The Investment Activator Programme (IAP) pilot has today launched a new microsite for Founders and Investors, to highlight investment successes in the South West region, and provide a toolkit of resources to those looking for funding. 

The Investment Activator Programme was launched last January at the beginning of 2020 after 8 partners were brought together to support and stimulate equity investment into the South West region. The aim of the IAP was to bring together various activities that had been taking place in the region under one umbrella, and add capacity to these to help better prepare early stage companies for investment and welcome investors to the region.

The new site highlights the recent raises and areas of regional specialism, as well as providing links to the funds, grants and pots available for founders to tap into. To find out more about the IAP and the wider investment landscape – check out the new website here

The aim of the IAP was to bring together various activities that had been taking place in the region under one umbrella, and add capacity to these to help better prepare early stage companies for investment and welcome investors to the region.

2020 Successes

Despite the tumultuous year, the investment landscape in 2020 has been remarkably robust, with significant amounts raised by Graphcore ($222M) and Brightpearl (£33m) amongst many others. Plus new funds landed in the form of the  £15m Science Creates EIS Fund focussed on deeptech startups and £10m co-investment fund from Newable to sit alongside Bristol Private Equity Club’s angel investments. 

The Investment Activator itself delivered a number of activities in 2020: 

  • No. of events delivered 21
  • No. of event attendees 825 (1257 registrants)
  • No. of articles on investment related news 62
  • No. of companies pitching directly to investors  22
  • No. of one pagers put in front of investors (QIBs) 76
  • No. of companies benefitting from pitch training (Pitch Mes and Pitching Workshop) 45

While it’s hard to quantify the amount of investment that can be linked to the IAP, there’s no denying the sheer volume of activity and numbers of companies that have been supported.

Helen Tanner, founder of Data3, says, “The IAP has provided us with a fantastic platform to network and raise our profile in the investor community.” 

Emerging from this activity, the IAP has highlighted the growing need to  support the very early stage Tech & Creative companies. There are a surprising number that are looking for their first investment and don’t yet have the support of existing incubators and accelerators. And even for those already receiving support, there is considerable confusion around what services and investment options are suitable for their growth stage and sector.

Abby Frear, Investment Activator and TechSPARK Director says “Even for those already receiving support, there is considerable confusion around what services and investment options are suitable for their growth stage and sector, hence the need for more signposting for these founders to the various options available”

Make sure to check out the new website here to find out more about the IAP and the wider investment landscape.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.