A collection of funds providing support to NI based entrepreneurs, seed/early stage SMEs and University spin-outs. Support includes a £17 million SME equity fund (investing between £50,000 and £250,000 and up to £1 million over a series of investment rounds), two University Funds of £1.5 million each (investing between £50,000 and £300,000), a £3.6 million Proof of Concept Grant Fund and an Investment Awareness Programme.
- The Funds form part of an enterprise escalator of support for seed / early stage companies and University spin-outs. The Fund Manager will consider investment ideas which present a compelling, scalable high growth business proposition. Evidence of innovation (technology based or otherwise) and/or first –mover advantage will score highly, as will early sales or demonstrable customer traction.
- The Proof of Concept Grant Fund awards grants on a competitive basis to help commercialise technology innovation. The funding comes in the form of a “Concept” Grant (of up to £10,000) and a “Concept Plus” Grant (of up to £25,000).
- The Investment Awareness Programme provides entrepreneurs, who have ambitions to raise investment finance, with an understanding of the investment process including advice on how to prepare for investment and how to subsequently utilise investment funds to best effect.
- The fund, which is managed on behalf of Invest NI by Techstart Ventures, is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014 – 2020.