Innovators from the North of England descended on London this week (Tuesday 05th March) to pitch their businesses to a roomful of heavy-weight investors.
Representing some of the North’s best entrepreneurs and innovators, a total of 22 businesses formed part of the hand-picked delegation to take part in Entrepreneurs of the North.
Organised by the Innovation SuperNetwork in partnership with the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) and British Business Bank, the event offered ambitious Northern companies the opportunity to travel to London and meet investors who were proactively looking to expand their portfolios.
The businesses, which are based across the North East, North West and Yorkshire regions, covered a variety of sectors and sizes from life sciences and healthcare to manufacturing, digital, and food & drink.
Newcastle-based ageing health pioneers Nuchido have developed science-based rejuvenation products, which translate recent breakthroughs into evidence-based supplements that promote healthy ageing. Nuchido attended the event to support the launch their latest supplement in the US and UK markets.
Sunderland-based Geek Talent are helping to actively close the skills gap between employers and education, while enabling businesses to attract, retain and develop their people through their innovative subscription-based big data platform, ‘GoCareer Insights’. They are now looking to expand their team to increase sales, profile and in-house tech capabilities.
With ambition to grow the business within the UK and international soft-drinks market, York-based FITCH Brew Co is on a mission to challenge traditional perceptions of soft drinks. Attending the event to support the scale-up of the already successful business model – FITCH Brew’s locally-produced Cold Brew Coffee is set to unleash the potential of coffee.
High-level investors attended the bespoke event at NatWest’s London-base in the City. Businesses showcased their ideas, products and services via a round of quick-fire pitches before investors were then given the opportunity to network and follow-up potential leads at a business marketplace.
Mark and Meganne Houghton-Berry from the Astia Angels network attended the event in both 2018 and 2019 and said: “We’re continuously impressed by the quality of businesses brought together for this event. It provides an unmissable opportunity to meet new and exciting individuals and business opportunities. Last year we met several highly promising companies and were delighted to be able to support a business to kick-start their growth journey. We very much hope to be able to make more fruitful connections as a result of yesterday’s event.”
Entrepreneurs of the North, which broadens access to finance to enable businesses to continue to develop within the North, is one strand of the Innovation SuperNetwork’s varied programme which supports regional businesses to access the money they need to grow and innovate. Investors will be invited to a range of events throughout the year including FinanceCamp North East, which will take place on 22 May 2019 in Sunderland.
Simon Green, CEO at the Innovation SuperNetwork, said: “For the third year, Entrepreneurs of the North has brought together burgeoning Northern businesses – who are genuinely disrupting the sectors they work in with innovative products and services – together with equity investors who could be the key to their continued business success.
“This is part of a wider programme of activity we’re delivering in the coming year to give businesses across the whole of the North of England greater access to the finance they need to scale and grow. We know that investment levels in the North could be higher. The latest research from Beauhurst suggests 47% of all investment goes to London-based firms, so there is still a lot of work to do to ensure regional companies get in front of the right investment opportunities.
“It’s our aim to improve the level of investment in Northern businesses by creating tangible opportunities to bring start-ups and growing companies together with investors.”
Jenny Tooth CEO at the UKBAA, said: “We know that Southern-based investors have a real appetite for the work of regional entrepreneurs and it’s important not only for the businesses themselves, but for the investors that they get to see the breadth of innovative work taking place outside of the golden triangle.
“Entrepreneurs of the North is a fantastic opportunity to enable those new introductions and helps us achieve our aim of providing our investment community with quality opportunities.”
Entrepreneurs of the North is part of the wider Innovation SuperNetwork programme, 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.