Investment initiative aims to attract more funding for North West ventures

Alex Toft

An investment network looking to make more business finance available to entrepreneurs in Liverpool City Region is seeking investors from across the North West to support its mission of powering growth in promising start-ups and scale-ups.

Minerva Business Angels, part of the University of Warwick Science Park, is joining forces with Activate, Liverpool John Moores University and world-leading science campus, Sci-Tech Daresbury, in a partnership aimed at increasing the number of investment funds available to businesses and to help with talent acquisition.

Official figures show that £2.1bn is pumped into promising firms every year through the Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme which were set-up to encourage more entrepreneurial investment through tax incentives.

While 67% of the money backs firms registered in the South East, only a small proportion has supported businesses in the North West.

Minerva Liverpool wants to substantially increase the amount of money available in the region by attracting successful entrepreneurs and investors to its network and making them more aware of the wealth of investment opportunities.

Both Activate, Liverpool John Moores University and Sci-Tech Daresbury have a track record of identifying innovative products and solutions that have commercial potential and providing access to support, and expertise to firms looking to accelerate the growth of their business.

Alex Toft, who heads Minerva, welcomed the launch of the new network: “Minerva is leading the way in connecting universities, business angels and entrepreneurs to grow an access to finance ecosystem for the benefit of our region’s SMEs.

“We are delighted to be partnering with both of these innovative and successful organisations to bring together entrepreneurs seeking support with investors looking for hands-on investment opportunities.”

John Downes, group managing director of property group Langtree and chair of the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture company, said: “Collaboration is the bedrock of Sci-Tech Daresbury and while investment is about funding it’s also about igniting growth to create jobs and economic uplift and helping brilliant businesses reach their potential, prosper and move to the next level.

“Bringing entrepreneurs together happens on a daily basis at Sci-Tech Daresbury. Activate and Liverpool John Moores University’s involvement is an exciting development that will help Minerva’s work have greater reach and impact with our community of start-up and growing businesses.”

Minerva Liverpool will be officially launched on March 10, in the city of Liverpool.