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10-11 May 2023

Welcome to VentureFest North East

In its 10th anniversary year, VentureFest North East 2023 brought together speakers with a global perspective on the challenges impacting society around the theme Our Future, Now. Our inspirational speakers included Polymath, Tech Futurist, Anti-disciplinary Artist, and Activist, Adah Parris. Her keynote, challenged the audience to adopt a living systems approach to emerging technology.

Provided by

The leading innovation conference in the North East

10th and 11th May 2023

VentureFest North East is a leading innovation conference designed to help North East innovators, investors and entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs grow their business.

A programme of expert speakers and insightful workshops, mean delegates leave inspired and equipped to tackle their innovation projects and grow their businesses.

This year, the two day event offered a range of opportunities for regional businesses to Connect, Innovate and Grow, as well as the chance to reflect on the journey VentureFest has taken over the last decade as it marks 10 years of celebrating regional innovation!

  • Wednesday 10 May, at Boiler Shop, Newcastle
  • Thursday 11 May, The Common Room, Newcastle


VentureFest North East


Meet our 2023 speakers

VentureFest North East speakers are a diverse range of local and global talent who draw on their experience to inspire North East businesses to innovate.

Take a look at our high-profile and inspirational innovation speakers for 2023!

Photograph provided courtesy of Gökhan Goksoy

Adah Parris

Polymath, Tech Futurist, Anti-disciplinary Artist, and Activist

Finbarr Dowling

Project Director, Siemens

Martin Hunt

Managing Director, Forum For The Future

Judith McMinn

Founder, Rezon

Estelle Blanks

CEO and Founder, Innovation SuperNetwork

Lysa Morrison


Nicki Clark OBE

Chief Executive, WE ARE UMi

Charlie Charlton

Advocate for the North East, Interviewer, Presenter

Mundeep Nayyar

Founder, Infotel UK Consulting

Hannah Underwood

Founder, Insightano

Jordan Dargue

Head of Access to Finance, Innovation SuperNetwork

Graham Purvis

Managing Director, Robson Laidler Accountants

Matthew Cormack

Partner, Ward Hadaway

Chris Cook

Former Double Olympian & Double Commonwealth champion, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker and Business Coach

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

Author, consultant and entrepreneur

Di Gates

Founder, Stick Theory

Dr Noura Al Moubayed

Associate Professor, University of Durham

Charlotte Knill

North East Regional Cyber Crime Unit

Wayne Bryant

Innovation Manager, Innovation SuperNetwork

Paul Swaddle

Head of Technical Solutions, NBS

Angela Lynch

Innovation Manager, Innovation SuperNetwork

Jenny Hudson

Business development Director, Transmission Dynamics

Sarah Cox

Innovation Challenge Programme Leader, Innovation SuperNetwork

Professor Craig Gaskell

Teesside University

Josh Sanghera

Blu Sky Chartered Accountants


Innovation Showcase

The Innovation Showcase is our chance to shine a light on innovative businesses across Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and Durham. Here are a selection of our 2023 showcase finalists. 

Book your place

Register Now