Venturefest East Midlands


On March 22, Venturefest East Midlands came to Derby Arena for it’s third year. 

The event was a huge success and saw over 1000 delegates pre-registered for the event, a main stage with 35 speakers, our Innovation Showcase Expo with over 55 brands and the Business Lounge with 6 boutique sessions.  


Venturefest East Midlands is the region’s premier business event generating innovation and growth. For the third year running, through the generous support of our partners we have successfully kept the event free to attend for our delegates.

The event brings together small and medium sized businesses that are upscale ready and looking to grow through support from investors and other business services. The event also attracts a number of investors and business support providers.

The theme for 2017 was SMART Innovation where we aimed to unlock opportunities within businesses for them to engage in innovation with large primes in the region solving problems they are facing day to day. We are also focusing on showing businesses how they can use technology and CRM among other tools to grow and improve and be more cost efficient.

Since the first event in 2015 the annual event has seen over 2400 delegates and a range of private and public sector partners and exhibitors. Our sole purpose is to cultivate regional SME and large corporate business growth, using innovation as the developmental tool. 

For year three, the event will be split into 3 main parts: The Innovation Showcase Expo, the Main Stage and Business Lounge. Each of the two stages will have their own focus for the event and the Innovation Showcase Expo sees the inclusion of the pods to showcase smaller businesses from. 

Venturefest East Midlands is a must attend event if you’re looking to:


The Venturefest network was established by Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network in 2014 to:

  • Drive more successful commercialisation of research and innovation
  • Promote faster growing, innovative businesses that are well integrated into both local and international supply chains
  • Draw together local innovation ecosystems to help people achieve their aims more effectively
  • Strengthen the capacity of local innovation ecosystems to adapt to new ways of using innovation and technology to stay ahead of the speed of change in technology and business ideas
  • Provide businesses and entrepreneurs and their local business communities with an established and recognised platform to promote their ideas
  • Grow the number of Venturefest events produced locally across the UK Strengthen local connections with national bodies such as Innovate UK


Our aim is to make Venturefest East Midlands an annual event which will be rotated around the region. It will bring together entrepreneurs, innovators, investors along with other businesses and organisations who, by working together, can help bring innovative new ideas from across the East Midlands to life.