Leeds-based investment non-profit NorthInvest supported five grant funding and investment rounds in the first quarter of 2020, helping IP-rich start-ups in the North of England raise over £2m through its funding networks and virtual pitch events.
NorthInvest has hosted three virtual pitch events since lockdown commenced, pivoting rapidly from its offline model.
These events connected 18 start-ups with over 40 private investors and VCs from the NorthInvest and Northern Angel Hub in partnership with the Innovation SuperNetwork and RTC.
Across these pitch events, 46% of entrepreneurs presenting were female founders. NorthInvest has a core value set around encouraging diversity in the innovation space and is actively building an inclusive pipeline of entrepreneurs.
NorthInvest helped facilitate four successful fundraising rounds for IP-rich start-ups in the first quarter of 2020, including support in part for PropTech start-up One Utility Bill, who raised £1.5m in an investment round led by DSW Angels in March.
Led by NorthInvest Investment Director Jordan Dargue, Dyman Advanced Materials also successfully raised £65,000 in January 2020. The funding for this Durham based start up will allow the company to complete the Proof of Concept phase for its innovative synthetic diamond manufacturing technology.
Recourse (formerly aiPatient), a Manchester-based Health and EdTech platform training medical practitioners and students through AI-powered virtual human patients, raised £150,000 in equity investment in January 2020. This was match-funded by Innovate UK with a further £150,000 following the company’s successful grant funding application through the Regional Angel Investor Accelerator programme, facilitated by NorthInvest and co-managed by the Innovation SuperNetwork.
Meanwhile, Leeds-based data centre efficiency start-up Edgetic, and medtech start-up Sepsis, also benefited from the RAIA programme and coaching from NorthInvest. The highly innovative start-ups were each awarded £150,000 in grant funding from Innovate UK, with applications managed by Jordan Dargue.
Tony Heywood, Executive Chairman of Edgetic, said: “The advice, encouragement and support we received from NorthInvest enabled us to apply successfully for a UK Innovate grant and secure matching angel investment that have been transformational for our business. Without their support, I am not sure we would have achieved the outcome we needed.”
Helen Oldham, Founding Board Director of NorthInvest, commented: “NorthInvest are dedicated to closing the gender investment gap and seeing a growth in the number of female investors and women in senior positions within investment organisations. We’re delighted to see an increase in the number of female founders supported and keen to progress this further to shape a diverse funding community after Covid-19.”
Professor Adam Beaumont, Founder of NorthInvest, stated: “The hard work of our talented team is allowing us to bring together an ever-growing community of active investors from across the North of England, particularly in the North East, with a strong pipeline of credible founders and startups. This community is more important now than ever during the current COVID-19 crisis and we have no doubt we will continue on a positive trajectory moving into the next quarter.”