A shortlist of 12 businesses will go on to pitch their innovations to a panel of investors and an audience of potential customers during next month’s Innovation Showcase Competition, taking place at the Venturefest North West 2019 expo and conference.
The finalists will have a chance to win two top prizes of up to £10,000 worth of business support packages, with one winner selected by the Innovation Showcase panel, and another chosen by the Venturefest event audience.
There will also be winners under the following categories: Product Innovation, Service Innovation, Digital Innovation and Most Innovative Established Business.
The prestigious annual competition received entries from more than 120 businesses this year and is staged by GC Business Growth Hub, in partnership with Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub, Cumbria Growth Hub, Liverpool City Region’s Local Growth Hub and Boost – Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. It was open to all start-ups, and small and medium-sized businesses based across the North West.
In addition to the award incentives, those shortlisted will also have a strong opportunity to pitch their innovative business ideas to an audience of angel investors and venture capitalists, to secure funding offers which might otherwise have been out of their reach.
In the last three years alone, Innovation Showcase entrants have generated £5.2million of investment offers after taking part in the competition.
GC Business Growth Hub Director of Business Growth Richard Jeffery said: “We’ve received yet another exceptionally high standard of applications for the Innovation Showcase this year and I’d like to congratulate all those who have been shortlisted.
“The competition not only celebrates the businesses and innovations that come out of our region, but also has very real and potentially game-changing benefits for those involved. The prestige and increased profile that comes from pitching in front of leading players from across the North West – not to mention the high-level media coverage – has enabled previous finalists to significantly widen their client base, launch products and services and secure new funding.
“I hope as many SMEs, investors and innovators as possible are able to join us at this unique event, and vote for their Innovation Showcase winner. With more than 1,100 delegates at last year’s Venturefest, there’s no better opportunity to hear new ideas, discuss your own insights and developments, and forge new connections that will help your business to grow.”
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Venturefest North West is the region’s biggest annual innovation expo and conference that brings together businesses, investors and innovation specialists under one roof.
Delegates will hear from an exceptional mix of inspirational speakers including: former ‘Dragon’, founder & CEO of YourCash Europe, Jenny Campbell; Vikas Shah, CEO of Swiscot Group and co-founder of 53 Degrees North; Cat Lewis, CEO, Joint Creative Director & Executive Producer for Nine Lives Media; and Nitin Rai, Founder & Managing Director of Elevate Capital.
There will also be interactive workshops and networking opportunities throughout the event which takes place at Manchester Central on Wednesday 20th November. To register for your free place at Venturefest North West 2019 go to www.venturefestnorthwest.com.
The full Innovation Showcase Competition finalists are as follows:
Dream Agility – A Ramsbottom-based tech company developing the latest in Visual AI and Machine Learning, retailers such as Samsung to grow sales.
Rhythm Digital – Based in Manchester, Rhythm Digital make Piing, a web product which gets crowds playing, shouting and interacting by joining big screen arcade games, using their phones as controllers.
Wattl – A new video platform established in Manchester which blends user-generated videos with professional content from broadcasters and brands.
Most Innovative Established Business finalists:
Alison Handling – The UK’s largest independent stockist of new and used recyclable plastic storage boxes, trays, totes, pallets, pallet boxes and more, based in Kirkham, near Preston.
Eco-Mist Biotechnics – A Cumbrian business that has developed a range of exclusive, highly effective healthcare and hygiene products that eradicate 99.9999% of pathogens in rooms and vehicles, yet are harmless to humans, animals and the environment.
Seven Bro7hers – A brewery in Salford which has gone on to become one of the most popular craft beer breweries in the UK.
NGPod Global – From its base in Manchester Science Park, the business provides innovative solutions to the patient safety issues surrounding nasogastric (NG) tube placement.
Neptune Solutions – A Failsworth organisation that designs innovative, modular, adjustable and environmentally friendly fluid management systems for flood management and water retention.
AI Rehab – Based in Lytham St. Annes, they produce patented apps and devices for patients having hip and knee surgery; encouraging effective rehabilitation behavioural change through gamification and the implementation of Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
Service Innovation finalists:
Clever Cogs – Based in Salford, Clever Cogs develop unique immersive mobile Learning Experiences for teachers and pupils that are fun, productive alternatives to school trips.
Dicey Tech – A Manchester edtech company that enables young generations to become technology creators by using 3D-printing to teach secondary-school students tech, enterprise skills, and careers insight.
Artemis Analytical Ltd. – A start-up company based in Manchester that is developing a quantum-based technology for enhancing the sensitivity of mass spectrometry by more than a factor of 1000. This is currently being used to develop a table top device for carbon dating.
Businesses looking to access specialist support can visit www.businessgrowthhub.com for more information about the organisation’s extensive range of services. This and other GC Business Growth Hub projects are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the GM Business Growth Hub project designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. The Hub is also supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester local authorities.