Climb23, a new business festival aimed at bringing the investment ecosystem and tech startup and scaleup community together, will take place in Leeds on May 23rd-24th. 

Hosted by Investor Ladder, the event will provide content-rich sessions and networking opportunities to help investors and businesses overcome the challenges faced when accessing potential beyond their own local networks – and accelerate investment into regional ecosystems.

Taking place at Leeds Dock, the inaugural event will feature interactive workshops, roundtables and keynotes covering some of the latest trends and challenges for businesses at all stages of their growth journey.

With more than 150 globally renowned speakers across the two days, Climb23 will cover everything from how impact investing is driving positive social change, to what VCs look for in a startup. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Jennifer Byrne; former Microsoft CTO and CEO of Arrived Workforce Connections
  • Alastair Bathgate; founder, Blue Prism
  • Nick Glicher; chief operating officer, Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • Gareth Mitchell; technology journalist BBC
  • Anishka Prasad; head of strategy, Future VC
  • Check Warner; partner, Ada Ventures

Gordon Bateman, founder of Investor Ladder and Climb23, said: “National and international investors often find it hard to navigate regional ecosystems and find the time to source deals outside of their own geographical networks. 

“Similarly, business leaders looking for funding are focused on day-to-day operations and don’t always have the time or knowledge to make relevant introductions or to confidently identify the right people. 

“Climb23 exists to change that. We want to connect the dots in a meaningful way, to showcase some of the incredible innovation happening in cities outside of London and to accelerate investment into local and regional ecosystems.”

Attendees can also make connections, collaborate and learn from those at all stages of their growth journey. Sessions are designed to inspire discussion and help attendees to build their network. 

“It could be investors from different cities meeting for the first time, or an entrepreneur learning from someone who is eighteen months ahead in their journey,’’ adds Gordon Bateman. “At the end of some of these sessions, attendees will leave with up to 20 new contacts relevant to their organisation.”

Climb23 – bringing investment & tech ecosystems together

To facilitate networking, all attendees will have access to the Climb23 app which allows delegates to make connections, request meetings and access festival content for up to six months after the event.

Cian Hughes, head of Platform Sure Valley Ventures, said: “At Sure Valley Ventures, we seek out unique events that have a different approach to engaging, collaborating and learning. Climb23 is set to deliver this with a festival-style environment and real networking opportunities for the innovation ecosystem. 

“As an early-stage investor with a software focus, we are excited to meet disruptive start-ups in the Artificial Intelligence space and connect with other investors, policy makers and industry experts and build our community.”

Zandra Moore, CEO of Panintelligence added: “As a female founder and tech entrepreneur Climb23 can make the difference between growing and scaling rapidly. Climb23 is an amazing opportunity for personal growth and networking just on my doorstep in Leeds. 

“I also love that it costs less than a train ticket to London to attend. Better still it is full of investors and leaders from all over the country. That’s going to save me a fortune in time and train tickets!”

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