ed/ge is a specialist provider of innovation support.

We work with public, private and third sector organisations who need help to drive innovation in their own operations or are looking for specialist expertise to support the delivery of client services.

Our team of innovation and business growth experts brings together a range of skills that are matched to projects based on a client’s needs.

With offices in Sunderland and Darlington, we have a wide regional and national network meaning we can bring the latest thinking on innovation from across the business world to the table, and where needed draft in support from specialists to augment our already strong team.

We’ve helped organisations embed the latest innovation practices, deliver high-profile innovation events and support product and service development.

Our work

Innovation SuperNetwork

We worked to establish an Innovation SuperNetwork for North East England. A unique concept and the first ‘supernetwork’ of its kind, the project secured over £1m in funding from public and private sector partners, leading to a 36-month ERDF project through a special purpose vehicle we established with the North East LEP. It now works with 60 partners across the North of England and beyond, connecting 5000+ businesses.

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Innovate Tees Valley Project

Teesside University came to us for help with embedding a three-year innovation support programme as part of an ERDF-funded project. The outputs included dedicated 1:1 support for small businesses, arrangement of over 300 meetings between small businesses and investors, innovation workshops and three large-scale innovation conferences attracting almost 1000 delegates in total.

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VentureFest North East

Our team launched the highly successful VentureFest North East innovation conference in 2013 as part of a programme working with Innovate UK. Since its inception, the conference has grown in scale and impact attracting over 700 delegates annually, including investors, high-profile speakers and businesses from all sectors to share knowledge and innovation learning.

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Access to Finance: FinanceCamp

FinanceCamp is our access to finance programme, developed in partnership with the Innovation SuperNetwork. We’ve exported the format across the wider North – to support businesses in accessing the investment they need to grow via one-to-one meetings with investors and lenders. The programme facilitates more than 500 connections between businesses and investors each year, leading to £millions in investment.

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Access to Finance: Entrepreneurs of the North

Delivered in partnership with the UK British Angels Association (UKBAA), Entrepreneurs of the North is where we work closely with businesses from across the Northern Powerhouse to perfect their pitch before they travel to London and meet investors who are proactively looking to expand their portfolio. Since 2017, we’ve provided quality investment opportunities to 160 equity investors.

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Team ed/ge

Alan Holmes


Alan has supported innovation in business through a number of positions including as Chair of the Innovation SuperNetwork. Whilst at North East Finance, he launched the Routes to Investment range of activities and services. He has expertise in a range of markets including, business to business, education, public sector, construction and engineering.

Simon Green

Chief Executive

Simon’s background is in product development, having run innovation teams in small businesses, corporates and academia. Simon’s specialism is in building innovation networks, access to finance and managing relationships between organisations.

Estelle Blanks


Estelle has over 15 years’ experience within senior positions for both public and private sector organisations, including Newcastle Science City, Urban Foresight, North East Access to Finance and One North East. She has primarily led on economic development though innovation and regeneration activities in the UK and internationally.

Shelley Armstrong

Communications Manager

With an in-depth understanding of the marketing mix, Shelley takes a strategic and holistic approach to engaging audiences, changing perceptions and building communities. Specialising in media relations and PR, she has a track-record of delivering often complex communications projects in the non-profit sector working with a range of partners.

Jenny Forrester

Events Manager

Jenny has more than 15 years’ experience in end-to-end event management, including venue sourcing, hospitality, marketing communications, email marketing, project management and supplier sourcing & liaison. She has delivered high-profile events across the corporate, non-profit, education, arts and business to business sectors.

Simon Grant

Business Coach

Simon is a business coach with over 20 years board level experience, executive and non-executive, in finance and general management roles in the UK and overseas in commercial and not-for-profit sectors.

Contact us

Email: hello@ed-ge.uk
Tel: 0191 516 6988


ed/ge Sunderland office

North East BIC


ed/ge Darlington office

Business Central
2 Union Square
Central Park