Startup Week

Newcastle Startup Week is a 5-day (+ night), citywide and multi-venue festival helping more people to start or grow a business in the North East of England.

Tickets / wristbands start at just £40 for the full week which gives you the option of attending all the day and evening events or just the ones you feel are most relevant to you.

Here’s our Schedule for Newcastle Startup Week 2017 (15-19 May): 

Monday 15th May = ‘Inspiration’

The 5-day Newcastle Startup Week festival officially began with a celebration of local business success stories of the past, present and future at Robert Stephenson & Co’s recently refurbished BOILER SHOP venue, located behind Central Station.

As the world’s first purpose-built locomotive factory, which powered the railway industry and industrial revolution in the early 19th century, it’s the perfect venue to showcase the new entrepreneurial revolution taking place right now on Tyneside and the wider North East of England:


1pm-6pm @ BOILER SHOP, Stephenson Quarter

– Introduction by Paul Lancaster (Founder & Event Producer, Newcastle Startup Week)
Chi Onwurah MP (Labour MP for Newcastle Central & Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy)
– Welcome to Stephenson Quarter by David Clouston (Chairman & Managing Director, Clouston Group)
Brad Burton (UK’s No.1 Motivational Business Speaker & Bestselling Author)
– Fireside Chat with Lyndsey Britton, Lynsey Morrow & Gemma Sayers (Campus North & Tech For Life)
Gilbert Corrales (CEO,
Alan Laing (MD of UK & Ireland and Executive VP Partners & Alliances, Sage)
Jason Knights (Managing Director, Blue Kangaroo)
Ammar Mirza CBE (‘Most Influential Asian Businessman in the North East’) and Jalf Ali (Owner, Dabbawal Street Food Kitchen)
Neil Stephenson (Co-founder, Investor & Director, Tetrad Recruitment Group Ltd)
Will Murray (Newcastle-based entrepreneur who helped grow & sell EdTech platform Turnitin for $750M)
– Fireside chat with Ami Davies (CEO, My Little Explorer), Paul Irwin (Creator & Director, TryLife) & Zoe Farrington (Co-founder & CEO, RealRider) hosted by Billy Webber (Sunderland Software City)
Amber Rae (Author, artist & storyteller choosing #WonderOverWorry)


The daytime event was followed by an afterparty for delegates at Bonbar, The Assembly Rooms and a private screening of ‘Joy’ starring Jennifer Lawrence at the iconic Tyneside Cinema:

6.30pm-Midnight: ‘Inspiration Day’ afterparty at Bonbar, The Assembly Rooms

8pm-11pm: Free film screening of ‘Joy‘ for 130 people at Tyneside Cinema sponsored by Muckle LLP
Introduced by Andrew Jamieson and Ami Davies (My Little Explorer)

Tuesday 16th May = ‘Getting Started’

Once people were inspired to start their own business (or project), this day was full of practical tips and advice to help them get that idea out of their head and into the real world.

Whether you’re still at the ideas stage, are about to launch or have already gone to market, our vastly experienced speakers will teach you all about lean startup principles, pricing strategies and effective design to help reduce time, money and effort when building your business:


10am-2pm @ Newcastle City Library

– Welcome & introduction by Edward Banks (Economic Development Team, Newcastle City Council) + Simon Hanson (Development Manager, FSB North East)
– ‘Getting Started Q&A’ with John Dudgeon / Dave Gibson (Co-Founders, Blu Sky Tax)
– ‘What business support is out there?’ panel discussion with NBSL, (Generator), Sunderland Software City, Transmit StartupsPNE Enterprise and Bright Ideas Trust.
– ‘Start your business in a weekend’ by Jonathan Dowden (Product Manager for Mobile Applications, Sage)
– An Introduction to Lean Startup Principles by Justin Souter (Souter Consulting)
– Pricing Strategy Masterclass by Oliver Ranson (Ranson Pricing)
– Pitches / Presentations from the IWCYC (If We Can You Can) finalists

3pm-6pm @ Northumbria University Business School, Manors

– ‘How do entrepreneurs think?’ by Lucy Hatt (Programme Leader, Entrepreneurial Business Management at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University)
– ‘Brand Discovery’ interactive workshop with Helen Barlow-Scott (Creative Director at One Line, ethical design)
– ‘Agile Timelord: How to get stuff done and making sure you’re on the right track’ by Jason Bell
– ‘Creating valuable interactions between brands and people’ by Andrew Donaghy & James Hanson (Layers Studio Ltd)
– ‘Supercharging your startup with the Kick Cards innovation tool’ by James Rutherford (Creative Nucleus)
Alex Moon + Lee McIntosh explain how to ‘Design & Build a Concept/Prototype with the API (+ win £5k of prizes)!’


