This year’s Venturefest will see the Three Tech Tribes Panel take to the stage again, featuring prominent investors, innovators and entrepreneurs from the North West. The panellists will share their business stories and look at:

  • challenges in the innovation process such as taking an innovative product or service to the market
  • tips for hacking growth and success in business and securing funding
  • trends in innovation and investment channels
Jonathan Keeling

Jonathan Keeling, Crowdcube
Jonathan is Head of Partnerships for Crowdcube, one of the world’s leading crowdfunding platforms, helping to build quality partnerships and generate value for both entrepreneurs and investors alike.

He was one of the founding team of the innovative clean tech company Pavegen, and has also worked for the United Nations and Centrica, supporting the uptake of sustainable land management policies in S-W Africa.

He has spoken at events such as TEDxLondon ‘City 2.0’, and also volunteers as a business mentor to help support like-minded entrepreneurs.

Claire Braithwaite

Claire Braithwaite, Manchester Growth Company
Claire Braithwaite is tech advisor to the Manchester Growth Company, having previously worked as the first Head of Tech North, a government initiative designed to accelerate the growth of Northern England’s digital economy.

Among her other business achievements, Claire founded in 2006, a niche online retail platform for sustainable beauty brands, and went on to win several business awards on the back of the business.

She is now a commissioner on the Grant Thornton Vibrant Economy Commission and a mentor on the Mass Challenge, Dotforge & Ignite accelerator programmes.

David Grimes

David Grimes, Founder and CEO, MPD Group
David is the Founder of My Parcel Delivery and Electio, both now part of the MPD Group. Highly ambitious and infectiously energetic , David has an unerring eye for a business opportunity.

He is the winner of numerous accolades and awards, including Entrepreneur of the Year, Forbes’ Most Exciting UK business, Best Technology Company and Online Business of the Year. He is a double Masters graduate from Cambridge University, where he studied law, economics and management studies.

Gary Partington

Gary Partington, RealityMine
Garry is CEO and co-founder of RealityMine, an innovative technology business that provides in- depth analytical insights and research data about digital behaviours. Established in 2012, it has since expanded into more than 20 countries.

With over 15 years’ experience and a deep understanding of the mobile industry, Garry is also chairman of Apadmi, the multi award-winning international mobile technology company, which he founded in 2007. He is also the founder of Mobile Monday Manchester, a division of the global mobile networking group in the UK.

Garry also likes a challenge and in 2012 was part of a team that swam across the English Channel.

Andrew McKerney

Andrew McKerney, CEO, Match72
"Serial entrepreneur Andrew McKerney was the founder of car park management company ParkingEye, taking it from a startup to become the UK's largest parking operator, prior to its sale to Capita.

Andrew now leads investment syndicates across the north west, focusing on seed through to MBO/I deals, whilst also advising businesses and mentoring owners on strategies for growth, funding and exits.

Having operated on both sides of the fence, Andrew offers a unique insight and a wealth of experience for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners."

David Hodges - Nexlore / eco-i

David Hodges, Nexlore / eco-i
"David is an expert in building management design, having spent time working for the major manufacturers in the industry, as well as setting up eco-I, a progressive BEMS design company. He has also started Nexlore, a software company dedicated to the development of software for the energy market. He has also worked with the Business Growth Hub, receiving advice and support in areas such marketing, recruitment and intellectual property protection. "