York Professionals hands over reins of Venturefest Yorkshire to Make It York signalling new strategy and direction

York Professionals has handed over the ownership and management of Venturefest Yorkshire Ltd to Make It York, York’s Destination Management Organisation, signalling a fresh start for the event which has been held annually in York for the last twelve years. Next year’s event, which will be organised by Make It York will be held in York on 16 November.

 Created twelve years ago by York Professionals, Venturefest Yorkshire’s aim has been to provide inspiration, support and investment for entrepreneurs and business managers in science, technology, creative and high growth businesses. During that time it has welcomed over 14,000 people through its doors and generated a £5.4 million injection into the regional economy through direct outputs and an estimated £22.5 million of GVA via deals done and investments created. 

Rachel Goddard, Board Director of both York Professionals and Venturefest Yorkshire said: "It has been a long journey and Venturefest Yorkshire has brought great benefits to the city and the region. However, it’s time for a change and I am really pleased that Make It York is going to take the event forward. Through their strong partnerships they will help to developan even stronger event that continues toreflect the wealth of innovation and technology in the region. I would like to thank the Venturefest board for all their hard work over the past twelve years – people have given up their time in the spirit of true collaboration to make it all happen and this is a great result for the future of the event.”

Make It York has secured a grant from Innovate UK to support the development and will work closely with the new management team.

Steve Brown, Managing Director, Make It York said: "We look forward to working with Innovate UK to take Venturefest Yorkshire to the next level and building on the excellent results so far.  We have been working on a programme of activities to extend the reach of Venturefest Yorkshire further across the region and throughout the year. We will be looking for active and well-connected individuals who can bring fresh ideas and represent the breadth of innovation across our diverse region.”

York Professionals will continue to help with the development of Venturefest Yorkshire with a seat on the steering group. Anne Taylor, Chair, York Professionals added: "This is an exciting step forward for Venturefest Yorkshire. I am delighted that it is staying in York and we are really pleased that we will continue to be involved with its evolution and development working in partnership with Make It York.”

Paula Rogers-Brown, who runs the National Venturefest Network for the Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovate UK said, "This is a fantastic opportunity for Venturefest Yorkshire to grow and be THE event in the region that seeks to support those high growth and scaleable SMEs that are such a key part of our economy. Collaboration with stakeholders from across the region is vital to the success of Venturefest Yorkshire and I look forward to working with new leadership of this important innovation ecosystem event.

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