Innovative Sunderland firm wins £100,000 investment to expand across the UK

Simon Green, founder and Director of Innovation North East, with 
Michelle Cooper, Investment Director at Northstar Ventures.
Simon Green, founder and Director of Innovation North East, with Michelle Cooper, Investment Director at Northstar Ventures.
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A pioneering Sunderland firm has won a £100,000 investment to expand and grow its work across the UK.

Innovation North East – company behind VentureFest North East and FinanceCamp – received the cash boost from the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures.

There is a strong drive across the UK to increase innovation, particularly amongst small and medium-sized businesses

Simon Green, Founder and Director of Innovation North East

The company runs networks and events to support innovation activity amongst businesses, having developed high-profile programmes such as the Innovation SuperNetwork and VentureFest.

Looking beyond the North East, the company is now working on reapplying these programmes elsewhere.

Founder and director Simon Green said: “There is a strong drive across the UK to increase innovation, particularly amongst small and medium-sized businesses.

“The success of the SuperNetwork and our events in the North East has attracted attention from other parts of the UK.

“The investment from Northstar Ventures is allowing us to explore these opportunities and develop programmes across the country.

“The result will be more people employed here and further enhancement of the North East’s reputation as a leader in innovation thinking.”

As a first step in its expansion, innovation conference VentureFest Tees Valley will take place in September and is expected to attract 400 people.

Michelle Cooper, Investment Director at Northstar Ventures, said: “The North East has a long history as a place where innovation happens, and Innovation North East is one of the organisations leading the way today.

“We are confident in the team’s ability to launch new projects that will benefit businesses around the country.

“Innovation North East is on a mission to improve innovation support UK-wide.”