March 7 2018 @ 13:03 by Alison Cowie
FinanceCamp North East is back and set to connect innovative and growing businesses with access to financial solutions from investors and lenders.
St James’ Park, Newcastle will play host to FinanceCamp North East 2018 on Thursday, July 5.
The annual event provides a unique opportunity for the region’s businesses, from fledging start-ups to established companies, to meet with the people who can give them the money they need to grow.
Chris Reed, founder at ProxiSmart Ltd, said: “FinanceCamp is the go-to event for the North East’s startup and investment community. The team at Innovation SuperNetwork have created a great way for businesses to get in front of potential investors, mentors and support resources to help them achieve their objectives for growth. Can’t recommend it enough”
Last year’s event attracted a wide variety of regional investors, as well as some from outside of the North East. These included venture fund managers, angel investors, banks, social investment funders and crowdfunding platforms.
More than just an event, FinanceCamp is a programme of opportunities for businesses to ensure they’re investment ready before being expertly matched in a series of fast-paced meetings on the day. Businesses set out on their FinanceCamp journey by initially registering to attend one of five ‘Understanding Investor’ workshops.
Preparing companies to maximise their chances of securing the funds they need, the workshops are delivered in partnership with experts in a range of professional fields and focus on strengthening the businesses’ proposition, considering different finance options and understanding investor needs to perfect their business pitch.
Estelle Blanks, executive director at the Innovation SuperNetwork (pictured), which organises FinanceCamp, said: “The idea behind FinanceCamp is to simplify the often complex process faced by businesses when they need to access finance to enable them to grow. Each year the event gets bigger and better with a diverse range of North East businesses applying to make the most of the opportunity to pitch to a range of investors on one day, under one roof.
“We continue to be impressed by the talent in the region and we know that investors and lenders who take part in FinanceCamp are always equally impressed with the bright ideas coming out of North East businesses. This has been recognised with investors from outside the region starting to pay close attention to our region’s business community, which is, in turn, helping bridge the funding gap that still exists between the North and the South of England.”
North East businesses of any size or sector can apply to be considered to take part – whether they’re an entrepreneur looking for a £1000 start-up loan or an established business searching for multimillion pound equity funding.
Gary Giles, founder of OGEL who has prototyped an innovative new building method, said: “FinanceCamp gave us the tools and support we needed to assess our next steps for business growth, opening up a new network of contacts and allowing us to properly understand investor expectations. Since then, we’ve been able to take stock and strategically unpick our next steps to seek the right funding for us. I’d absolutely recommend businesses attend, whether they are actively looking for investment or confused as to what the best funding options are for them, FinanceCamp is a must.”
Any businesses interested in FinanceCamp on July 5 2018 can secure their place by signing up to attend one of the five ‘Understanding Investors’ workshops sessions taking place across the North East between March and June.
March 21: Xcel Centre, Newton Aycliffe – in partnership with Maven.
March 22: Berwick Town Hall – part of the Berwick Investors Conference.
May 15: North East BIC, Sunderland.
May 16: The Green House, Consett – in partnership with Maven.
June 14: Northern Design Centre, Gateshead.
On the day of FinanceCamp there will be keynote speeches and networking opportunities before businesses meet with their matched investors one-on-one. Further programme details will be announced soon.
FinanceCamp is part of the wider Innovation SuperNetwork programme, delivered with over 50 partner organisations to support innovation in the North East. SuperNetwork is supported by the North East LEP, Innovate UK, Northumbrian Water, Reece Innovation, Engie and the North East BIC, with part-funding from the European Regional Development Fund.