HUNDREDS of businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators are expected to attend VentureFest Tees Valley later this year.

Almost 350 attended last year’s event and organisers hope to see even more when it takes place at Wynyard Hall on Tuesday, May 22.

The event highlights the innovative work being undertaken within Tees Valley and provides the setting for people to share ideas, create connections and raise funds.

Simon Green, director, said: “The event offers a truly unique opportunity for local businesses, investors, researchers and experts to learn and be inspired by each other.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming people from across Tees Valley’s diverse business community, whether it be small startups or companies operating globally.”

Last year’s event brought together sports technology company Ojee Golf and product manufacturing service providers Nexus IE, both of which were exhibiting.

It resulted in the businesses striking up a working relationship which saw Nexus IE streamline the assembly process of Ojee Golf’s revolutionary product Talon, a digital training aid which delivers real-time feedback on golf stance, setup and angles of address.

Matt Hulbert, managing director of Middlesbrough-based Ojee Golf, said: “We were really excited to be able to take part in VentureFest Tees Valley as it offered the ideal setting to showcase our product as well as having the potential to open some doors in terms of funding.

“If it wasn’t for VentureFest Tees Valley, we might not be where we are today thanks to the support we have since received from Nexus IE in manufacturing and storing 250 of our converted Talon units.

“Prior to that, I was assembling all units by hand, which was extremely time-consuming so the impact on the business has been immeasurable.”

The programme for the one-day event will include speakers, workshops, investor meetings and an ‘Innovation Showcase’ exhibition with some of Tees Valley’s most innovative businesses. The event is free and local businesses can secure their place now at

The event’s founding partners are Innovate Tees Valley, Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Knowledge Transfer Network.

It receives funding from the £6.5m Innovate Tees Valley programme, led by Teesside University with partners NEPIC, the Materials Processing Institute and Digital City and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.