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£40 up for grabs for yorkshire’s would be entrepreneurs

As the countdown to Venturefest Yorkshire 2008 gets underway, Aqua-Sac MD is encouraging others to get involved in the event and reap some of the benefits her firm has enjoyed.

MD Fran Cleeton says her business – which provides a cost effective and innovative alternative to traditional sandbags – secured vital new contacts, investment, supply channels and partners via Venturefest, having exhibited at Innovation Showcase (formerly Innovation Central).

Fran says, “It’s fair to say that Venturefest changed my life. I was given free exhibition space as part of Innovation Central which exposed my business to just the right mix of delegates who have helped me along the way. As a result we achieved interest from four investors and secured major investment in the company from Analox. I am a strong advocate of the event and would urge other businesses to get involved – it might just be the break they need.”

The region’s would-be and fledgling businesses will also have the opportunity to secure support via Innovation Showcase. The interactive exhibition area gives entrepreneurs and would-be business owners maximum exposure to professional advisers, investors, supply partners and other entrepreneurs.

Says Innovation Showcase sponsor, Gavin Hine, of Business Link, “Innovation Showcase has been designed to give Yorkshire’s top 50 young innovative science and technology businesses maximum exposure. They get free exhibition space, the opportunity to promote themselves to over 2,000 delegates, to make contact with investors, senior industry specialists, buyers and business professionals and access to specialist seminars, not to mention scope to win a prize worth £10,000. We expect demand for the Innovation Showcase area to be high and we look forward to selecting the best 50 young businesses to feature on the day.”

In addition to the support available through Innovation Showcase, delegates also have the opportunity to take part in the Investment Competition. The Investment Competition is organised by Connect Yorkshire in association with the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels, aiming to recognise and reward the best of Yorkshire’s new talent. The 2008 competition will give entrepreneurs the opportunity to win £5,000 cash and £25,000-worth of business support services. The Investment Competition will be chaired by Radio 4 Business Correspondent Peter Day.

Venturefest Yorkshire 2008, supported by Yorkshire Forward and sponsored by companies such as Garbutt and Elliott, takes place at York Racecourse on February 6 2008. Details of all the opportunities open to entrepreneurs and young businesses, and how to apply, are available at

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