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The North West's largest student conference

Speaker schedule Get tickets

25th February 2017, 8:30am-5:30pm + afterparty

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Over 200 Students, Graduates, and Entrepreneurial minds will gather together in Manchester on 25th February 2017 to network, learn and be inspired!

We want to awaken your entrepreneurial potential and welcome you to our annual WhatNext? Conference. This jam-packed day will allow you to hear from a range of leading entrepreneurs and visionaries. Alongside talks we'll also be holding a variety of workshops designed to stretch and challenge your thoughts and opinions. Previous workshops have been facilitated by Uber, Dotforge and Ignite. Expect another great selection of workshop leaders this year at WhatNext? 2017. Registration for the workshops will take place in the morning.

Included in each ticket is free breakfast and lunch, free nibbles and refreshments throughout the day, and free afterparty drinks at VIVA Manchester. This is Manchester Entrepreneur's flagship event of the year and we'd love for you to join us. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch.

View last year's live blog

Thanks to our sponsors...

...and partners

Hear from internationally renowned speakers

Previous events have brought us an array of inspiration speakers

Louis-James Davis, Emma Jones, Fraser Williams, River Tamoor Baig, James Akrigg, Martin Bryant, Keith Mabbutt, Peter Sage, Tom Cheesewright, John Bird, Steve Bartlett, Alex Depledge, Solly Sol, James Eder, Tony Anderson, Jonathan May, Jessica Huie, Neil Clough, George Burgess, Caleb Meakins, Piers Ridyard

Network with like-minded individuals

You never know who you might meet

We welcome individuals from all walks of life, from freshers to final year students, to graduates and professionals. Whether you're looking for a busines partner or just to hang out with people of similar interests, come along and say hi.

Pitch a business idea for the chance to win

£250 cash prize + ticket to Business Rocks 2017

To enter, please submit a 1 minute video of your pitch to us on twitter @m_entrepreneurs or send a Facebook message to us directly. Please make sure you state whether you are entering the Business or Digital category. You must have purchased a ticket to enter. Finalists will be invited to pitch to the audience. Elevator pitch (1min), no slides.

WhatNext? 2017 schedule


Registration opens


John Warburton

WhatNext? Conference 2017 host

Before setting-up jwc, the multi award-winning PR company, John Warburton worked for news organisations including the BBC, The Sunday Times and The Sun. As a journalist he went on tour with the Happy Mondays, had his socks set on fire and got trapped on the roof of a bus. So he wrote a best-selling book about it. Working in broadcast he created TV and radio shows and these days he uses his unrivalled media knowledge to run jwc, a Manchester PR and digital communications company which specialises in media relations for B2B and B2C businesses across a number of sectors. For a hobby John performs stand-up comedy at theatres and comedy clubs – including the world famous Comedy Store - and counts many of today’s household names as friends.


Naomi Timperley

Founder, mentor, speaker, trainer and connector

Naomi runs Coo Digital and is Cofounder of Tech North Advocates. She is also a mentor, TEDx speaker, trainer, connector and chair of Capitol Pilot, an investment platform. Naomi was named in 'The Maserati 100' 2015 - a definitive list of Britain's most successful business leaders actively supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs.


Amy Dickens

Women in technology advocate

Amy is a Research Student at The Mixed Reality Laboratory, currently working with The Able Orchestra Project looking at enabling interactions with sound technologies. She is also lead organiser of the Women in Technology conference at The University of Nottingham & HackSoc's Inclusivity and Outreach Secretary.


Alessandro Palladini

Innovation Team Lead at MUSIC Group

Alessandro is a musician, sound engineer and team leader at The MUSIC Group innovation department. The MUSIC Group is one of the world's most innovative and largest holding companies for some of the finest brands in the audio industry. Their cutting edge technology products are found everywhere from professional recording studios to stadiums.




John Kershaw

Founder and CEO of M14 Industries

John is the founder and CEO of M14 Industries. M14 Industries build technology to power niche dating websites. Their first dating app is Bristlr with over 150,000 members, connecting those with beards to those who want to stroke beards. John has recently appeared on Dragon's Den where he was called one of the most investable people to have been on the show.


Bruce Walker

We Are The Future founder

Bruce is a 22 year old entrepreneur and founder of We Are The Future. His organisation hosts entrepreneurship summits across the world to bring together business leaders, innovators and startups. In addition to being a passionate social entrepreneur he is also Chairman of The Entrepreneur's Foundation, Board Adviser at Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce and Partner at FutureX.



Menu 1: Chicken Curry and Rice
Menu 2: Vegetable Lasagna
Menu 3: Vegan Chickpea Curry


Manchester, a small city of big opportunity

With Lisa Tse of Sweet Mandarin, Henry Barclay of VST Enterprises and Sam Coley of TickX. Hosted by Damian Kysely of Hack Partners.

In The City have curated a panel of renowned entrepreneurs for a discussion on life as an entrepreneur in Manchester. We'll be talking through opportunities that exist in Manchester as a city, the importance of fostering a community, as well as learning a bit more about what personally makes these entrepreneurs tick. Lisa is the CEO and brainchild behind the modern fusion food experience of Sweet Mandarin, an award winning Chinese restaurant in Manchester. Lisa won the prestigious award of Best Local Chinese Restaurant 2009/10 on the F Word. Henry has spent the last 4 years running operations in tech startups. Henry is the director of a vast network of decision makers through In The City Club where he connects startups to investors, corporates to charities, working to grow the economy. Sam started his first business at age 14 and SAMTEQ, his software development company, at just 16. Most recently Sam co-founded TickX, a ticket search engine, and in early 2017 turned down three investment opportunities whilst pitching the company on Dragon's Den.


Dr Maria Stukoff

Head of Digital at BBC Academy

Maria is Head of Digital at the BBC Academy. She is responsible for the engagement and user experience of Academy users and delegates across all digital channels including virtual and online learning, web, mobile, social and emerging channels for the BBC.




Workshop A: The Venture Capital Mindset

Campus Capital is a Venture Capital fund that works in partnership UK’s leading universities. They provide an opportunity for students to part-run the fund and experience investing from a VC’s side of the table. Their workshop will be on everything Venture Capital for entrepreneurs and startups.


Workshop B: Pitching Your Business To Investors

Entrepreneurial Spark is the world's largest free six-month business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures. Together with their partners like NatWest, RBS, KPMG Enterprise and Dell EMC, they offer specialist mentoring, investment opportunities and pitching training. Their workshop will be on how to effectively pitch your business idea to investors.


Workshop C: Finding Your Personal Development Compass

Revolution Hive is a personal development organisation primary focused on working with young people to drive social impact by helping them transform their lives through personal development. Their workshop will be on finding your life's mission, the importance of self-development and applying that to building your business.


WhatNext? Conference 2017 Pitch Competition


Tim Langley

Founder of CANDDi

Tim is the CEO and founder of CANDDi, an innovative marketing platform that gives companies real insight into their customer's online interactions. Since 2001 Tim has founded five companies and worked with organisations such as Orange, DHL and TelSur. Tim is active in the startup community and regularly provides advice and assistance to other startups across Manchester.


Closing remarks from Manchester Entrepreneurs


Afterparty at VIVA Manchester

The Comedy Store

Arches 3 and 4 Deansgate Locks
Whitworth Street West
M1 5LH

Check out last year's live blog

We had the guys from included.co live blogging the event last year. Tweets, photos and videos as it happened.

Playbyplay liveblog