Day three at Newcastle Startup Week: Talking funding and finance for your business
The third day of Newcastle Startup Week has come to a close, and today’s topic of choice was all about funding and finding the right investment for your business.
From Barclays to the North East Fund, Sintons and QVenture, there were many notable companies involved in today’s event, and ones that were definitely worth hearing from.
Held in Newcastle’s Barclays Wealth and Investment Management building, just off the beating track of the Quayside, the room was fit to burst with visitors eager to find out about such exciting and important financing options available.
As one mentioned: “I did joke about people sitting on others’ knees, but I wasn’t expecting this turnout… It’s the North East [though], everyone’s friendly.”
There are several ways in which startups and SMEs (businesses with under 250 employees) can gain the correct funding, or find suitable investment, in the North East.
Here, we caught some of the most vital points and information from key speakers. Check out how you can access the right investment - from angel investors to accelerators - for your business below.
James Holloway, North East Fund - @northeastfund
James is the external engagement manager of the innovative North East Fund, which is open to the region: “A huge patch is covered,” James states: “From Berwick to Durham, [you qualify] if you’re an SME - or have 250 staff or less.”
James knew his stuff, and whizzed through the different kind of funding options available, the first being the Small Loan Fund, which offers smaller businesses between £10k-£50k. The Innovation Fund - or “something you might see on Dragons’ Den” - accommodates up to £500k worth of investment.
The Venture Fund goes further, up to £1m, while James also suggests the Growth Capital Fund, offering loans from £50k all the way to half a million. The last one was the Development Capital Fund, which offers sums from £400k to an incredible £2m. Local firm, AVID Technology Group recently secured a brilliant sum of money with this programme.
Tom Howsam, Paid - @tomhowsam
Fourth time founder specialising in automation and technology, and founder of Paid, Tom is evidently a natural businessman and entrepreneur.
He decided to enrol on the Barclays Accelerator programme with his latest startup Paid, which aims to transform the somewhat shady landscape of freelancers and startups not being paid on time. Once a contract is complete, you let Paid know and the money should be in your bank account in no more than 20 minutes.
With six companies making up £6bn wholly by connecting with this programme, it sounds like the ideal accelerator to apply for - but how do you do that exactly?
Tom said it is crucial that team players are involved if there any: “It doesn’t matter if you’ve built an amazing product, it’s all about the team. Surround yourself. Bring a co-worker.
“I was the only sole founder on this year’s programme, and it was definitely a weakness.” But remember, startups and entrepreneurs rarely begin their journeys without making several, crucial mistakes first.
There are usually 750 applicants on the Accelerator programme, with four prominent selection rounds and eight weeks to decide on who will be chosen.
Paid is said to be the first startup in the whole of the North to have been picked to be part of the Barclays Accelerator programme.
So, to round off day three? Duncan Davies, co-founder of Notify, added that “it’s never too late to create your startup. My theme is just get on with it. Once you get there, there are people with open arms who are like: ‘Come take your money off us!’”
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