The GC Business Growth Hub, organisers of the Venturefest North West conference and exhibition, have announced an extension to deadline for the Innovation Showcase competition.
Growth-hungry SMEs from across Lancashire, and from any sector, now have until July 31st to enter the contest which could transform their business.
Matt Simmons, Business Development Manager at Chorley-based fulfilmentcrowd, one of last year’s finalists, said: “We entered the Innovation Showcase to get some publicity as part of such a prestigious regional event.
“We met some interesting businesses along the way and helped introduce fulfilmentcrowd to more Manchester-based contacts.
“The post-event support was really beneficial too – I’d recommend any Lancashire business looking for more brand exposure to enter this year.”
Open to both start-ups and established businesses, the successful companies which scoop the two top prizes – one for overall winner and one chosen by the Venturefest audience – will each win business support packages worth £15,000.
There are also four additional category awards up for grabs this year; Product Innovation, Service Innovation, Digital Innovation and Most Innovative Established Business.
Beyond the prestige of winning, and the high-quality business support prize packages on offer, firms who take part in the contest can also reap bigger rewards.
By pitching their innovative business idea to the wide range of investors and potential customers who attend the annual Venturefest North West event, companies can get funding offers and win contracts which would otherwise be out of their reach.
In the last three years alone, Innovation Showcase entrants have generated £5.2million of investment offers from having taken part in the competition.
Many of these were not actual winners on the day, but made such an impression with angel investors and venture capitalists that they went on to secure funding for their proposition.
Entry is free and the initial application process is quick and easy to complete via an online form on the Venturefest North West website.
Richard Jeffery, director of GC Business Growth Hub, said: “Venturefest North West offers an unrivalled shop window to pitch your business proposition to an audience of serious investors looking for their next big commercial opportunity. It’s therefore been fantastic to see the variety and quality of companies who have already entered this year from across the North West.
“However, we also know many ambitious and hard-working SMEs are very busy running their businesses, so we’ve extended the deadline until the end of July to give even more the chance to get involved.
“It doesn’t take long to complete an entry and it could set you on your way to not only securing £15, 000 worth of high-quality business support from the Hub but also getting your company in front of hundreds of potential new investors, partners and customers.”