Month: August 2018

Creating opportunities from Digital Disruption TED style @ Wakefield Business Week 2018

SME Advice

As technology evolves at increasing speed, so too do the threats and opportunities to businesses…of all shapes and sizes.  So in this constantly shifting digital world, how do you future proof your business, to both manage the threats and seize the opportunities?

As part of the diverse events offering at Wakefield Business Week 2018, AD:VENTURE is delivering an innovative event offering businesses the chance to hear from Silicone Valley experts on innovation practice, Herman Gyr Ph.D. and Laszlo Gyorffy M.S.  on how  to positively deal with dramatic disruption brought about by technological developments.

The event is the brainchild of Keith Evans and Cara Brundle , sector development manager’s for Wakefield Council, who run a range of specialist sector support programmes for Wakefield District as part of the wider AD:VENTURE offer of supporting new and young businesses to thrive in the Leeds City Region.

Keith comments “Wakefield Business Week is a perfect opportunity to bring new business owners together and offer them practical and valuable insights on how to develop their products and services in a cost effective and forward thinking way. We  wanted to deliver something a bit different, and we are delighted to have secured Herman and Laszlo to deliver this TED style talk . They  have the experience and knowledge to empower our districts businesses to take hold of the opportunities presented by digital disruption, and not to fall victim to the pitfalls of failing to future proof for change.

Cara says “I would highly recommend businesses from across the Wakefield District and wider Leeds City Region come along to this event. It’s not only an opportunity to hear from global leaders on digital change and innovation, but delegates will also have the opportunity to network with each other and connect with us and the wider team to access the wide range of support we can through the AD:VENTURE programme”

Digital Disruption: Survival or Growth?

What, Who , Where and When?

Herman Gyr Ph.D. and Laszlo Gyorffy M.S. are among Silicon Valley’s leading experts on innovation practice, change management and helping business deal with dramatic disruption.


For over 20 years they have worked across the globe helping businesses refocus, redesign and re-energise their business strategies, ensuring that even in periods of considerable change, they are able to reach their full potential.

Their knowledge and insight is invaluable, they are also published authors, highly skilled facilitators and presenters. Their client list reads like a who’s, who of global corporate giants and include Apple, the BBC, Intel, EDF Energy, Swisscom and Toyota.



Their TED-style keynote will inspire you to embrace innovation, to find out what digital technologies are transforming business across the world and how you could apply these innovations.

Leave with the confidence to:

  • Cut costs and improve productivity
  • Transform your customer experience
  • Create new products and opportunities
  • Improve customer experience

The event will include a panel discussion with leading experts in this field and a light buffet with networking.


Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre
Wakefield College
Wakefield City Campus
Margaret Street

This event is delivered by AD:VENTURE as part of Wakefield Business Week

AD:VENTURE offers a range of growth support to pre-start, new and young businesses under 3 years old across the Leeds City Region. You will be able to discuss support options with the AD:VENTURE team at this event.


New Business mentoring

Crimson Bear, the Craven based company that is rapidly-expanding and supplies designer radiators and electrical heating products, is on track to turnover £2m thanks in part to the support that it received from ERDF funded business programme, AD:VENTURE.

Securing a total of £6,754 in match-funded support, Crimson Bear used the cash to set the foundations for the future with investment made towards the purchase of equipment for the office such as desktop PC’s, furniture, IT kit, desks and storage.

Thanks to this initial contribution from AD:VENTURE, the Directors of Crimson Bear, Paul Johnson and Andrew Smith, have grown the business from being a start-up to the success it is today.

Endorsed by Dragon’s Den star, Theo Paphitis, the central heating business now counts B&Q,, Frontline Bathrooms, Buy It Direct Group, Better Bathrooms and Yesss Electrical as its customers. Furthermore, the team also have cause for celebration after being named Micro Business of the Year at the 2018 Keighley and Airedale Business Awards.

Business funding

Paul Johnson, comments: “When we launched the business we always intended to grow but by accessing the AD:VENTURE programme we were able to move our plans forward and put them into practice far sooner. Thanks to the grant and the practical support we were able to benefit from, we are now on track to turnover £2m, which is excellent news.

“We have also created jobs with the appointment of an Online Trading Manager and a Stock Warehouse Controller. In addition, we have invested in two local apprentices who will complete their studies this year and be offered full-time positions with the business.”

