Organisers say the scheme will ‘address funding gap and foster innovation’
A new ‘Angel investor’ programme is launching in the south west with the goal of providing a pivotal role for driving economic growth.
The initiative aims to recruit 40 new angel investors for the region with a target of generating £2.8 million of ‘angel investment’ every year.
It’s expected that the total boost to the regional economy will be around £9 million each year. It’s further envisaged that the funds will help to continue the growth of the tech sector in the south west.
‘The recent South West Intelligence Report from the British Business Bank underlines the challenges we face, highlighting fragmentation and underinvestment in our angel investment landscape,’ says Tech South West’s Ben Cooper.
‘With only 5% of UK angel investment finding its way to our region, primarily in Bristol, and limited awareness among potential investors, persistent funding disparities, especially for diverse and female founders, have persisted.’
‘This initiative is our response to these obstacles, aiming to empower individuals, form new angel groups, support startups, and lay the foundation for an enduring legacy of innovation.’
‘Our goal is to cultivate a diverse community that thrives well beyond the project’s conclusion, stimulating economic growth, generating high-tech jobs, and nurturing our rapidly expanding tech ecosystem.’
The scheme will involve banks, wealth managers, Chamber of Commerce members and organisations which help to develop and grow IT businesses.
Angel Investor programme: ‘a game changer’
‘The Angel Investor Programme promises to be a game-changer in our region’s economic growth, helping to address local funding challenges,’ says Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership).
‘We’re delighted to be supporting Tech South West to empower a diverse community of investors, fostering innovation, driving economic growth, and nurturing our expanding tech ecosystem for the long term.’
‘This new initiative from Tech South West and funded by Dorset LEP in partnership with the Great South West will be a game-changer for Dorset’s thriving tech sector,’ explains Cecilia Bufton, Dorset LEP Chair.
‘This programme will encourage new, local angel investors to come forward and invest locally to drive innovation and propel local businesses to new heights.’
‘This initiative will add significant value to the thriving ecosystem to further nurture and develop tech innovation and success right here in Dorset and across the Great South West.’
As well as the 40 new angel investors, the initiative also intends to establish four new Angel Groups, spanning Dorset, Cornwall, and the Heart of the South West LEP areas, with one group dedicated to women investors.
The programme will also provide 50 founders and startups with valuable access to the angel community, facilitating growth and collaboration.
‘Angel investment can be a powerful catalyst for growth and we know from the success of the LEP-backed Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund that equity investment can make a huge difference to a business, helping to build resilience and drive innovation,’ says Glenn Caplin-Grey, Chief Executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.
An ‘important initiative’ for businesses
‘We want to see more angel investment in our area and are pleased to be supporting this important initiative.’
The team behind the initiative say it’s ‘aimed at identifying, educating, and supporting new individual investors, fostering a diverse and thriving investment community to drive innovation and help address funding challenges for tech businesses in the region.’
The programme is set to run between October 2023 and March 2024.
It’s been forged through a collaborative venture between Tech South West, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub, Heart of the South West Growth Hub, Dorset Growth Hub, North Devon Council, Torridge Council, Cornwall LEP, Dorset LEP, Heart of the South West LEP, and the British Business Bank.
Tech South West is the South West cluster supporting tech companies to help the sector thrive. For more information or to get involved, contact: email@example.com