Registration for Venturefest West Midlands 2024 is now open for entrepreneurs and innovators to develop their businesses and meet potential investors.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is sponsoring and co-hosting this free event, which offers the opportunity for entrepreneurs, innovators and investors to share ideas for co-operation and collaboration, particularly in the fields of science and emerging technologies. The event is sponsored by ICure, Electric Revolution Skills Hub, Medilink, VWV, Natwest, Penningtons Manches Cooper and University of Birmingham.

Venturefest WM 2024 will include panel discussions, workshops and an exhibition of innovative products of interest to businesses from any sector.

Running alongside Venturefest WM for another year will be Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up, a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition for business owners. The event provides a unique opportunity for businesses to raise their profile both in the West Midlands and in front of a national audience of investors. 

Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up - run by the Centre for Growth at Aston University, BizzInn at the University of Birmingham and Minerva Business Angels, part of the University of Warwick Science Park - has put over 200 entrepreneurs directly in front of investors over recent years and helped bring more than £65 million of investments to the region's small businesses. Venturefest WM will take place on Thursday March 21st at the Eastside Rooms, Woodcock Street, Birmingham B7 4BL, from 8:30am to 5pm. Places can be booked here.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, and Chair of the WMCA, said: “I am delighted to once again see Venturefest WM back in the West Midlands.

“Our region is the fastest growing tech sector in the UK, a position it has proudly held for the last three years – headlined by the £15.3 billion tech cluster in Leamington Spa. However, we cannot be complacent despite the successful path we’re on, as there is still so much more to be done to grow our tech economy and ensure local people can fulfil their career ambitions here.

That’s why we’re pressing ahead with investments like our Innovation Accelerator and our Deeper Devolution Deal, and why having Venturefest WM return for another year is so important to us.” Councillor Stephen Simkins, the WMCA’s portfolio holder for economy and innovation and leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “Venturefest WM signals our commitment as a region to our wider Plan for Growth for how we can return our economy to an upward trajectory and with greater influence in key areas.

“We can give entrepreneurs and businesses better focus on growing the skills they need to grow their businesses – all of which are key to our future prosperity.” Kevin Marks, Regional Research Commercialisation, University of Warwick, said: “It's great to be part of Venturefest WM and Minerva Birmingham PitchUp again this year, to showcase some of the exciting technology emerging from across the UK's University network, supported under Innovate UK's ICURe programme.

“It’s also exciting that the audience will be allowed to select the best pitch from the cohort presenting to enter the final of Minerva Birmingham PitchUp.” Dr Ben Roberts, West Midlands Innovation Adviser, Medilink Midlands, added: “Medilink Midlands is proud to support Venturefest WM, recognising investment as a pivotal element for our network's growth and success, both within the West Midlands HealthTech Innovation Accelerator (WMHTIA) and our broader ecosystem across the Midlands.”