Boiler Shop, Newcastle
Jamie Hardesty

Plans gather pace for Newcastle Startup Week

North East superconnector Paul Lancaster is moving swiftly ahead with plans for Newcastle Startup Week, as revealed by Bdaily in September earlier this year.

The festival of entrepreneurship, which will take place over 5 days between 15-19 May 2017, has now attracted the backing of several high profile sponsors whilst a venue for the week has been confirmed.

Building on the city’s history of innovation and invention, the event aims to inspire a great number of people to start a business and attract greater inward investment to the region

Paul, MD of Plan Digital UK and recently named Dynamo North East’s ‘Collaborator of the Year’, has confirmed that key North East institutions such as the NELEP and the Federation of Small Businesses are helping to champion the initiative.

Moreover Sage, Blu Sky Tax and GP Bullhound have all given their backing to the scheme, with further companies set to follow.

The week-long event will begin with a celebration of local business success stories of the past, present and future at Robert Stephenson & Co’s recently-refurbished Boiler Shop, found behind Central Station.

A series of events at multiple venues across the city will follow, helping people go from business idea to launch in just 5 days.

Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central & Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, said: “Newcastle has a long and proud history of innovation and invention which has kickstarted new industries that have benefited people all around the world.

“Newcastle Startup Week is therefore an opportunity to celebrate our success stories of the past, present and future and showcase the wide range of help and support available which will inspire more women and men to start and grow their business in the city, create jobs and attract inward investment to the region.”

Colin Bell (Director of Business Growth, North East LEP) said: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring this exciting new event which will inspire people to scale their business and show that the North East of England is a fantastic place to grow and prosper.”

Simon Hanson (North East Development Manager, Federation of Small Businesses) said: “The North East is the best place in the world to start up and grow a business.

“There has been a real entrepreneurial renaissance across the region with an extra 15,000 businesses being started in the past year.

“Newcastle Startup Week will showcase the superb startups we have in the city, demonstrate the huge ambitions we have in becoming a testbed city and be a beacon for investment. FSB is delighted to be backing this event and helping the city meet its ambitions.”

Jon Dudgeon (Director & Co-Founder, Blu Sky Tax) said: “As soon as Paul mentioned he was planning a whole week of startup events in Newcastle, team Blu Sky got really excited and there was no hesitation about getting involved!

“This week is a great opportunity for the region to showcase how strong our entrepreneurial spirit is and to learn from those founders who have already launched and succeeded in building exciting, growing businesses. Bring on May 2017, it’s going to great fun!”

Ed Prior (Analyst, GP Bullhound) said: “We are delighted to be supporting Newcastle Startup Week as the region has a strong history of innovation and producing high quality, sustainable businesses which are vital in supporting the local economy and wider tech ecosystem.”

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