New source of funding for University of Cambridge spin-outs
In less than three months, the University of Cambridge has closed its Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) fund, and is now ready to begin using the fund to support new companies connected to the University.
“It’s great to see more angel funding be made available to support this critical stage in developing tomorrow’s exciting new companies based on University research.” — Dr Hermann Hauser
Launched in May of this year, the University of Cambridge Enterprise fund allows alumni and friends of the University to invest in new companies while benefitting from generous tax incentives.
Cambridge is the first university to launch its own SEIS fund, and the first to combine the SEIS with the more established EIS. The fund is managed by London-based investment firm Parkwalk Advisors, and invests in new companies supported by Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm.
The fund must be fully invested before the end of the 2012/13 tax year. Over the coming months, Cambridge Enterprise intends to make investments in five to six companies, whether they are built on new ideas or are companies with which the University has an existing relationship.
Investments will typically range between £50,000 and £200,000, and can be used for proof of market, seed funding or follow-on funding.
The new fund will work alongside the University’s existing ‘seed’ funds, which recycle financial returns in order to assist new companies. Cambridge manages one of the most successful seed funds in the university sector, with £75 of investment following each £1 the University invests, on average.
“It’s great to see more angel funding be made available to support this critical stage in developing tomorrow’s exciting new companies based on University research,” said Dr Hermann Hauser, serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist.
Cambridge is Europe’s most successful technology cluster, having produced ten companies valued at more than $1 billion, and two (ARM and Autonomy) valued at more than $10 billion. The vast majority of these companies are connected to the University in some way: they are either based directly on University research, are founded or staffed by University graduates, or work collaboratively with University researchers to find solutions to business problems.
University entrepreneurs who are interested in applying for funding, or would like further information, are asked to contact Cambridge Enterprise’s Seed Funds team on 01223 763723 or CESF@enterprise.cam.ac.uk.