Investor Hub relaunch set to create more diverse investment opportunities for North businesses

09 February 2024

Estelle Blanks meets with investors and stakeholders at Northern Investor Hub launch.

After growing to support a membership of 200 Angel Investors in the last five years, the Newcastle Angel Hub was relaunched last night (Thursday 8th February) as the ‘Northern Investor Hub’.

Broadening its scope to attract a more diverse investor portfolio and to help more North-based businesses secure investment, the relaunch was announced by Estelle Blanks, CEO of the Innovation SuperNetwork at a meeting with already active private investors and angels at Café 21, Newcastle.

She said: “Strengthening the Access to Finance ecosystem for the wider region remains a core objective for the SuperNetwork and is an area we’ve already made substantial headway in.

“As an Innovate UK investor partner, we have helped businesses across the wider North leverage equity investment against 8 million pounds worth of Innovate UK grants. Meanwhile our work in programmes across the North of Tyne, Gateshead and Tees Valley is ensuring businesses are investor ready and able to secure the funding they need.

“The Northern Investor Hub is a critical tool in this delivery. Not only do we work with established investors and funds, the Hub is also supporting new investors who are looking to take their first steps in sharing their expertise and investing in businesses at all stages of growth.”

Operated by the Innovation SuperNetwork, the Northern Investor Hub will future-proof the investment landscape for the North by ensuring there is a critical mass of investors and funds operating within two hours of the North’s most urban areas.

Upon launch, the Hub is already supporting a potential 2000 businesses across the North East and Tees Valley, with Innovation SuperNetwork delivered programmes all using the Hub to connect investor ready enterprises with investors and funds.

Carrie Ambler, Chief Scientific Officer at Durham University spinout, LightOx Ltd, said: “The impact of an established investor community for regional businesses cannot be underestimated. What I have learned from being on both sides of the investment process, is that it is essential for diverse investors to be encouraged to co-invest, and that the environment for collaboration between investors, funds and the businesses who seek investment is stimulated. Initiatives like the Northern Investor Hub, alongside the availability of direct support for businesses, will only increase the value and volume of deals seen in regional economies.”

The Northern Investor Hub attracts funds, including those from patient capital, VCs, banks, debt providers, public funding grants and others. It supports the development of investor syndicates with a growing membership of North-based and national Angel Investors. The Hub has established strong local and national partnerships, including with Innovate UK, British Business Bank and the UKBAA – ensuring regional businesses are tapping into a diverse funding pool.

Bruce Colley, Senior Investment Specialist at Innovate UK, said: “The collaborative approach taken by Innovation SuperNetwork and their partners in recent years has had tangible impact in ensuring North-wide businesses have been able to leverage equity investment as well as benefit from Innovate UK grants, firstly through our Regional Angel Investment Accelerator pilot and subsequently as an Investor Partner in our Future Economies programme. The enhanced capability of the Northern Investor Hub is a welcome addition to the North’s investor ecosystem.”

Businesses looking for support with Access to Finance should visit www.supernetwork.org.uk/finance for further information and to enquire about the FREE support on offer.

If you’re an investment fund or investor and want to know more about the Hub, please visit www.supernetwork.org.uk/investorhub

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