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New investment fund opens to boost innovation across the North East

Innovative businesses across the North East could access up to £15,000 of investment with the launch of new business support programme, Innovate:Grow.

Jointly conceived by Generator and Auxin OKR in May 2018, the latest funding programme, Innovate:Grow, has investment from the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by Northstar Ventures.

It will run two funding cohorts in May and September and is now open to SMEs operating in the North East LEP area across all sectors.

Applicants with innovative business ideas are asked to apply, along with more established entrepreneurs with proven ideas, now looking to scale their business.

CEO at Generator, Jim Mawdsley said: “We’re pleased to support our region’s innovative businesses with the launch of this new programme of investment which will provide an invaluable platform for future business success.

“What we want to see are ambitious entrepreneurs with interesting and potentially market-disruptive ideas, who are confident in their product and their ability to turn it into a scalable business.”

Businesses will have the opportunity to access up to £15,000 of investment which will provide access to expert business advice covering issues such as how to articulate ideas to potential investors, business processes and planning, as well as best practice.

“Working together with Auxin OKR and Northstar, our business support programmes are proven to take companies to exciting new heights, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the variety of businesses that apply,” concluded Jim.

Innovate:Grow launches on the back of the success of the last North East Innovation Fund supported programme, which saw 50% of businesses from the first cohort go on to be considered for further investment by Northstar.

Alastair Greig, director at Northstar Ventures commented: “We are delighted to be able to support more innovators and start-ups through these kinds of programmes. The quality and passion of the entrepreneurs and businesses coming through show how much innovation there is in the region.”

Street data provider, Almere Streets Systems, benefitted from the last programme and has since gone on to expand its work in London and Scotland, whilst consolidating their position as the North East’s most innovative provider of Healthy Streets Data.

Tom Bailey, director of Almere Streets Systems, commented: “Being able to access funding programmes like this gave us the chance to take a fresh, structured look at our business plan and branding, whilst helping us to finance key equipment purchases.”

Auxin OKR principal, David Anderson added: “The journey from having a great idea to running a revenue generating business is challenging. The Innovate:Grow fund will support local entrepreneurs on this journey.

“Ideas are great but it is the ability to make them happen that is important. That is what this programme is all about – turning ambitious plans into actionable strategies.”

Applications for the new Innovate:Grow programme, powered by Generator and Auxin OKR, are now open.

Businesses should apply at

The deadline for expressions of interest is 22nd March 2019.