Venturefest Yorkshire 2016 Annual business event returns on the 16th November & refocuses on innovation and entrepreneurship. Mel KanarekEvents3rd August 2016entrepreneurshipstartupVenturefest After losing its way a bit in recent years, Venturefest Yorkshire has been given an overhaul and, this year, will have a much greater focus on innovation and entrepreneurs. The 2016 event at York Racecourse on 16th November will include an exhibition, speakers and workshops, opportunities to meet investors and two competitions open to anyone in the Yorkshire region looking for early stage support for their ideas. The new organisers, Science City York (part of Make It York), expect over 1,000 people to attend. There’s a pitching competition (PitchFest) with a £5k prize and 12 month support package, and a separate contest to win free display materials and exhibition space in the Innovation Showcase, with one £1k prize. People shortlisted for either get to attend a full day workshop to prepare them to make the most of the opportunity to impress potential investors. The deadline for entries to both competitions is 16th September and the workshop takes place on 30th September. There are full details and an online application form at www.venturefestyorkshire.net. The exhibition has been designed with the theme “creative crossover” and features five floors of themed zones covering Accelerators, Innovation, Creative & Digital, Universities, Agri Food, Bio Synergy and Professional Services. Interestingly, professional services businesses are being encouraged to take “hub” stands where, instead of selling their own services, they showcase their customers’ businesses. The event will also include a full schedule of talks and workshops, with some impressive keynotes already lined up (although not yet on the website). There will also be “Yorkie Talkie” sessions where regional universities showcase their emerging stars, “TED” style. Tickets are £20+VAT if you buy before 1st September, £25+VAT after. Or you can book a club ticket for £30+ VAT (£50 after 1st September) which includes access to a lounge plus lunch and refreshments. Book tickets via the website and follow @VFYorks for updates.