Fast And Furious Pitching For Region’s Entrepreneurs

March 2, 2016


Entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators from across Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire are being invited to apply to take part in a Fast and Furious pitch off to win a trophy and showcase their leading-edge business ideas to a world class panel of judges and businesses across the region, and beyond.

The New Anglia and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnerships and innovation clusters across the East are inviting companies in their region to grab the opportunity of presenting their inspired ideas, products or services to a panel of experts, investors, business champions as well as an audience of regional and global leaders, at Venturefest East on 24th May at Newmarket Racecourse.

This is an exciting opportunity to showcase your business ideas to potential investors, partners and collaborators and make powerful connections with people who shape future technology on a world-wide stage.

The LEPs will shortlist 10 people or companies: five from the Norfolk and Suffolk area and five from the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough area.  All shortlisted businesses will be given a free display table at Venturefest East.

Of those shortlisted by the LEPs two will be selected to join the Fast and Furious pitch and join a further 10 individuals or businesses selected by the innovation clusters. Those selected to pitch will secure free, essential pitching training with St John’s Innovation Centre and SET Squared, which provides support and training to high tech companies, on 4th May.  The training will give ample time to polish the Fast and Furious pitches, before the Venturefest event on the 24th May.

Chris Starkie, managing director of New Anglia LEP said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses or individuals to showcase their inspirational ideas to a panel of eminent judges and an audience of investors, innovators and entrepreneurs. Venturefest East is the place where connections will be made and partnerships forged, so we urge you to roll up your sleeves and apply to take part in Fast and Furious Pitching.”

Neil Darwin, Chief Executive of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said: “We want to unearth future innovations that will change the way we live in the future. As part of Venturefest East, the team here at the LEP are seeking the five great innovations of the future. Companies can put forward their ideas and then have the chance to take part in the Fast and Furious Pitch Off at Venturefest East on 24th May in Newmarket. The competition will give companies the opportunity to profile their ideas and potentially secure the funding and support they need to bring them to market.”

The application process is simple and straightforward.  If you are based in Suffolk or Norfolk and wish to apply to Fast and Furious, please visit to download the form and return it to by Thursday 24th March.

Alternatively, applicants can apply through their own cluster organisations who might have their own application process. The clusters are:

Agri-tech:  Agri-Tech East, Social and environmental:  Allia Future Business Centres, Clean-tech:  Cambridge Cleantech, Wireless technology:   CW (Cambridge Wireless), Gaming technology:  Games Eden, Technology:  Cambridge Network, Early Stage innovation:  IdeaSpace, Life Sciences and Healthcare:  OneNucleus and  Early stage business innovation centre:  St John’s Innovation Centre.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) and BT are lead sponsors of Venturefest East.

Helen Lewis, Director of Research and Enterprise at UEA, said: “UEA is proud to be part of this initiative that will enable brilliant new ideas to get the support needed to succeed. We are excited to see the business proposals that will be presented at the Fast and Furious Pitch Off event, and to explore opportunities for collaboration with the innovators who will be attending Venturefest East.”

Dr Tim Whitley, Managing Director, Research and Innovation, BT said, “We know the East is rich with knowledge, talent and creativity, so we’re very excited to see the ideas and innovations in the Fast and Furious pitch off. Collaboration with other companies, both large and small, is the key to successful innovation, that is why we are so delighted to support Venturefest East.”

The brainchild of St John’s Innovation Centre, Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Venturefest East (VFE) is part of the Innovate UK series of events and provides opportunities to listen to the region’s innovation gurus.

The event which is set to attract 400 businesses, investors and entrepreneurs from across the East and beyond.

Delegates will be attending the Fast and Furious pitches, as well learning from world-class keynote speakers, attending inspirational workshops, visiting the innovation exhibition and networking with individuals and organisations.

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