Call for Innovators to Showcase at VentureFest Tees Valley


A search has been launched to find Tees Valley businesses that are leading the way in innovation to showcase at this year’s VentureFest Tees Valley.

Whether it’s an innovative product, a savvy process or providing a service in a different way, VentureFest Tees Valley offers selected businesses the platform to share their innovations and promote the wealth of talent coming out of the area.

The successful 10 businesses will be invited to take part in the Innovation Showcase exhibition at this year’s VentureFest Tees Valley, which takes place on Tuesday 22 May at Wynyard Hall.

It is free to apply and open to all businesses – regardless of size, sector or stage of development – in Darlington, Stockton, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland. The selected businesses will be given exhibition space and the chance to present their innovative ideas to hundreds of people from across the business community as well as investors.

This year’s Innovation Showcase is supported by the Enterprise Europe Network. The network is funded by the European Commission and Innovate UK and is delivered by a consortium of partners, including RTC North, who are lead delivery partner for the North of England.

Martin McGurk, Innovation Director at RTC North, said: “Enterprise Europe Network is the world’s largest business network, enabling ambitious companies to find and make connections in Europe and beyond. We are delighted to be supporting the Innovation Showcase at VentureFest Tees Valley where we will be looking forward to meeting businesses and helping them access new markets.”

Last year’s VentureFest Tees Valley attracted almost 350 businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators and it is hoped this year’s event will draw even more people looking to share ideas, create connections, raise funds and showcase what Tees Valley has to offer.

Simon Green, Director of VentureFest Tees Valley

Simon Green, Director of VentureFest Tees Valley, said: “Innovation is happening right now in businesses throughout Tees Valley. We want to bring these companies to the forefront by giving them the platform to showcase their ideas to potential customers and investors at this year’s VentureFest Tees Valley.

“We want to hear from businesses of all sizes and sectors in the area that have adopted innovative ways of working. If you’re doing something different that sets you apart from your competitors, then the Innovation Showcase could be for you.”

Tees Valley businesses can apply to be considered for the Innovation Showcase exhibition by visiting where they will need to fill out a short application form before midnight on Sunday 11 March.

Teesside-based Grn, which makes bespoke sportswear out of recycled plastic bottles and old fishing nets, has credited the Innovation Showcase as a key driving force in moving the business forward after it was invited to exhibit at last year’s VentureFest Tees Valley.

Peter Lillie, Commercial Director and Partner at Grn

Peter Lillie, Commercial Director and Partner at Grn, said: “Being in the Innovation Showcase provided us with a lot of publicity, which continued after the event. This includes being invited onto a local radio show where we were able to talk about our unique business, as well as issues such as sustainability and recycled materials.

“We also made the Small Business 100 list in August 2017, which resulted in more press, as well as an invitation to 10 Downing Street, which was a significant achievement for us.

“We are so happy with the results we got out of exhibiting at VentureFest Tees Valley. They’ve helped our business grow through the press, networking and investment opportunities that they provide. We would definitely recommend attending to other Tees Valley businesses.”

Alongside the Innovation Showcase, the programme for the one-day event will include speakers, workshops and investor meetings.

The event’s founding partners are Innovate Tees Valley, Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Knowledge Transfer Network. It receives funding from the £6.5m Innovate Tees Valley programme, led by Teesside University with partners NEPIC, the Materials Processing Institute and Digital City and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

VentureFest Tees Valley is a free event for local businesses to attend and registration is open now at