Entrepreneurs dazzle at Venturefest

A BUDDING entrepreneur who has developed electronically controlled shock absorbers for mountain bikes – normally used in luxury cars – claimed the top prize at Venturefest Yorkshire this week.

David Batterbee of Sheffield-based Mr Shox won the Investment Competition prize package valued at £28,000, which includes legal, accountancy, insurance, business development, PR, patent and trademark advice and support.

Mr Shox’s device continuously monitors terrain conditions and automatically optimises damping behaviour without rider intervention.

Its technology has previously been used in Ferrari motorcars, but is thought to be a first in the mountain bike sector.

In the Innovation Showcase competition, Gaist Location won a business support package valued at £15,000.

Gaist Location is a hosted information service designed to allow councils to manage and host a range of geographic data. 

A further prize of £5,000 worth of business consultancy vouchers, awarded by Business Link, was given to York-based Neotherix, a developer of regenerative ‘scaffolds’ for human tissue repair.

The prizes were awarded at a dinner last night hosted by David Parkin, Editor of TheBusinessDesk.com.

Around 2,000 delegates attended Venturefest, which was held at York Racecourse.

The event gave potential investors the chance to chat to entrepreneurs and young businesses, as well as allowing business owners to pitch for cash prizes and pick up valuable advice.

Keynote speaker was Australian entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Liao who gave delegates tips on how to become a success in business.

Mr Liao also explained how he went from being a “technogeek” to successful entrepreneur and the things he has learnt along the way.

He said it was important for business owners to value their team, get rid of poor performing staff and be realistic about the goals entrepreneurs want a venture to achieve.

Mr Liao, who has established Weforest.com to help boost reforestation and halt global warming, said it was vitally important for business owners to invest in others as this would help lead to success.

Mr Liao, who co-founded the business community Xing.com, said it was also important to “empower others”.

“Your business is about the contribution of all the people in your team,” he added.

“It’s about everyone believing if they put enough in they get something back.”