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Join us at Accelerate 2013

Join us at Accelerate 2013

13 Jun 2013

The National Business Awards has partnered with Liverpool Vision to support Accelerate 2013 – a festival dedicated to the country’s high-growth firms and the follow up to last year’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress.

Under the partnership, around 50 of the National Business Awards Alumni have been personally selected by Lord Young and Sir Terry Leahy to join the Accelerate 250 – the country’s fastest-growing, high-potential companies. Past NBA winners including ENER-G, Voice Commerce and The Chemistry Group will benefit from networking and tailored content at Accelerate.

This includes a special debate session hosted by the National Business Awards - part of a ‘Growth Leader’ series of events gathering together award-winning and market-leading firms to share insights on key aspects of growth. A panel of speakers with different perspectives on innovation will share insights into:

  • how to recognise and develop good ideas
  • how to manage inventors and ‘intrapreneurs’
  • how to innovate for a global market
  • how to optimise creative hubs and communities
  • the role of the Board in creating a culture of innovation

“The National Business Awards is connecting with all regions and industries through a multi-channel programme of year-round content including our own e-bulletins and promotions through over 20 media and strategic partners plus half day conferences and chaired debates,” said NBA Programme Director, Alex Evans. “The Accelerate festival will draw dynamic and enterprising leaders from all over the UK to Liverpool, and attending ‘accelerators’ will provide a North West counterpoint to some of the themes raised in our South West Growth Leader Forum in May.”

Speaker Panel Preview

A regional perspective on innovation will be provided by Max Steinberg, CEO of Liverpool Vision, who will talk about its own strategy for making Liverpool a hub for fast-growth businesses and international investment. Sara Jones, the multi-award-winning founder of HiringHub.com, and an Accelerator from the North West, will explain how she has created a culture of innovation at the firm.

“As a start-up it's really important to us that everyone we hire has an entrepreneurial mindset to ensure we spot, and get the most out of, opportunities that could benefit the business,” she explains. “Alongside their day-to-day roles, we encourage our employees to come up with new ideas, help us develop our platform, be creative and stand out. This openness tends to breed new ideas / opportunities and helps underline an innovative culture.”

Former BBC Dragon and founder of School for Start-Ups Doug Richard will explain the role of mentors in helping new businesses to successfully develop ideas; while Martin McCourt, credited with growing Dyson from a £50m business to a billion-turnover multinational as its former CEO, will share his experiences of managing an inventor.

“Inventor entrepreneurs can be quite brilliant,” explains Martin, who now works with a variety of firms in the UK and overseas as a Chairman or interim CEO as director of Montagu Private Equity. “What they are best at is inventing so keep them away from other stuff wherever possible or else their natural tendency will be to interfere, distract others, take over and maybe create a lower result. It is not the best utilisation of their skill and talent either. You have to be brave and confront them especially when you believe they are about to do something that we will all regret.”

Clive Lewis, the ICAEW’s Head of Enterprise, will talk about the role of accountants and finance directors in enabling innovation. “Without a solid financial basis or funding in place there can be no creativity,” says Clive. “In a recent study by think tank Big Innovation Centre of 11,000 businesses, innovative SMEs were significantly more likely to encounter problems than non-innovative small firms. Close to 38% of the innovating firms that recently applied for finance failed to secure any. Of the non-innovating firms 11.5% failed.

“A finance director will lead their team to investigate, analyse and see the interconnections and patterns between the numbers and develop the business case for innovation in their organisation. It is with this financial planning that new ideas will get funded and ultimately brought to market.”

To find out more about Accelerate 2013, visit www.accelerate2013.co.uk and to buy tickets now go to http://accelerateliverpool.eventbrite.co.uk. If you plan to attend and would like to participate in the Growth Leader Forum hosted by the National Business Awards, contact Alex Evans on 020 7234 8743 or email alex.evans@ubm.com.

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