By Daniel Hunter

Angus Thirlwell, co-founder of Hotel Chocolat, the luxury chocolate manufacturer, and James Averdieck, founder of Gü, the dessert brand which has been credited with revolutionising the market, have been confirmed as speakers at this year’s VentureDay taking place at Cranfield University on 9 May.

Since it began in 2008, VentureDay has become a hugely popular event for entrepreneurs, investors, and advisors. Dr Stephanie Hussels from the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield who organises the conference commented: “Entrepreneurship is a key aspect of the modern economy and at Cranfield our aim is to equip people with the knowledge, confidence, and capabilities to start and grow their businesses. VentureDay brings together a network of successful and experienced business people to debate current issues facing owner-managers and to share their secrets of success.”

With the Bettany Centre celebrating 25 years of the Business Growth and Development Programme (BGP) this year, VentureDay 2013 draws upon BGP themes including; getting more out of your existing business and creative ways of selling a business.

Debra Charles, BGP alumna and recent recipient of the Cranfield Entrepreneur Alumnus of the Year award will be talking about her journey in establishing the leading technology company Novacroft which designs and develops smart ticketing solutions for the transport industry.

BGP alumni Tristram Mayhew, chief gorilla of GoApe and Jon Thornes, founder of Cool Milk, will also be speaking at the conference along with some of the UK’s most renowned entrepreneurs to share their experience and expertise on entrepreneurship.

Along with keynote presentations from James Averdieck and Debra Charles, the day will include contributions from Darren Westlake, CEO and founder of Crowdcube, Antony Ross, partner and head of the social entrepreneurs fund at Bridges Ventures and David Higgins, founder of Harvey Nash.

Jonathan Moules, enterprise correspondent at the Financial Times will be joining a panel including Guy Rigby, partner and head of entrepreneurs at Smith & Williamson and Andy Bond, director of the investment management company, Woodcliffe Associates, to discuss what the future holds for entrepreneurs.

As well as being an excellent networking opportunity, conference delegates also benefit from exposure to Cranfield’s latest pioneering research and insights on entrepreneurial issues.

The event is supported by several organisations including Milton Keynes based law firm EMW. Nick Lloyd, partner in the corporate team at EMW, commented: “We are delighted to support this year’s VentureDay, particularly as it is celebrating 25 years of the Cranfield Business Growth and Development Programme. In the region, and possibly the UK, there is no other forum where we can engage with so many of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs as well as the incredibly successful entrepreneurs of today.”

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