Minerva Access to Finance

Project information

Index: 0787R2
Acronym:DISTRICT+
Priority:1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Sub Theme:Innovation, research and technology development
Location UNITED KINGDOM WEST MIDLANDS Coventry West Midlands Start/End date of the practice
Start: 01/06/1994

Topic of the practice

Financial support

Good Practice Information

The University of Warwick Science Park (UWSP) offers a property portfolio, a key arm of its offering is that of its other business support services as part of its role to help technology companies maximise potential for growth. UWSP have dealings with approx 300 business/year, 90% of these are not tenants but seeking assistance to help grow their business. Typically these will be businesses of less than 30 employees. Most enquiries centre around three key areas in terms of business development need Management, Finance (e.g. bridge and funding), Marketing (the requirements of a strategy). UWSP also provides also the Access to Finance and Techmark (marketing) programme. Minerva was originally created by UWSP in 1994 as part of a wider “Access to Finance and Business Support programme of services “ and has in the last 4 years developed significantly in the West and East Midlands with 150 investors supported through eight Business Angel groups linked to University Science Parks in Coventry and Warwickshire, Keele, Malvern Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Loughborough and companies located throughout the UK.
The Minerva Business Angels have since March 2010 invested £5.5m into 40 business who have gone on to leverage in another £15.0m from other sources. On average Minerva is contacted by 150-175 opportunities every year of which after filtering only around 30-36 go on to seek funding through the network of which around 25% are successful. The average number of jobs created is between 6-8 per investee in the first 3 years however there are some exceptions as they achieve commercialization with 3 hitting 20-30 and one is at 250. Membership has increased to over 160 Business Angels.
UWSP through its wider activities will regularly interact with 300 Businesses every year. By offering a key Access to Finance service for many years as an additional facility to its core activities of property and incubation, the UWSP has been consistently interacting at all levels with SME’s from across the region, at all stages of development and across many different sectors albeit primarily technology based. The variety of SME contact has allowed UWSP to be flexible to fit business type and stage of development and where its services of business readiness, investment readiness, technical marketing and proof of concept activities.

Evidence of success

The Minerva Business Angel Syndicates have since March 2010 invested £1.3m into 13 business, been part of consortiums in some cases, and helped leverage in £3.0m from other sources. This has helped generatinged 50 new jobs with more jobs anticipated in 2012. Increased the membership by 67 to 114 Business Angels. Assessed 176 Business Opportunities/Plans. 48 companies have been prepared and presented to syndicates. By offering a key Access to Finance service for many years as an additional facility to its core activities of property and incubation, the UWSP has been consistently interacting at all levels with SME’s from across the region, at all stages of development and across many different sectors albeit primarily technology based. The variety of SME contact has allowed UWSP to be flexible to fit business type and stage of development and where its services of business readiness, investment readiness, technical marketing and proof of concept activities.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Suresh Patel/ David Messenger

Birmingham City Council

suresh.patel@birmingham.gov.uk; david.messenger@birmingham.gov.uk

www.birmingham.gov.uk

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