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£100k Northstar investment boosts Innovation North East

Innovation North East, the Sunderland business powering behind VentureFest North East and FinanceCamp, will soon widen its remit across the UK after securing a £100k investment.

Backed by Northstar Ventures’ Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, the company will use the funds to unlock the innovation potential of more areas through the launch of more projects.

At present, Innovation North East runs networks and events to support innovation activity amongst businesses across the region.

As a first step in its expansion, Innovation North East recently launched VentureFest Tees Valley as the innovation conference for the area. Taking place in September, the Tees Valley conference is expected to attract 400 people this year for the largest event of its type.

Simon Green, founder and Director of Innovation North East, 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.”

Michelle Cooper, Investment Director at Northstar Ventures, added: “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, using knowledge developed here in the region.

“It’s a great example of how nationally significant businesses can be built from the North East.”