Manchester Innovation Founders Platform

Date: Friday 17th May 2024
Time: 09:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: Bloc 17, Marble St, Manchester, M2 3AW
Cost: Free
Member Event
Sector event
SME Club

Do you know of a ‘founder’ who would really benefit from joining a support group of peers?

Bruntwood Sci-Tech and the pro-manchester Innovation committee have joined forces to pull together a group of sessions to support Innovation founders at seed stage, who are looking to scale up but need help in taking the next step in business.

We are reaching out to you to put forward any candidates you feel would benefit from being in a safe room with other founders looking to discuss the same challenges as themselves.

The aim being to support businesses in the early stages. They will be valued sessions and will build a natural relationship and mutual mentors.

These events would be invite-only, peer-to-peer, for members to bring in another guest for a round table discussion. A founder peer/cohort network group, a continual journey, as a rolling event.


The events will run over four sessions, a group of eight/ten per session.

The format will be to have four separate areas with eight/ten per room hosted by an ‘expert’ in that field. It will be round table discussions, a chance to be in a safe room with 9 other businesses looking to discuss the same challenges as yourself.

In the first meet up we will do a few introductions and then you will be allocated your group and room. It will be a round table on the topics as stated below.


Friday 19th April 2024
Friday 17th May 2024
Friday 14th June 2024
Friday 12th July 2024


Skills – Room 1

Hosted by Growth and Development Directorate - Manchester City Council, Sherelle Fairweather /Megan Lawless 
How to Attracting and retaining the right talent.

Get ready for funding – Room 2

Hosted by Mills and Reeve – Vicky Protano, Partner
Owning IP, business protection, funding options.

Investment & Scale up tips - Room 3

Hosted by Bruntwood SciTech – Scot Furness, Business Growth Manager
Growth, legal advice, scaling up, entry points for funding.

Marketing, How to market with very little funds– Room 4

Hosted by Praetura - Ben Davies, Group Marketing Director
Defining your USP, brand awareness, how marketing can help with funding.

Register your interest here

Interested in taking part or know someone else who might be?

Register your/their interest by emailing [email protected] in the first instance. please provide your name, company, contact details and a little about your business.

*We do ask that you commit to all 4 dates. A penalty charge may be incurred for non-attendance.

About the Speakers:

Scot Furness Business Growth Manager - Bruntwood SciTech

Scot supports innovative tech companies to grow and scale within the Bruntwood SciTech network which is home to a specialist community of over 500 of the country’s most disruptive science and technology businesses across 11 campuses UK wide.

As part of the Innovation Services team he provides connections across the ecosystem, directly supporting Tech SMEs in Manchester and Cheshire through partnership led activity, delivery of programmes, innovation events and thought leadership activity. With a passion for nurturing early stage businesses, helping them to navigate challenges, find effective solutions and build engagement with peers for successful collaborative outcomes.

Ben Davies Group Marketing Director - Praetura

Ben is the group marketing director for Praetura Group. As part of the wider group, Praetura Ventures is an award-winning tech and life sciences focused VC, born-and-bred in the North of England. Praised for its early backing of northern success stories such as Peak, XR Games and Culture Shift, the Manchester-based VC has now become known for its ‘more than money’ approach to supporting early-stage founders post investment. Before Praetura, he headed up the marketing for Social Chain’s media division around the time of its IPO. Ben also co-founded the alternative co-working and event space Ziferblat UK.

Sherelle Fairweather Digital Strategy Lead - Manchester City Council

As Digital Strategy Lead at Manchester City Council, Sherelle is responsible for the implementation of the citywide ambitious Digital Strategy, which focuses on the relationship between technology and socioeconomics within a place. Through the strategy, Sherelle drives citywide collaboration in aim to ensure – digitally skilled residents, future-proofed infrastructure, a thriving digital economy and a digitally enabled transition to zero-carbon. Sherelle has worked within the inequalities and social change space across the public and community sector for over 10 years now and is curious about the role of innovation to create valuable solutions that can benefit all.  

Vicky Protano Partner, Corporate Lawyer - Mills & Reeve LLP

Vicky is a partner in the Mills & Reeve corporate team with a particular focus in the life sciences, health and technology sectors. She works with clients on a variety of corporate matters including: disposals and acquisitions, investments (equity and debt); corporate governance; shareholder and joint venture arrangements and corporate restructures and reorganisations. Recent highlights include advising a number of management teams in the life sciences and biotech space on equity investments and additional fund raisings as well as a strategic restructure. Client feedback and why you would speak to Vicky about corporate issues:   “extremely knowledgeable, approachable and above all a pleasure to deal with.”

Interested In The Event?

For any further enquires about this event, contact [email protected]

Host and sponsor