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Venture capital firm Campus Capital have recently partnered with Lancaster University in the hopes of investing in start-ups across Lancashire. The firm is part-run by students, and is looking to invest between £50,000 and £200,000 in new companies both on and off campus, including those run by students and staff.
The partnership provides an opportunity for Lancaster students as well as wider Lancashire residents to pitch their business to the firm, and potentially earn funding which could allow them to operate on a much larger scale.
Michael Howe, founding partner of Campus Capital, said: “There are a lot of investable companies already out there in the region so this isn’t about helping to create new start-ups. Our focus is on making sure these existing start-ups who are already doing great things get the investment they need to scale.
Our connection with world-renowned universities such as Lancaster makes us particularly well-placed to support companies within the science and technology sectors.”
Lancaster University is the third higher education institution to partner with Campus Capital within a year.
Campus Capital also provides work experience opportunities to Lancaster students, by allowing teams of student-led venture capitalists to part-run some of the early aspects of the fund pipeline. Once trained, these student venture capitalists make many of the early investment decisions and gain valuable experience in assessing and analysing a company’s investment-readiness. They receive ongoing mentoring from Campus Capital’s partners and its wider support network of seasoned investors.
Jon Powell, head of Enterprise and Innovation Services at the University, has said “We are delighted to join forces with Campus Capital and build on our fantastic links with regional businesses by bringing much needed investment into the Lancashire economy. Lancaster University has a pivotal role to play in supporting innovation. We want to develop employable graduates and the graduate employers of tomorrow as well as supporting businesses through consultancy, joint research and co-location. Now we can support direct investment into those businesses with growth potential.”
Investment in the north of England tech sector has increased over the last 10 years, with the most significant growth happening in the last three years, according to an Investment Index report from Tech North. Last year £201.2m was invested in the north, which represents a rise of 916% from £19.8m in 2007. This new partnership should shine even more of a spotlight on the entrepreneurial activity taking place in Lancashire, and increase opportunities for those companies to collaborate with the university, and stay and grow in the region.
Campus Capital will open to Lancashire-based startups in the New Year, although companies who are considering fundraising within the next six months are encouraged to get in touch sooner.