GENESIS 2015, which was fronted by the presidents of the region’s universities’ enterprise societies, showcased the home-grown entrepreneurial talent of the North East of England and brought together all five universities, the Entrepreneurs’ Forum and the enterprise ecosystem.
The day-long event hosted at Gateshead’s BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art coincided with The InCredAbles – what if? movement launch and the final of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum’s ‘If We Can, You Can’ challenge and formed part of the region’s Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations.
Focused on offering student and graduate entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from the region’s start-up, professional, financial and business communities, GENESIS 2015 offered a series of workshops, one-on-one advice surgeries and networking opportunities as well as an Entrepreneurs’ Stories session and an Investors Panel, which saw up to £1million worth of investment up for grabs.
Guest speakers offering guidance to entrepreneurs included graduate success stories such as Brett Jacobson from Media Works; Tarek Nseir, founder of TH_NK; and Tony Cleary from the Lanchester Group; while Nevil Tynemouth from New Results Training hosted networking; and financial input was given by Andy Fishburn, head of investment at Virgin Start-up; Santander and the North East investment community.
FIRST Face to Face’s managing director, Charlotte Windebank, who supported the organisation of the event, said: “Over the last three years graduate entrepreneurs have made a crucial contribution to the economy, creating 1,500 jobs, 450 businesses and £64million in turnover and it is vital that as a region we continue to encourage and nurture the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
“Since the launch of the ‘If We Can, You Can’ challenge, we have been overwhelmed by its success, so it seemed fitting to combine this year’s final with GENESIS 2015 to create a truly innovative event celebrating entrepreneurship powered by the North East’s five universities.
“With up to 700 people attending over the course of the day it was fantastic to see the region’s business community really get behind the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”
Amongst those spearheading the event was Edd Dutton, president of Northumbria University’s NUOVO; Laura Pritchard, president of University of Sunderland’s Enterprise Society; Abz Dawar, president of Entrepreneurs Durham at Durham University; Noah Knapton, president of Newcastle University’s Entrepreneurs Society; and Lizzie Dixon, enterprise coordinator at Teesside Launchpad.
Edd Dutton, founder of Giving Origin and Northumbria University’s NUOVO enterprise society, added: “The power of networking with your stakeholders at any stage of business is so vital in success. Entrepreneurs should always feel integral. They should believe in what they are doing and showcase not just their ideas but vision – GENESIS has fully supported that from conception. Giving Origin is pleasured to work with the GENESIS team in forming and curating the brand.”
Sponsors of the event included Ebac, TEDCO and Virgin Start-Up, Santander, Gateshead Council, NELEP, Tees Valley Unlimited, North East Finance, Entrepreneurs’ Forum, Giving Origin, O PR, FIRST Face to Face Ltd and Gospelware.
Carole White, chief executive of TEDCO Business Support, added: “We were very keen to be involved in such an important event for the region’s enterprise community. As one of the principle sponsors, it has been heartening to see first-hand the great appetite for entrepreneurship that exists in the North East and we look forward to working with some of the new ventures attending to help get their business moving in the future.”
For more information on GENESIS 2015 visit www.genesis2015.co.uk.