Venturefest Yorkshire is giving the region’s start up businesses an opportunity to win a prize package worth £50k and get their business in front of international investors as well as the largest angel investor base in the north of England.
Venturefest has teamed up with crowdfunding and co-investment platform GrowthFunders to provide the pitch opportunities in the event’s annual Investment Competition. As well as presenting to potential investors at Venturefest Yorkshire on 12 March, the competition finalists will be given a place on the GrowthFunders platform. The platform has a rapidly growing user base of more than 6,000 people throughout the UK and Europe who are actively seeking opportunities to invest in businesses with high growth potential.
GrowthFunders CEO, Norman Peterson, says, “We are excited to be co-ordinating the Investment Competition and helping to promote the entrants to a wide range of potential funders. As part of the winner’s package we will support them with their online fund raise on the platform and assist with strategy, planning and preparation, amongst other things.”
Norman says that they are looking for businesses and ideas across all sectors that can demonstrate growth potential, and that it will be ‘good market opportunities in growth markets with a good team’ that catch the eyes of the judges.
Grimsby-based Fast Form Systems won the Investment Competition in 2014. They recently secured a £350,000 funding package from Finance Yorkshire’s Seedcorn fund, which invests in early stage innovative ventures that have the potential to become ‘beacon companies’ for the region. Managing Director of Fast Form Tony White said: “Venturefest gave us a platform to reach so many potential investors, and it’s where we first met Finance Yorkshire, who became our core investor. It can be pretty daunting pitching to that many people – my advice is go in well prepared and know what you want to get out of it. I think the investors could see that I have a lot of industry knowledge, which helped us with our winning pitch.”
In addition to attracting many potential investors, Fast Form walked away with a prize package of more than £50k from some of the region’s top professional services firms.
“As well as meeting potential investors, the prize helped us enormously. We took full advantage of the HR, business planning and financial forecasting support, and it helped us get the business in a good position for growth much quicker”, Tony said.
Norman adds, “I’ve been fortunate in attending a number of Venturefest events and have thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the talent displayed by start up businesses in the Yorkshire area. The Investment Competition will promote and celebrate some fantastic businesses – we’re very much looking to meeting all of the entrants and hearing their pitches.”
GrowthFunders’ COO, Craig Peterson, says, “We’re dedicated to supporting the next generation of great British businesses and are excited to be doing so alongside Venturefest Yorkshire. There are a lot of very exciting start ups around at the moment. In fact, 2014 saw the launch of a record number and we’re confident that 2015 will be even bigger.”
The closing date for competition entries is 31 January. For more information about entering the Venturefest Yorkshire Investment Competition, visit www.venturefestyorkshire.net.