Business leaders from throughout the North East gathered at Newcastle’s Wylam Brewery to celebrate entrepreneurship in the region at an event organised by Mercia Fund Managers.
Almost 80 entrepreneurs and advisors attended the event, which aimed to explain more about the funding opportunities available through the £27.0m North East Venture Fund, which is part of the North East Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
Mercia was appointed to manage the North East Venture Fund in April last year and has since made investments in seven businesses including the Sunderland-based recruitment tech firms Interview and Technically Compatible, the Newcastle health and safety software platform Notify Technology, the Northumberland broadband business Network sand the X-ray technology firm IBEX Innovations of County Durham.
Ian Wilson, who heads Mercia’s Newcastle office, said: “We’re delighted to host an event that brings together the wide and varied North East business community. Since we established Mercia’s North East office in summer 2018, we have invested in seven businesses and operated across all seven of the local authority areas that comprise the NELEP region.
“We approach the first anniversary of the North East Venture Fund launch with optimism and hope to continue to identify strong candidates for investment that will stimulate economic activity in the region in the year ahead.”
The North East Venture Fund invests in rounds up to £1.0million in SMEs across Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, with additional funding potentially coming from Mercia’s other funds, and will be targeted at businesses at any stage of their development with a particular focus on innovative businesses.