North East entrepreneurs developing industry-changing innovation have taken to the stage in the first of a series of new pitching events delivered by the recently launched Newcastle Angel Hub.
The businesses pitched their ideas on Monday (15th July), in the hope of securing investment from equity and Angel investors in attendance.
The innovative ideas being presented included peer-to-peer management tool promoting mental wellness, Myndr. Lizzy Hodcroft, Co-founder, said: “It’s been a really valuable experience for us to be involved in the first Newcastle Angel Hub pitching event. Having taken part at FinanceCamp earlier in the year – the pitch training opportunities offered by the SuperNetwork and their partners have really helped us hone our proposition and pitch.
“There are so many inspiring regional entrepreneurs with great ideas ready to be unleashed, and it’s encouraging to see more opportunity for us all to connect with the investors who can help make our ideas a reality.”
Taking place at the Crown Plaza in Newcastle, this is the first event to be held under the Newcastle Angel Hub brand after it was launched at the region’s annual access to finance conference, Finance Camp in May.
Delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork in partnership with Invest Newcastle, the Angel Hub forms part of the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) UK-wide network offering support and opportunities to Angel Investors seeking access to businesses.
Estelle Blanks, Executive Director at the Innovation SuperNetwork, said: “The Newcastle Angel Hub is still at an early stage in its development, but we’ve been highly encouraged by the conversations we’ve had with the Angel community to date. This pitching event is the first in what we hope will be a regular series aimed at not only showcasing the best innovation coming out of the region but bringing Angels together to encourage collaboration and co-investment in businesses at an early stage.
“For regional businesses seeking finance, we’re also working hard with our partners to broaden the pool of Angels working with local innovators. This includes the Leeds Angel Hub, delivered by our friends at NorthInvest, to attract investors based across the wider North and beyond.”
In its first phase of development, the partnership is consulting with Angels about the infrastructure of support needed to enable them to engage with more innovative regional companies. Pitching events, opportunity to co-invest with other investors and education on starting as a business Angel have all been highlighted as areas of support needed.
The Newcastle Angel Hub is also giving angels and businesses in attendance the chance to benefit from grant funding to support substantial early-stage investment in innovation. Led by the North East BIC in partnership with The SuperNetwork, NorthInvest and the UKBAA, the Regional Angel Investment Pilot is injecting £1m of Innovate UK grant funding into North-wide innovative businesses who have secured co-investment through an Angel or equity syndicate.
Helen Oldham, Founding Director of NorthInvest said: “Our ongoing collaborative approach across both the Leeds Angel Hub and Newcastle Angel Hub is really seeing some traction, with a wide-range of investors keen to see potential investment opportunities across the whole of the North. We’re delighted to have been involved in the first Newcastle event, and really keen to continue our collective aim of supporting innovative regional businesses through the Regional Angel Investment Pilot.”
Jennifer Hartley, Director at Invest Newcastle, said: “A strong Angel investor community plays an important role in ensuring we continue to attract national and global companies to base themselves here. It’s great to see the Newcastle Angel Hub come to life with such a vibrant event, showcasing the region’s talent and drive for innovation. The Hub will really help put Newcastle on the map as a UK destination for Angel investors.”