The daytime sessions will be followed by the Digital Alliance afterparty and creative / cultural showcase at Kommunity on Market St (formerly ¡VAMOS! Social):

7pm-Midnight: ‘Creative Treats, Acoustic Beats and Colourful Eats’ afterparty @ Kommunity hosted by The Culture Vulture sponsored by ‘Digital Alliance’ (Digital Union, Sunderland Software City & Dynamo North East)

Wednesday 17th May = ‘Funding & Finance’

If you’re looking for funding or finance to help start or grow your business, or you’re an investor looking for the next big thing to put your money into – this day is for you!

Starting with an explanation of the full range of funding options available to startups and scale-ups in Newcastle and the wider North East, the day will progress into a lively and possibly heated discussion about the relative merits of grants, loans, crowdfunding, angel investors and venture capitalists:


1pm-6pm @ The Core, Newcastle Science Central

– Welcome remarks from Pat Ritchie (Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council)
– Introduction to The Core and the National Innovation Centre for Data by Steve Caughey (MD, Arjuna Technologies & Technical Consultant, Cloud Innovation Centre, Newcastle University)
– ‘Sources of Finance’ by Dave Gibson (Co-Founder, Blu Sky Tax) + ‘The Funding Cocktail’ by Mark Gardner (Transmit Startups)
– Crowdfunding panel discussion ft. Adam Gillett (Head of Crowdcube North), Chris Rea (Seedrs) & Jes Bailey (Crowdfund360) hosted by Deborah McGargle (CLO, SeedLegals & EIR, Ignite Accelerator)
– ‘What are investors looking for?’ by Ian Richards (Director, Northstar Ventures)
– ‘Getting yourself ready for investment’ by Michaela Reaney (MD, Gradvert)
– VC panel discussion ft. Dr Michelle Cooper (Northstar Ventures), Jonathan Gold (Rivers Capital Partners), Colin Willis (Hotspur Capital Partners) & Adrian Hackett (Freeths) hosted by Chris Lowe (Global TMT Specialist)
– Investing in the North of England by Ed Prior (GP Bullhound)


The daytime event will be followed by an afterparty on the stunning outdoor terrace at the super-stylish Motel One Newcastle on High Bridge Street.

8pm-Midnight: Afterparty / networking event at Motel One Newcastle, High Bridge Street
Sponsored by KPMG / Royal Bank of Scotland

Thursday 18th May = ‘Growing & Scaling’

This day will show you how to grow and scale your business beyond the startup phase with a range of experts in marketing, sales, PR, recruitment, personal development, leadership and mindset.

By hearing from successful local entrepreneurs about their personal journey and the challenges and barriers they had to overcome, we’re confident this will help you move to the next level, whether you’re just starting out or have been running your business for years:


1pm-6pm @ Live Theatre, Newcastle Quayside

Jim Beirne (Chief Executive, Live Theatre)
Skye Trubov (Business Psychologist)
Anne-Marie Lacey (PR & Communications Director, Filament PR)
Saul Gowens (Founder & CEO, Websand)
Jayne Hart (Director & Owner, The HR Dept Newcastle)
John Marrin (Leadership Coach, Marwel & Co)
– ‘Opportunities & challenges for the North East digital / creative sector’ with Michael Dunn (MD, Gospelware), Pete Daykin (MD, Daykin & Storey) and Ruth Lopardo (LoveItLoveItLoveIt)
Chris Yiu (General Manager, Scotland & the North East, Uber)
– ‘Why ‘Freedom from Bosses Forever’ is best for business?’ (A lifetime’s learning for tomorrow from the Micro Business Champion and his fictional co-author) one-man show by Tony Robinson OBE


The daytime event will be followed by a ‘Curry Club’ style banquet at Anzio House, Quayside that will celebrate and promote the benefits of British, Asian and International trade, both now and into the future:

Friday 19th May = ‘Keep Going or Pivot?’

On the final day, the event will start with a showcase of local startups and a retrospective look at what’s been achieved throughout the week. You’ll then hear how to keep going beyond the startup phase and how to decide if it’s time to stop or change direction.

We’ll close with some final words from the CEO of one of the North East’s fastest-growing businesses and a forward look at what’s next for the ‘test bed city’ of Newcastle over the weeks, months and years ahead:


10.30am-2pm @ NatWest Entrepreneurial Spark, Trinity Gardens

– Entrepreneurial Spark startup trade show
– ‘How to keep going beyond the startup phase’ by Tina Boden (Co-Founder, Enterprise Rockers)
– ‘Shall I keep going or pivot?’ by John Leighton (MD, iResources &
– ‘What next for Newcastle & the North East?’ by Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones (Director, Newcastle City Futures)
– Keynote from Brendan Flattery (CEO, Utilitywise)

The daytime event will be followed by a late afternoon closing party overlooking the beautiful Newcastle / Gateshead Quayside.