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Do you want to start a company or social enterprise?

With over 20 years’ experience in company creation, we have the expertise to help you start a company or social enterprise.

Whether you’re a student or academic, we can support you through direct investment as you build teams and raise the financing you need to develop products and services from your research.

Talk to us online

Hear from the experts

Listen to the Seed Funds team guide you through the process of starting a company

Why start a company or social enterprise with us?

Over 20 years' experience

As we have been working with University members to help them create new companies for over 20 years, we have the expertise to give you the guidance and support you need to get started.

Access to investment

We are able to provide funding from the earliest stages of your business plan development through to early stage seed investment.

Once your company is ready for follow-on funding, we can introduce you to high quality investors, including our sister company Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC).

Build your network

We can give you access to industry experts, mentors and managers to help you develop your business plan to the point where it is ready for investment.

We offer support by:

  • Advising on ‘translational’ or early stage funding to help you scope the commercial potential of your idea
  • Providing early stage seed funding
  • Guiding on business planning and strategy
  • Matching a company with experienced experts and mentors who can help build strong, professional teams as the spin-out grows
  • Managing the milestone payments generated by the underlying intellectual property (IP) licence fees and royalties
  • Assisting with ongoing business management, including links to later stage investors

The process

1) Initial discussion

Once you’ve told us your idea for starting a company, we will get in touch to arrange an early discussion about its potential.

2) Assessment

Our thorough assessment process looks at the research underlying your business plan; due diligence on the associated IP; the market opportunity, including competitor analysis; and your commercial strategies.

3) Getting your idea investment-ready

A member of our Seed Funds team will work with you to develop your idea and get it ready for investment.



Have a business idea and ready to take the next step?

Complete our confidential idea disclosure form and we’ll contact you for an early, confidential discussion to explore your idea and its potential. We will then work with you to develop your business plan and guide you through the investment process.



Investment options

Since 1995, we have invested in 125 companies across a wide range of sectors. We offer a range of different investment options and have strong ties with our sister company, Cambridge Innovation Capital, for follow-on investment.

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Investment Committee

Our experienced Investment Committee makes investment decisions regarding University spin-outs on behalf of our Seed Funds team.

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Entrepreneurs in Residence

Our Entrepreneurs in Residence are on hand to offer valuable advice and share their experience with founders getting ready to pitch for investment.

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The Chris Abell Postdoc Business Plan Competition

If you are a postdoc at the University, you also have an opportunity to enter our annual Postdoc Business Plan Competition, with the chance to win up to £20k.

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Portfolio companies

We make investments across a wide range of sectors and our portfolio companies have gone on to raise over £1.7bn in further investment and grant funding. Over 20 years of seed investing at the University of Cambridge has seen a host of successes including XO1, BlueGnome, Cambridge CMOS Sensors, Lumora, Quethera and VocalIQ.

View Portfolio Companies