Innovative and creative digital businesses based in East London’s ‘Tech City’ are taking up the opportunity today to pitch for funding from leading venture capitalists and other potential investors.
The day long investor workshop, organised by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board as part of their Tech City Launchpad competition, will give forty digital and creative businesses the chance to pitch and network with the cream of London’s investment community.
Eighteen of the companies have already been offered up to £100,000 funding for their ideas for new digital products from the Technology Strategy Board and this will be confirmed once they have secured private sector investment to match it.
The Tech City Launchpad initiative attracted over 200 original ideas, submitted through two-minute video presentations, when it was launched in April 2011. Due to the excellent calibre of the investment-worthy proposals submitted, the Board recently increased the amount of funding available from £1 million to up to £2 million, enabling it to provide support in the form of grants to many more small companies and start-ups.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “The Tech City Launchpad competition provides vital support to highly innovative small digital companies. The investment will give them the opportunity to grow and transform their exciting ideas for new digital products into reality.”
David Bott, director of innovation programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, added: “While we are able to offer public co-funding to eighteen of the companies who submitted ideas, many of the other proposals are also highly investable ideas from exciting and innovative companies. We are therefore happy to contribute by brokering some introductions today, which may help them to secure the private funding that their companies need to grow and develop.”
Eric Van Der Kleij, CEO of Tech City Investment Organisation (part of UK Trade and Investment), said: “Together with the Technology Strategy Board we listened to the community to support them through this matched-funding grant and, judging by the quality of the 220+ applications, they didn’t disappoint. By highlighting the talent at work in the area to investors, we showcase the thriving start-up scene in London and help further establish its reputation as one of Europe’s leading technology hubs.”
Over 40 companies were shortlisted and invited to submit full proposals and, following a thorough assessment, eighteen have been selected to receive up to £100,000 grant funding from the government, conditional on them attracting matching funding from investors such as venture capitalists and banks.