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Simon Green, Director of Venturefest Tees Valley, and Professor Jane Turner, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Engagement at Teesside University, unveil the new event’s branding at Wynyard Hall, the venue for the inaugural gathering.


13th June 2017

Tees Valley is to move onto the national innovation stage after securing a place in the Venturefest calendar of UK events, it was announced today (13 June 2017).

The move has come following last year’s successful trial event, Innovate Tees Valley Festival, which attracted 260 delegates to the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, and showcased the wealth of innovation taking place in the area.

Now Venturefest Tees Valley will build on this success, with an enhanced event on September 13 at Wynyard Hall. This aims to attract 400 businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators from across Darlington, Stockton, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland to share ideas, explore opportunities, grow new networks and raise investment.

Paula Rogers-Brown, Venturefest Network Manager at the Knowledge Transfer Network, said: “We are really excited to welcome Tees Valley into the national Venturefest Network and look forward to an autumn event that builds on the very positive feedback from last year’s popular conference.

“Venturefest exists because, despite all the advances in digital technology, innovators, investors and entrepreneurs still struggle to find each other – especially when they are operating in different business sectors. Networking is still a ‘contact sport’ and the role of Venturefest in bringing the innovation ecosystem together to do business is crucially important.”

Alongside the Knowledge Transfer Network, Venturefest Tees Valley’s founding partners are Innovate Tees Valley (the innovation support programme run by Teesside University, NEPIC, the Materials Processing Institute and Digital City) and Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Professor Jane Turner, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Engagement at Teesside University, said: “Innovation has always been at the heart of business in the Tees Valley and those embracing new opportunities will continue to remain relevant, competitive and profitable in this fast-changing global marketplace.

“Venturefest events are all about giving businesses access to practical tools, ideas and expertise that can accelerate the transfer of innovation, leading to growth and employment opportunities. The inclusion of Tees Valley in the national Venturefest network is testament to our success as a region of innovators and our continuing appetite for innovation.”

Organisers are now putting together an event programme that will include speakers, workshops, a showcase of innovative companies and investor meetings where businesses can raise funding.

Venturefest Tees Valley is free for local businesses to attend and registration is open now at

The event 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 part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.


England European Regional Development Fund

Innovate Tees Valley is receiving up to £3.8million of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit