Northern Max Accelerator: Celebrating the Class of 2024's Innovation Journey

Last week, the newly revamped Northern Max Accelerator programme reached its pinnacle at Nexus in Leeds. A cohort of 22 business leaders from Leeds and Bradford engaged in an intensive series of workshops, masterclasses, and mentoring sessions, culminating in a pitch to a panel of judges. Now in its seventh year, the Northern Max Accelerator has, for the first time, unified entrepreneurs from both regions, generating new opportunities for growth and learning.

Adopting Greenborough Management’s 10×10 method, the programme’s conclusion featured live pitches to a panel of experienced investors and introducers. The esteemed panel included Colin Glass OBE, Jeremy Meadowcroft – Investment Manager for Finance For Enterprise, and Nick Hird of ViDrate, a successful participant from the 2022 Northern Max cohort.

Reflecting on his experience as a judge, Nick Hird remarked, “Being invited back due to ViDrate’s success since participating in the Northern Max Accelerator was amazing. Congratulations to everyone for your hard work crafting your pitches.”

For the first time, Leeds City Council collaborated with Bradford Council for this year’s programme, which also received support from the early-stage business support initiative, AD:VENTURE. The AD:VENTURE programme is a clear next step for the cohort, as they’ll gain access to grants, support and further mentoring. Marianne Smith, Business Manager for Leeds has already been supporting a number of delegates on this year’s cohort and looks forward to supporting their next growth chapter.

Phil Cole, Head of Business Support at Leeds City Council attended the final event, commending the entrepreneurs for their dedication and commitment.

Russell Copley, Founder of Greenborough Management and co-founder of the 10×10 programme, expressed his admiration: “The calibre of businesses that applied for this year’s programme has been incredible. Many of the businesses have received support from other investors or Innovate UK and are continually focused on growth. It’s truly exciting to see what this region can produce.”

On the day, 15 tech-focused businesses presented their pitches, but Ian Taylor of Blue Sky Events took the trophy, by unanimous decision. Ian, who previously accepted an offer from James Caan on BBC’s Dragon’s Den but chose not to proceed, impressed the judges with his digital screen events company. His extensive business experience and compelling pitch won the day.

The businesses that put forward their proposition include:

  • Mark Scott, Tooth Fruitz
  • Helen Hill, Be The Future
  • Camille Sainsbury, Safe Space Labs
  • Rose Bartlett, CPD Mastery
  • Bobby Hussain, Zvaado
  • Nikki Jarvis-Jones, DMD Design
  • Paul Turnbull, Megapixel Photography
  • Michelle Veasy, My Growth Engine
  • Ian Taylor, Blue Sky Events
  • Danielle Stride, Glass & Green Interiors
  • Jermaine Benjamin for Elly Nettleton, Boost Talent
  • Dr Xina Gooding Broderick, Mother of Abundance
  • Will Gadd, Ilkley Brickwork
  • Emil Hussain, Stamp
  • Azri Mukthar, Crown Automation


Businesses based in West Yorkshire looking to scale and grow should register their interest with the AD:VENTURE programme. AD:VENTURE provides ambitious new businesses with a tailored programme of support to help to them grow. The support includes advice from a business manager, access to loans and finance, workshops and grants. Find out if your business is eligible, here.


This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.