The entrance to the Exhibition Centre. Image: The ACC Liverpool Group
Richard Bell

Fresh cohort of business leaders announced for IFB2016

A new cohort of ambassadors for the upcoming International Festival for Business in Liverpool has been revealed.

The latest group of business leaders announced for the festival, which comes to the city’s Exhibition Centre this summer, includes Eileen Burbidge, the chair of TechCityUK and partner in investment firm Passion Capital, as well as StartUp Britain chair and Centre for Entrepreneurs co-founder Luke Johnson.

Commenting on her decision to join IFB2016, Eileen Burbidge said: “The UK’s digital industry is continuing to mature as investors are attracted to its diversity and standout sectors such as fintech.

“Now we need to broaden this success to feed the ecosystem and enable more cross-sector collaboration.”

Also backing the festival is Paul Lindley, the founder of baby food company Ella’s Kitchen; Frank Meehan, a co-founder of global VC firm SparkLabs; and John Mohin, former MD of homeware business Wedgewood.

Frank Meehan commented: “The UK is an increasingly competitive destination for young talent and entrepreneurs.

“We need to capitalise on this reputation, and support these businesses to innovate and maintain the momentum.”

He added: “As we are already seeing in finance and education, the digital industry is going to truly transform our traditional sectors.”

Elsewhere, the IFB organisers have secured the support of British Business Bank CEO Keith Morgan; the SMB director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at social network Facebook, Ciaran Quilty; and Sarah Wood, the co-founder and co-CEO of video tech firm Unruly, which was snapped up by media giant News Corp in September last year for £114m.

Speaking at the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference & Exhibition held recently at Manchester Central, IFB2016 chair Max Steinberg said: “Research has predicted high potential cities like Manchester and Liverpool will outperform world-class cities like Berlin and Paris for employment growth over the next five years.

“IFB2016 will be a central driver of the Northern Powerhouse agenda for cities in the North and IFB is pivotal to Britain’s ambition to promote economic growth, rebalance the economy and secure ambitious but achievable export targets.”

Max continued: “The UK as a whole will benefit but a spotlight will continue to shine on the region. Britain, its cities and city leaders must think globally.

“The International Festival for Business 2016 is an excellent example of how we can do this, and of how one city can work with the government to help deliver national objectives.”

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