Budding Birmingham Entrepreneurs to be put through their paces by some of the UK’s most successful start-ups

  • Opportunity Knocks will see leaders of businesses including Andy Street, Former MD of John Lewis and current West Midlands Mayor Candidate; David Maclean, CEO, Packt Publishing; and Jason Langford-Brown, MD of Lucid Ltd; sharing their expertise
  • Entrepreneurs will make Dragon’s Den style-pitches as part of a masterclass into learning how to make the perfect pitch
  • NatWest and Entrepreneurial Spark join together to develop a day-long programme

The leaders of some of the UK’s most successful start-ups are going to reveal the secrets of their success at a business event in Birmingham.

Opportunity Knocks, co-hosted by NatWest and Entrepreneurial Spark, is aimed at people involved in or interested in supporting Yorkshire’s start-up, early stage and SME business sector.

Taking place at the Innovation Birmingham Campus on Friday, November 18 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the showcase will include speeches from Andy Street, Former MD of John Lewis and current West Midlands Mayor Candidate; David Maclean, CEO of Packt Publishing; and Jason Langford-Brown, MD of Lucid Ltd, as well as a host of other successful entrepreneurs who will all pass on their advice and offer insight into what they have learned whilst turning their concept into a reality.

Former MD of the John Lewis Partnership, Andy Street is now West Midlands Mayor candidate. Andy has spent his career at the John Lewis Partnership, joining after graduating from Oxford with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics in 1985.

Andy became Managing Director of the John Lewis Division in 2007 and he has led the business through times of significant change in both the economy and the retail industry at large.

During this time, John Lewis’ gross sales increased in excess of 50 per cent to over £4bn. It has opened 18 new shops, and the johnlewis.com business has seen annual sales of over £1bn making the department store one of the UK’s most respected and successful retailers.

David Maclean’s Packt Publishing was founded in 2004 in Birmingham. Packt’s mission is to help the world put software to work in new ways, through the delivery of effective learning and information services to IT professionals.

Working towards that vision, UK Packt have published nearly 4000 books and videos so far, providing IT professionals with the actionable knowledge they need to get the job done –whether that’s specific learning on an emerging technology or optimizing key skills in more established tools.

As part of their mission, Packt have also awarded over $1,000,000 through the firm’s Open Source Project Royalty scheme, helping numerous projects become household names along the way.

Jason Langford-Brown is an award winning Business Advisor. Through Lucid Ltd, Jason works with many leaders on scaling up their organisations and was a key member of the team behind arguably the biggest Birmingham start up success story of the year so far, Glide, and their acquisition by telecoms giant CableCom this summer.

Delegates will hear from inspirational speakers, see a live pitching competition, and have the opportunity to attend a range of case study led seminars focusing on topics such as crowdfunding, pitching, intellectual property and growth finance.

Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at NatWest said:

“NatWest is delighted to be supporting Opportunity Knocks to showcase the entrepreneurial talent in Birmingham and the West Midlands. It’s exciting to see pioneering events like this emerge when the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem partners come together.

“This conference is particularly unique as it gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their businesses as well as providing them with knowledge on the alternative methods of finance available to them.

“Entrepreneurialism and entrepreneurship is key to the future success of businesses in the Leeds and all of us at NatWest are keen to help give new start-ups all the support they need to turn their idea into a reality.”

Lucy-Rose Walker, CEO at Entrepreneurial Spark, said:

“The UK start-up scene is booming and it’s exciting to see all the businesses growing in Entrepreneurial Spark, but funding is one of the biggest barriers to growth for the entrepreneurs we support.

Opportunity Knocks will let businesses and the individuals interested in supporting them connect and learn how to work together.

This event is part of a series we’re holding across the UK and we are pleased to be working with NatWest to help start-ups around the country to grow.”

The event will be held at. Innovation Birmingham Campus, Holt Street , B7 4BB Birmingham.

For tickets visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/opportunity-knocks-birmingham-tickets-26637062170

Media are invited to pre-register and will can request interviews with speakers on request.

Contact media team