As we almost arrive at the end of the investment month at TechSPARK, we want to revisit how resources for investment support have evolved throughout the years. And we felt that the investment activist is no better to work with than Briony Phillips. Check her breakdown here!
Access to funding has long been recognized as a barrier to growth for companies across the UK and particularly in areas where the ecosystem is less developed. Whether the issue is a lack of social capital and access to potential friends, family and angels who can invest or the obstacle is that the never ending quest for the series is a funding that fits with your values and ambitions, Access to finance can be a significant barrier. For some, the biggest hurdle is actually some foreign language that goes along with finding suitable funds.
Sadly I don’t have time to cover the entire lexicon, instead TechSPARK has asked me to share a small part of the history of investment support actors in the Southwest over the years.
- Eden Ventures Located in Bath and London, having established in 2002, made about 70 investments from a single fund. They have seen 15 exits so far.
- Incorporated in 2009 and registered in Exter Overcrowding Has provided crowdfunding support to the tune of £ 1billion.
- Incorporated in 2012, Dorset Business Angels Invest in start-ups and early-stage high-growth businesses offered to us at their investor dinners that run four times a year.
- Mike jackson’s webstart The engine shed opened for the first time in 2013 when 20 companies supported both early stage seed funding and mentorship.
- Engine shed ‘Investors in Residence’ started offering a bookable service to anyone wishing to chat to investors. those involved Adv, Deepbridge Capital And Maven Capital Partners.
- Bristol Private Equity Club Made their first investment in 2016 and went on to make more than 20 and counting.
- In 2016 Maven Capital Partners Opened an office, the first for a VC I know, in Bristol.
- University of Bristol Has been deploying funds to more than 10 companies through 2016 since Enterprise fund (Managed by Parkwalk Advisors).
- Engine Shed opens first UK in 2018 ‘UKBAA Angel Hub‘ Which was a collaboration created through Engine Shed to support entrepreneurs and angel investors to engage with the UK Business Angels Association.
- According to Behurst Cornwall and Isle of Scale Investment Fund It was opened in 2019 and 8 investments have been made in later stage firms ranging from £ 25k to £ 150k. It provides both debt and equity finance.
- In 2020 Uwe Offered Digital Innovation Fund And We ca be provided Business Innovation Fund – Both were grant money that required private match funding.
- Pleurith Provides a relatively new service to help companies present themselves to investors who use their investment platform.
- In 2020 we saw two new angelic groups coming to this scene – Michels Mainstream In Exeter and Inclusive angel In Bristol.
- Refurbishable And Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC) made a new announcement £ 10m co-investment fund In late 2020, Joe Nubel will invest in Bristol with BPEC and with others in the South West.
- Creates Science Ventures In late 2020 announced its first EIS fund to invest £ 15m in early stage deep tech companies.
Needless to say, equity funding is not the answer for every business, but I have barely begun to describe alternative finance options here. Loans, grants and loans are very important categories for growing business, if you want to look at your options from this point of view, I suggest British Business Bank Finance Center.
Are there any significant milestones in our investment support history that I missed or misrepresented? Please contact and fill me in at intervals if you know of any.
This article has been written as part of the Investment Worker Program (IAP) in the West of England. The event is run by TechSPARK and sponsored by TLT LLP, delaware, West of England Combined Authority, UWE, Sanderson, Engine Shed and Rockmaker. Find more information about IAP here.Main Image Credit: Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko From Paxels