MADE The Entrepreneur Festival has been hailed a huge success after the city played host to nearly 3,000 local, national and international delegates.
Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones said: “I was here last year and now I’ve come back and I’ve been blown away, it’s bigger and better. I have an academy in Sheffield which brings me up here and it’s an inspirational place. It’s somewhere where people can get together and there is so much drive and enthusiasm from this area of Britain.”
Also returning after attending the launch last year, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said: “I thought it was such an excitingevent and so positive that I wanted to come back again. There is real energy here.”
The first day of the festival saw Inspire@MADE welcome hundreds of young people from Sheffield’s schools and colleges to be motivated and inspired by Dragon’s Den stars and faces from The Apprentice alongside some well known local names including Ruth Amos from StairSteady, Adam Bradford from UNiTe Computing and Emma Harrison from A4E.
Graeme Tidd, Business Enterprise Manager at The National Enterprise Academy - The Sheffield City College, said: “MADE has exposed our learners to a series of dynamic and engaging events that captured the true essence of what it means to be an entrepreneur. From making their first business contact to picking up vital business advice, MADE has helped to fuel the fire within our future entrepreneurs and set them on their path to success.”
Thursday also saw emerging tech companies networking with potential funders and IP lawyers at Disrupt@MADE and Lee Strafford, local tech entrepreneur and member of the LEP, shared his vision for the region’s digital future at the highly successful TEDx.
Accelerate@MADE saw local SMEs learning how to make their businesses more entrepreneurial through a culture of innovation, how to access new international markets and how to get more from their people. Speakers from the US, Netherlands and Spain appeared alongside some of Sheffield’s best, including Gripple, Siemens VAI and AESSEAL.
MADE was organised by Marketing Sheffield in partnership with Seven Hills.
Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, Cabinet Member for Business, Jobs and Growth at Sheffield City Council, said: “What a fantastic few days. MADE has put Sheffield centre stage as a city that really means business.
“Sheffield City Council funded this event to help our next generation of entrepreneurs be inspired, to profile our existing businesses and to help our SMEs go to the next level.
“Numbers were up 100% on last year and most of the events were a complete sell out, showing a growing appetite for MADE Festival in years to come. I look forward to being a part of MADE 2012.”