Leeds: Inspiring innovation on an international stage

Leeds and the City Region takes its place on the international stage this January, with visitors from across the world seeing first-hand how Leeds inspires innovation.

The visit is part of a prestigious programme, offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan Global Programs, which shares experiences of building innovation driven ecosystems in more than 50 regions around the world.

Developing its own ambitious plans for the city and region, Leeds is hosting the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP) international workshop, taking the opportunity to showcase its strengths to global leaders.

“We’re very proud that MIT has identified Leeds and the City Region as having the right ingredients to create a truly remarkable environment to support enterprise and inclusive growth,” said Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, from the University of Leeds, who leads MIT REAP Leeds Team.

“To kick-start the week, we’re giving our international visitors a glimpse of how we’re creating an innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem, building on our history as a region that has always championed innovation, alongside new ways of inspiring, incentivising and empowering entrepreneurs and start-ups.

“We want to be known as a place where entrepreneurs can start and grow their businesses, where entrepreneurs, government, industry, finance and academia come together as a collective force, and where people can access the right networks and funding to take their ideas to the next level.”

The University’s innovation hub, Nexus, is hosting an Innovation Exchange event as part of the Leeds showcase, with an exhibition of organisations and networks that support access to talent, technology and investors. International delegates will also be guided on special ‘innovation ecosystem’ tours, designed to reveal how Leeds currently inspires innovation, offering international delegates a chance to meet Leeds’ budding and established entrepreneurs.

Included in the Leeds Team is entrepreneur and CitiPark Managing Director, Ben Ziff, with the various organisations and individuals hosting the ‘innovation ecosystem’ tours.

“To be chosen as host for the MIT workshop is a testament to Leeds City Region’s longstanding history of championing innovation and empowering start-ups. This is an important milestone for Leeds which will undoubtedly unlock many doors, ideas and huge economic growth for our great city.” said Ben Ziff.

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