Industry leaders add weight to Business Festival

July 3, 2018

Twelve high profile business leaders are heading up the key sectors in the 2018 Coventry & Warwickshire Business Festival in November.


Developed by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, this year’s Festival - running from 19 November to 30 November, will see 100 business events taking place throughout Coventry and Warwickshire over the fortnight.


The aim of the Business Festival is to encourage collaboration, networking, innovation, learning and sharing opportunities amongst the business community. The diverse range of brilliant events and businesses involved in the Festival showcase Coventry and Warwickshire’s commercial proficiency, investment potential and strengths – particularly in knowledge and innovation.


A particularly effective way of getting this message across is through the industry sectors, allowing the region’s specific achievements and successes to be highlighted.


There are a total of ten sectors in the Festival which have all been identified as important to the economic growth of the area through their strength or potential. Each sector is led by at least one industry professional who is well-known and extremely knowledgeable in their field of expertise.


Sector leads will act as a spokesperson on key topics that are relevant to the sector. They also champion the Business Festival and their industry, and help to target professional networks and connections, as well as promoting and cultivating attendees to attend festival events.


This year’s sector leads are:

  • Automotive & Advanced Manufacturing - David Keene, founder and chief executive of the RDM Group & Aurrigo

  • Business and Communications - Craig Humphrey, managing director of the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub & Stuart Mackintosh, chief executive and founder of OpusVL

  • Construction and Property - Peter Deeley, managing director, Deeley Construction

  • Education - Paul Fairburn, director, enterprise and innovation, Coventry University; Marion Plant, principal, North Warwickshire, Hinckley and South Leicestershire Colleges; Pat Tissington, academic director (employability & skills), University of Warwick

  • Games Development and Serious Gaming - Helen Routledge, chief executive officer, Totem Learning

  • Health and Wellbeing - Dr Anne Coufopoulos, associate dean (enterprise & commercial) at Coventry University, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences

  • Logistics - Adrian de Courcey, chief executive officer of Travel de Courcey

  • Professional & Financial Service - Steven Mugglestone, associate director at Harrison Beale and Owen

  • Tourism and Culture - David Burbidge, chairman of the Coventry City of Culture Trust

  • (The Creative & Digital sector lead will additionally be announced shortly)

David Keene, founder and chief executive of the RDM Group & Aurrigo is sector lead for Automotive. He said, “The Automotive industry and manufacturing have been the driving forces behind the Coventry and Warwickshire region for over a hundred years and now once again we are leading the world in the development of advanced vehicle technologies, electrification and autonomous vehicles.


“The Business Festival presents a brilliant opportunity to push these innovations – and we are currently seeking sponsors and events in these industries to help to showcase to the rest of the world the pioneering work that goes on in this sector in Coventry and Warwickshire.”


Steven Mugglestone, Professional & Financial Services sector lead, associate director at Harrison Beale and Owen, said, “The principal role of the Professional and Financial Services Sector within the Coventry and Warwickshire region is to help businesses thrive. The depth and breadth of expertise accountancy, tax and financial expertise accessible locally ensures SMEs have access to sound advice and practical support on their doorstep, wherever they are on their business journey.”


“This is traditionally a popular sector in the Business Festival because of its strength and we will be looking to share the wealth of knowledge to help other businesses in the region to learn, develop and grow. We are also looking for Professional & Financial Services businesses to get involved for the benefit of the sector and the region alike.”


Craig Humphrey, managing director of the Coventry & Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, said, “I would like to thank the sector leads for their commitment and contribution to the Business Festival. These individuals are vital to its success. Their extensive networks and links to industry will be invaluable in promoting Coventry and Warwickshire to a wider audience and driving investment from beyond of the region.


“Last year, 23 per cent of attendees came from outside of the region and we want to continue to attract interest in this area on a regional and national level. This is the second year of the Business Festival. It is the largest business event in the region and we want to show the UK what this great region has to offer.”


Any organisation can apply to run an event in the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Festival. Event applications are being taken on a first come, first served basis via the website until 28 September.


Opportunities are still available to sponsor or partner the Business Festival which could lead to substantial benefits such as extensive brand exposure, guaranteed connections, introductions and business lead prospects.


For more information or to get involved, visit or email

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