News

Competition launched to find growing northern businesses to pitch to London investors

Following the success of last year’s Entrepreneurs of the North, the Innovation SuperNetwork is once again on the lookout for the North’s most innovative high-growth businesses to win a chance to pitch to a room full of London investors.

Designed to be a true showcase of the most promising up and coming businesses and entrepreneurs based in the North East, North West, Tees Valley, Yorkshire and Humber - Entrepreneurs of the North, is a bespoke event offering ambitious companies the opportunity to travel to London and meet investors who are proactively looking to expand their portfolio.

Estelle Blanks, Executive Director at the Innovation SuperNetwork who are organising the event in partnership with the UK British Angels Association (UKBAA), the British Business Bank and Natwest, said: “Entrepreneurs of the North has successfully brought together investors and businesses for the past two years with many of those businesses securing strong leads and several million pounds worth of investment as a result.

“From our work with growing companies, we know it can be difficult for northern businesses to raise the finance they need regionally. The event is all about broadening that access, bringing together investors ranging from Angels to VCs and building the northern interest and capacity of equity investors to help entrepreneurs unlock their business potential and continue to develop within the North of England.”

Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of UKBAA, said: “We are aware that currently over 60% of equity capital is invested in entrepreneurs in London and the Golden Triangle, so UKBAA is delighted to be partnering with the Innovation SuperNetwork once again to enable promising growth-focused innovators from across the Northern regions to have access to a much wider investment community."

The session will give businesses 60 seconds to present their ideas to a room full of investors before having the opportunity to showcase their business and network with potential prospects. In the last two years the event has attracted 160 investors ranging from angel investors interested in early stage ideas through to large international funds, with potential deals identified for many of the companies involved.

NewCells Biotech saw significant success securing a total of £2m from two investors. Mike Nicholds CEO Newcells Biotech Ltd, said: “Entrepreneurs of the North played a pivotal role in helping us secure investment from NVM Private Equity and Northstar Ventures to support our ambitious growth plans. The support offered enabled us to do a professional presentation in front of a number of prestigious investors.”

Pickwatch also saw success securing finance via an angel investor. Founder and CEO, Shaun Lowrie, said: “Working with the Innovation SuperNetwork has been a great experience for us, leading to a dozen strong leads and ultimately £500k investment to support our next stage of growth.

“The support we received prior to meeting with investors helped us to put together the best possible pitch and really sell ourselves. Any business looking for investment should definitely get involved. It has been a successful experience for us and the start of something great for Pickwatch.”

The successful entrepreneurs will be invited to attend a pre-event pitch training workshop on Wednesday 13 February before the main event at Natwest’s iconic base in the City of London on Tuesday 05 March. Estelle commented further; “our aim is to ensure the successful businesses really do represent the best of the North and give southern-based investors a unique ‘one stop-shop’ to identify their next big investment opportunity.”

Shaun Fooy, Senior Manager, UK Network, British Business Bank, said: “This is a great opportunity for high-growth businesses in the North and we are delighted to be able to support it, to enable ambitious businesses to drive forward their growth. The Bank identifies and helps reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK, so it’s great to support an event that will showcase some of the businesses in North East, North West, Tees Valley, Yorkshire and Humber regions to investors in London. “

Businesses across all sectors and of any size can apply, however they must comply with the below criteria to be eligible for consideration:

  • Based in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber or Tees Valley.
  • On the second or third stage of finance (looking for c£200,000 to £2.5m in equity investment).
  • Doing something innovative.

Companies wishing to be considered to take part in Entrepreneurs of the North 2019, should visit https://supernetwork.org.uk/entrepreneurs-of-the-north/ to complete the application form by noon on Thursday 31 January.

The event forms part of the Innovation SuperNetwork’s objectives to support innovative businesses to access the finance they need to grow and innovate.

Entrepreneurs of the North is delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork, developed with around 50 partner organisations to support innovation in the North East. The SuperNetwork is supported by the North East LEP, Innovate UK, Engie, Northumbrian Water Group, and the North East BIC, with part funding from the European Regional Development Fund.