Innovative businesses across the North of Tyne needed to tackle the region’s key challenges
24 Oct 2022
15 November 2022
More than £4m has been injected into eight innovative Northern businesses thanks to the collaborative efforts of three Angel networks to bring investors and opportunities together.
With deals spanning a large area of the Northern Powerhouse; Newcastle Angel Hub, NorthInvest and the Women Angels of the North Syndicate have worked with some of the brightest Northern businesses and entrepreneurs to secure equity investment for growth, via a series of joint pitch events. Many of the deals have also leveraged further investment via Innovate UK programmes including the Regional Angel Investment Accelerator, which is managed across the North by Innovation SuperNetwork via the Newcastle Angel Hub, and NorthInvest.
In the North East, Innovation SuperNetwork has provided specialist Access to Finance support for two businesses who have gone on to secure a total of £540,000 helping them define their proposition and perfect their pitch before taking part in one of the joint pitch events.
Rapid Fluidics, (pictured above) a Newcastle based Microfluidics business offering design consultancy and rapid prototyping for complex geometry fluidic cards was founded in 2020. The business initially secured investment following ‘The Big Pitch’ at VentureFest NorthEast in March 2022. This was quickly followed by further investment after pitching at a joint Newcastle Angel Hub & NorthInvest pitch event in May. In total, Rapid Fluidics secured £340,000 in private investment and match-funding with an Innovate UK Smart Grant.
With this joint investment, Rapid Fluidics are improving productivity through refined materials, production automation and additional operational support. Paul Marshall, CEO of Rapid Fluidics, said “The support we have received from the Northern angel networks has been incredible and we feel very lucky to have been able to gain investment to grow our business and move forward with our plans. I’m now raising another round to allow us to scale-up to support an expanding customer base and prepare for increasing manufacturing requirements and because of the networks and contacts I have made as a result of the pitching events these organisations deliver, I feel confident we will achieve our target!”
Durham-based business, Audemic, has raised £200k, again benefitting from specialist support via the Innovation SuperNetwork’s Access to Finance programme, before pitching at a joint event. Investors responded enthusiastically to their business, which is developing an app for academics, researchers and the intellectually curious who want to keep up to date, which allows them to listen to academic articles, take notes easily and organise their knowledge. Audemic is using the investment for product development and the building of their own NLP technology.
NorthInvest and the Newcastle Angel Hub bring investors together and connect them with businesses at all stages of growth seeking investment through regular pitch events throughout the year. Championing diversity and inclusion the three work together to support innovative businesses across the North from all backgrounds and are determined to drive growth and economic prosperity to our regions.
Jordan Dargue, Head of Access to Finance at the Innovation SuperNetwork and Women Angels of the North Syndicate Founder, said: “These recent deals are a perfect example of how angel networks can collaborate to help Northern entrepreneurs access investment. As a result of the RAIA Programme, these hubs have non-dilutive grant funding available to them which can be leveraged alongside angel investment and effectively supercharge investment rounds. This synergy between the angel hubs and Innovate UK puts the North on the map for national and global companies, as well as investors, to set up operations here.”
Helen Oldham, Founding Board Director of NorthInvest, said: “To see how the partnership between NorthInvest, Newcastle Angel Hub and The Women Angels of the North syndicate is helping businesses across the North access finance from private investment and public funds is fantastic. I’m so pleased for the eight businesses that have gained investment and look forward to seeing what these businesses do next.”
Together, the Angel networks have closed out deals for six other Northern businesses; Agile Life Sciences, Chu Lo Drinks, Holly Health, NatterHub, Surgery Hero (formerly Sapien Health) and Veo.
The Newcastle Angel Hub is delivered by Innovation SuperNetwork as part of the Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters Projects 2021-2023, and is part-funded by ERDF.
The Regional Angel Investor Accelerator programme, funded by Innovate UK, provides matched grant funding for businesses, which de-risks investment for angel investors. This is led by the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) and delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork and North Invest in partnership with the UK Business Angels Association.
The Women Angels of the North syndicate is the only women-only angel syndicate in the North of England, founded in July 2021, offering support to female investors and encouraging investment in female founders.
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