A Funding Opportunity too Good to Miss: Venture Connect Green Investment Programme

16 January 2024

The Port of Tyne’s new initiative launching soon could provide your business with the decade’s most exciting investment opportunity.

The tides are turning when it comes to green investment and prosperity in the North East of England. Strong commitments to move towards net zero far in advance of deadlines has put our region in pole position to lead the UK in this transition. A Net Zero North East England summit revealed in November 2023 that these efforts could produce a £1.9bn boost to the industry and provide over 27,000 new jobs. 

At the forefront of this positive change is the Port of Tyne, with a vision to exceed the government’s long term maritime goals with their own “Tyne 2050” strategic plan. This includes launching the UK’s first and only Maritime Innovation Hub to  help foster collaborative business innovation for the greater benefit of the North East. 

Since 2019, the Hub has hosted many great events such as the recent Maritime Innovation Week, but its latest initiative, the Venture Connect Green Investment Programme is the most exciting, aiming to bridge the gap between innovative businesses in the region and responsible green maritime investors.  

What is Venture Connect? 

It’s an unmissable opportunity for innovative businesses or university spin offs looking to commercialise their technology or bright idea. By matching these enterprises with the appropriate investors, the Port’s programme has the potential to accelerate their growth by unlocking vital funding. Best of all, it is completely FREE for businesses. There are no hidden charges or add-ons. The vision is to deliver a programme for the benefit of our region and to advance the maritime industry towards Maritime 2050.   

Businesses will receive expert coaching from industry professionals and have access to one-on-one mentorship every step of the way. Over the course of 5 stages (outlined in the graphic below), ideas will be developed and business plans finetuned. The closing stage of this programme is what the last 4 months of hard work will ultimately boil down to. The big moment in front of the investor panel! But don’t worry, participants will be prepped enough to confidently present their ideas. The residential in stage 4 is included as a bonus and should help settle any nerves on pitch day.  

    Venture Connect Green Investment Programme, Maritime, Innovation, North East, Startup, SME, Funding, Opportunity, Port of Tyne.

Venture Connect Programme Outline 

The programme has a strict emphasis on developing sustainable solutions for advancing green maritime. This includes decarbonisation, renewable energy solutions and digitalisation.  

Who is Venture Connect for? 

  • SMEs across the North East of the UK ideally  
  • Green focused business who have: 
  • a technology applicable to the maritime industry 
  • are ready to scale up with business coaching and investment funding 
  • Responsible green investors. 

This is a 7.5-day programme delivered over the course of 4 months, launching on February 7 2024.  

Continue reading for FAQs: 


How do I Apply for Venture Connect? 

To apply for the programme, please follow this LINK. Alternatively, if you have any further questions or think your services would be useful to support the content in this programme, do not hesitate to get in touch. Please email Innovationhub@portoftyne.co.uk and the innovation team will get back to you promptly. 

What are the Current Maritime Challenges? 

The Port of Tyne has outlined the following maritime challenges innovators should aim to address: 

  • Data and AI for Decarbonisation 
  • Clean Energy Transition 
  • Battery Technology & Innovation 
  • Electrification Technology & Infrastructure 
  • Energy from Waste 
  • Green Operational Efficiency from Smart Automation & Autonomy 
  • Sustainable Supply Chain 
  • Green Logistics Integration 
  • Climate Change Resilience 

Who is Running the Programme? 

The programme is being hosted by the Port of Tyne together with its 2050 Innovation Hub partners including Connected Places Catapult, Innovation Super Network and local universities. 

The programme will be led by Dr. Jo North, Technology and Transformation Director at the Port of Tyne. At a recent event, Dr. North said the following about Venture Connect: 

“The North East is well known for its tech start-up scene, and Venture Connect will build on this. We want the Green Investment Programme to inspire green growth and ambition locally and across the wider maritime industry, delivering real results through collaboration, investment, and clear commercial opportunities”. 

Where is the Programme Being Held? 

The programme will be delivered from the 2050 Innovation Hub, with a stage 4 residential held offsite at a local venue. The 2050 Innovation Hub is located at the Port of Tyne within the Tyne Dock site in South Shields. 

Author: Jack Farrington, Project Delivery Graduate at Port of Tyne. 



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