A North East consortium has announced that it has secured a multi-million pound funding package to encourage investment in the region’s SMEs.
The consortium, led by the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) and also made up of the Innovation SuperNetwork, NorthInvest and the UK Business Angels Association, has secured up to £2m of additional funding from Innovate UK.
This follows the £1m funding that the consortium was granted in 2019 to encourage investment in innovative early-stage companies.
The aim of the funding programme from Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is to increase the pool of regional angel investors prepared to consider investing in earlier stage, ambitious, innovative businesses in the regions.
Paul McEldon, chief executive of the North East BIC, commented: “This funding extension demonstrates a real appetite for investing in North businesses.
“The quality of innovative companies coming out of the regions provides an exciting opportunity for investors and the additional funding will help us to build on our success in stimulating an early-stage investment community to help our businesses to grow and scale-up.”
Estelle Blanks, CEO at the SuperNetwork, said: “This funding will enable us to maintain and build further momentum following the success of the first round of RAIA funding, and complement the range of activity being delivered in the access to finance space.
“We have seen significant growth in investor capacity regionally and hope to continue driving greater connectivity between investors nationally and the innovative businesses coming out of the North East and wider North.
“Our Accelerating Investment and Innovation Summit is a pragmatic response to the challenge of bringing policy makers, investors, entrepreneurs and businesses together to enable the region to better connect the investment and innovation ecosystems.
“We kick-started an important conversation on the funding gap and challenges experienced by innovative regional companies last year, and I’m delighted we can now explore opportunities to improve things further against the backdrop of this critical pot of funding from Innovate UK.”
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