The Northern Stars 2016 Grand Final: An evening in pictures

Northern Stars, Rising Stars, Early Stage

Martin BryantMartin Bryant, November 18, 2016

This article was originally posted on the Tech North website.

Last night saw 10 companies crowned our 2016 Northern Stars.

The Grand Final was an epic event spanning five hours, plus extra time for networking at the end. Here are some highlights, as captured for us by Tynesight Photographic Services.

The venue was Manchester’s historic Old Granada Studios. ITV recently moved out to a new facility in Salford Quays, but many in the North West have fond memories of this building, as countless magical hours of television were made here. One attendee told me he was last there to sing as part of a children’s choir in the 1970s, on a show presented by local legend Tony Wilson.

venue

The event began with an introduction from the man who made Northern Stars happen, Tech North’s Matt Jeffs-Watts.

matt-jeffs-watts

Our host for the evening was tech journalist Georgie Barrat. Although she’s based in London, she was raised in Altrincham and was happy to be working in the North.

georgie-barrat

Simon Calver of BGF Ventures took us through the early days of his own entrepreneurial journey…

simon-calver

Richard Potter of Peak, one of last year’s winners, told us about how Northern Stars helped him. The startup met investors on the Northern Stars programme that ended up participating in the company’s £1 million round this year. Last year’s winning teams are still friends and plan to meet up for a pre-Christmas drink soon.

richard-potter

Then it was time to be introduced to the judges… Karen Kerrigan of Seedrs, Harry Davies of Open Future_North and Simon Calver of BGF Ventures.

judges

Our first 10 finalists pitched their businesses and were grilled by the judges…

It was time for a quick networking break. 20 pitches in one go would be too much for any mere mortal.

networking

And then we heard from the second batch of 10 finalists…

While the judges deliberated and selected the 10 winners, we all dined on Mexican street food.

food

And then Georgie and Matt were back to announce the winners.

matt-and-georgie

Congratulations to Airtime RewardsAsh.tvDream AgilityDueCourseLivingLensProxiSmartRadio.coSwapbotsTopicDNA and Valuechain.

winners-2