Business Advisor for AD:VENTURE, Ian Rhodes, comments: “Crimson Bear had a really strong business plan and a clear vision for the future. Seeing the growth potential of the company made them an excellent applicant to the AD:VENTURE programme. As well as offering match-funded business grant support, we could also provide practical advice that will set them in good stead for years to come.”

Councillor Simon Myers, Lead Member for Enterprising Craven at Craven District Council, adds: “This is a further positive story for us to share with others that may be considering starting up a business. Not only has Crimson Bear become an award-winning example of entrepreneurship, but their continued success and future plans will have a direct economic impact in Craven.

“Knowing that they have already created jobs and have plans for further expansion is really encouraging. It’s great to see how the company has gone from being a home-based start-up to the success it is today. This is also a further example of how programmes like AD:VENTURE, which are here to support young and start-up businesses, are doing just that.”

Beginning the business from a dining room table, just 18 months later the company secured B&Q as a customer. Expanding rapidly, the team quickly realised that they would require premises to work from and also space to store stock.

Approaching local freight company, Joda Freight in Cross Hills, the business rented space in a warehouse and had a Portakabin based next to the offices but due to its planned expansion, Crimson Bear now has its own dedicated space and continues to put in place a low cost and scale-able model.

Future success is planned with the business now gaining the recognition it deserves as it continues to provide designer radiators and electrical heating products from Accuro Korle, Terma, Carisa and several other manufacturers.

Find out more about the AD:VENTURE programme and the events, support and initiatives that it delivers through the Leeds City Region.


Digital growth

AD:VENTURE has added further talent to its growing Yorkshire-based team with the appointment of a new Business Engagement Manager, who will liaise with young digital companies in Calderdale to highlight the range of business support available through Leeds Beckett University.

Before securing her current position with AD:VENTURE, Deborah Hetherington worked as a Business Development Executive at Top 100 Law Firm, Ward Hadaway, in Leeds.

This strategic appointment will support a wider programme of activity with the intention of developing Calderdale’s growing digital and creative sector to create a legacy for young talent in the region.

Explaining that the job ‘literally jumped off the page’ due to her keen interest in the region’s digital landscape, Deborah will engage with digital start-ups to learn more about each business that she supports with a range of funding, events and practical assistance.

As part of her new role, Deborah will create personalised business support programmes encompassing the skills and offerings from Leeds Beckett University, to help companies to flourish and to put in place plans for future growth.

Digital Growth2

Deborah comments: “Working with Leeds Beckett University, I want to ensure that businesses working in the digital and creative sector in Calderdale and across the Leeds City Region have access to professional help and support that they need.

“We know that there has been a notable increase in the number of start-up businesses within this industry and we want to give them every opportunity to become leading experts within their field.”

Christine Robinson, Post Award Manager Enterprise Services from Leeds Beckett University, comments: “Through our partnership with AD:VENTURE, we know that we are able to bring our resources together to benefit more start-up businesses.

“We can see the potential that digital businesses in the region have and want to offer our support so that they can reach their potential more quickly. Through our activities, advice and guidance we hope to make Calderdale an area that is renowned for its digital business and talents.”

Cllr Barry Collins, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy at Calderdale Council – one of the AD:VENTURE funding partner organisations – comments: “There is no doubt that the digital and creative sector in our area is thriving, and that’s why it’s so important that we put in place the support that these businesses need.

“It’s not just about creating new jobs but about using this opportunity to really put Calderdale on the map and make it known for successful digital business. This is part of the Vision 2024 for Calderdale to be a place where people want to live, work, visit and invest.”

Not afraid to push herself to her limits to feel a sense of achievement, two years ago Deborah flew out to Malawi to build a school, after raising money by completing the National Three Peak Challenge in 24 hours and cycling 184 miles of Hadrian’s Wall in just two and a half days.

With a full schedule of activity planned to support start-ups and young business, Deborah is preparing for the Calderdale Digital Summit, which she is organising for the end of September.

Deborah adds: “The summit will include talks on artificial intelligence, AR/VR, women in tech and social media. Its aim is to highlight the support that is available to digital start-up companies in Calderdale and to showcase the area as a viable option for others that are considering launching.”

To find out more about Digital Shift and the Digital Shift summit visit