

Now in its fourth year, the region’s brightest entrepreneurs and investors will look to collaborate at the event which includes a pitching competition.

Tailored for growth-focused businesses in the science and technology sector, the single-day event will be taking place on Thursday 27th September at Innovation Birmingham’s iCentrum facility.

With an expected attendance of almost 400 people, the free event has been organised by a steering group comprising some of the most influential organisations in the West Midlands: headline sponsor West Midlands Combined Authority, Black Country LEP, Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, Innovation Birmingham, Innovation Engine, six of the biggest universities in the area and headline Pitchfest Sponsor Marks and Clerk.

“It’s a pleasure to work with so many of the key players in the region to drive innovation, growth and prosperity for small businesses,” said Dr. David Hardman MBE, managing director at Innovation Birmingham and chair of the steering group.

“We have such an array of talent, knowledge, resources and determination throughout the West Midlands, and our expert panel comprising world-renowned educational institutions, business support programmes and local enterprise partnerships highlights how our region pulls together to expand what is already a thriving economy.”

Dr. Pam Waddell, director of the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, added: “I’m very much looking forward to the event at iCentrum, we are set for a packed and varied itinerary that will offer something to all attendees, whether that’s an inspirational keynote or a pressurised pitch situation; our main goal is to drive growth and prosperity for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the West Midlands.”

Following from the successes of the last three events, the finals of the Pitchfest competition will again be a core part of the programme for this year; offering the chance for entrepreneurs to deliver ideas, concepts and businesses to a panel of investors and mentors.

Run by the Centre for Growth at Aston University, BizzInn at the University of Birmingham and Minerva at the University of Warwick Science Park, over three million pounds has been generated by Pitchfest since its establishment.

Guiding businesses from pitch preparation through to intense judging rounds, the best pitches will emerge and compete in the Grand Final, where each company will deliver their ideas to investors and entrepreneurs for a chance to win access to Minerva’s professional network of angel investors.

Working alongside Pitchfest, The Richardson Brothers Foundation will be attending this year’s Venturefest event to shortlist exciting businesses to win its inaugural new venture competition including an investment prize of £30K later this year.

After an initial address from David Hardman, Venturefest WM will comprise two keynotes, a cyber experiment, three expert panels with specialist economic, business to business and rapid growth experience, four Pitchfest heats and two workshops.