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Nothing was off limits when some of Liverpool’s most exciting entrepreneurs were given exclusive access to some of the region’s most respected business leaders.

TechBlast’s FUEL Liverpool event, held at Clockwise Liverpool on Royal Albert Dock, saw almost 100 people attend a business breakfast where prominent figures from the city region’s tech scene shared their stories.

The event, which was supported by Growth Platform and Clockwise, then saw a series of masterclass pods that brought a cohort of more than 20 entrepreneurs together with 12 experts on funding, planning for growth, export and people.

Claire Newton, co-founder of Liverpool Locations, was part of the cohort. She said: “I didn’t know what to expect from today and I’ve been incredibly impressed. The quality of the people in the cohort and the experts was amazing.

“We are TV and film location managers and we’ve been doing this for over 20 years. We’ve started doing some training and we’re trying to find help and advice on where to find grant funding for ways of growing and scaling our business.”

FUEL Liverpool – expert advice on exports

James Chapman, co-founder of Decently, also formed part of the cohort. He said: “You go along to a lot of these events and come away with one or two things to think about. I’ve actually got a whole load of notes and insights from the different people, which is a reflection on the quality of the panel.

“The openness of the conversations surprised me. Nothing was off limits. We were encouraged to ask difficult questions.”

FUEL Liverpool – investment tips from the people who know

Helen Cross, digital and creative sector lead at Growth Platform, said: “It’s been a great event. Lots of energy in the room. People have really appreciated the access to the experts and the experts have benefited from hearing about the new tech businesses in the area.

“We’re looking forward to doing it again. It’s really good to hear from founders who have gone before you and it’s hugely beneficial to be able to ask them any questions you want.”

FUEL Liverpool group

Simon Roberts, CEO of Heatio, was one of the experts on the funding masterclass. He said: “There was a real split with people who had literally come up with an idea and were right at the start of their funding journey to people who had already done successful raises.

“If you’re a startup and you’re talking to someone who is just closing a round, you can relate to them rather than if it was just a room full of VCs.”

Kathryn Bell, CEO of Webinar Vet, formed part of the planning for growth masterclass. She said: “I thought it was fantastic. It’s the first time I’ve attended FUEL. You can ask anybody any questions you want. There are no barriers.

“I learnt loads. There are things that I take for granted which other people don’t know and I’m able to share that. That was rewarding for me.”

FUEL Liverpool – experts explain how to plan for growth

The cohort was made up of Rob March, Gigmate; Rob Sims, Sum Vivas; Daniel Isler, D Squared; George Jones, Emerging Data Technologies; Tom Reynolds, EdenFiftyOne; Adam Galloway, LeafAI; James Chapman, Decently; Alex Moretti, Fallen Planet Studios; Paul Malone, MovingSoon; James McArdle, Atomik; Tom Woodroof, Mutual Credit Services; Carl Grainger, VizBox; Steven Ingley, Sigma Technology; Alex Keyter, Generative Minds; Dave Burrows, Damibu; George Huang, AllGreen; Claire Newton, Liverpool Locations; Paul Byrne, Pin IoT; Phil Melia, BreezeMove; James Barber, Jamescape; Anthony Sutcliffe, director, Clippr Fall and Impact Cushioning Systems; and Matthew Olugbemi, senior product manager, Gumtree South Africa.

The masterclass experts were Dean Ward, Evoke; Louise Chapman, investment director, Praetura; Simon Roberts, Heatio; Kathryn Bell, Webinar Vet; John Lucy, HaulageHub; Mark Sykes, BDO; James Robb, Blue Circle HR by CG; Raina Heverin, ReCulture/Supplywell; Justine Jenkins, Race Equality Hub; Antony Shimmin, Mycardium AI; Kellie Noon, Interkultura; and Madina Barker, CNC Robotics.

The speakers at the earlier business breakfast were Claire Lewis, Baltic Ventures; Heather Gray, Clockwise; Alex Hatchman, NED, board director and advisor; plus Ward, Barker and Lucy.

FUEL Liverpool – how to build a ‘dream team’