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Tech entrepreneur takes GM Business Growth Hub ‘innovation ambassador’ role

A successful tech entrepreneur has been appointed to the new role of ‘innovation ambassador’ by the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub.

Nick Richardson, who set up the market intelligence company The Insights Family in 2016 and helped steer its turnover to more than £4 million, is to be official ambassador and mentor and provide insights and expertise to firms across the region as part of the Innovation Navigator programme. He will work across Greater Manchester and its local authorities to help accelerate the commercialisation and growth of businesses.

Richardson said: “GM Business Growth Hub has been a huge part of The Insights Family’s journey almost from day one. Without their support, guidance, counsel and introductions, there is no way we would have achieved what we have.

“So, when I was approached about getting involved as an ambassador and mentor for this fantastic innovation programme, I didn’t have to think twice.”

Nick’s career at the Insights Family has seen him oversee triple digit growth in the first five years of operation, and a successful £5.6 million investment round by BGF, one of the largest and most experienced growth capital investors in the UK and Ireland, to enable further scaling of the business with the launch of London and US offices.

In 2022, he was awarded an honorary degree in innovation from the University of Bolton for his contributions, and in 2024 he was shortlisted as a Regional Finalist for the coveted EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

He added: “My message to businesses in Greater Manchester is simple: stand still in this market environment and you will ultimately die; innovate, and you’ll probably create opportunities beyond your wildest dreams.

“If you come into this programme with an open mind, and recognise where you are as a business, this is the chance to accelerate your competitiveness.”

The Innovation Navigator programme is focused on turbocharging business innovation projects from delivery to market, promptly, without complication and at no cost to the business.

It is a perfect fit for businesses who operate or want to operate in the artificial intelligence (AI), data and advanced computing, diagnostics and genomics, and sustainable advanced materials sectors.

The initiative, which is set to run until March 2025, will see businesses in the area receive specialist advice aimed at bringing new ideas to the market. In addition, businesses will gain greater knowledge and the programme will equip them with the skills for future growth.

Yvonne Grady, head of innovation at the GM Business Growth Hub, said: “Nick is going to be a huge asset to the Growth Hub’s Innovation Navigator programme. He has experience and insights businesses across the region will benefit from. We are delighted to appoint him to the role.

“Being the official ambassador and mentor will mean firms in Greater Manchester will get even more targeted support so they can bring their innovative products to market.”

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