Regional investors collaborate to improve access to funding

Two regional investors have agreed a new strategic partnership to provide enhanced support for early-stage companies in the Northern Powerhouse region.

DSW Angels and NorthInvest have been working together for some time, with DSW Angels having invested in two companies – PopTop and OneUtilityBill – as a result. The newly formalised partnership will see closer collaboration between the two organisations, providing quicker access for NorthInvest companies to venture capital funding from DSW Angels.

DSW Angels, which is the venture capital investment division of the Dow Schofield Watts group, invests in scale-up companies in the regions while NorthInvest helps start-ups connect with angel and venture capital investors, typically for pre-seed funding, and offers free coaching to founders.

Both organisations can deploy additional funding to support investments – NorthInvest from Innovate UK’s Regional Angel Investment Accelerator (RAIA) with the Innovation SuperNetwork, and DSW Angels from its £10m fund from the British Business Bank’s Regional Angel Programme.

David Smith, co-founder of DSW Angels, said: “With the economy feeling the impact of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that funders work together to create a supportive start-up ecosystem. We already have a close alignment with Northinvest and a history of productive working. This agreement will formalise the relationship and increase our joint impact.

“As the appetite of our investors remains undiminished by the Covid-19 crisis, it will also provide access to an even wider range of high-quality investment opportunities.”

Helen Oldham, Founding Board Director of NorthInvest, added: “There is no lack of ambitious entrepreneurs in the North, but as a region we need to find ways to nurture them from the pre-seed stage and provide access to funding opportunities to back innovative ideas. This partnership with DSW Angels will increase access to larger sums of funding for our start-up community with a view to future funding rounds.

“It is an example of how VCs and angels can work together to give start-ups a clear roadmap to growth.”