Nexus, the University of Leeds’ new innovation hub, has partnered with tech investment platform, NorthInvest, to connect start-ups and SMEs within their community to investment advice and funding support.
The partnership sees Nexus join forces with Northern Powerhouse-backed NorthInvest, to connect early-stage tech start-ups to investment through angel networks and funds, giving them the opportunity to scale-up and grow.
The latest collaboration will add to the already attractive offering, including seamless access to the University of Leeds’ world-leading academic and research expertise, skills and talent and facilities, commercial business advice from leading professional services partner, KPMG, and funding support from NorthInvest mentors and investors.
Commenting on the partnership, Nexus Director, Dr Martin Stow, said: “Nexus is committed to accelerating business growth for start-ups and SMEs in the North. Ahead of our opening this Spring we have built up an expert team, and developed numerous strategic commercial partnerships, to ensure that we can connect our members to the most appropriate expertise and support.
“We have a real synergy with NorthInvest, sharing a key objective of supporting the growth of businesses in the Leeds City Region and helping new ventures to thrive.”
Nexus Enterprise Manager, Lizzie McCloy, will manage the relationship, acting as a representative for both Nexus and NorthInvest. Lizzie adds: “Navigating the funding maze can be daunting for a new business and sourcing funding is often one of the major concerns for start-ups. Many entrepreneurs have brilliant, viable business plans, but when it comes to funding, they’re either not aware of the options available to them, or find the process intimidating and stressful. Nexus’ partnership with NorthInvest will give members access to mentors who can guide them through the process and connect them to real funding opportunities that can take their business to the next level.”
NorthInvest founder, Professor Adam Beaumont said: “I’ve been passionate about increasing the availability of funding for innovative start-up businesses in the North for the last two decades, and this partnership is another excellent example of how we can continue to support up and coming pioneers through connections to angel investors, mentoring and funds.”
Based in a brand new £40m building on the University campus, Nexus will feature state-of-the-art facilities including office and lab space, collaboration areas, event and meeting space and a dedicated team who will be responsible for facilitating productive working partnerships and collaborations. Connecting businesses to the University’s world-class research and facilities and talent, Nexus will give businesses a competitive edge in a dynamic market.
Since its inception, NorthInvest has raised over a million pounds for Northern based start-ups to develop and make an even deeper impact within society. The NorthInvest Angel network has seen growth of 450% in the last year with 90 investors now part of the NorthInvest community contributing to investment opportunities and mentoring the future generation of tech innovators.