News & advice on finance for business inc grants, equity investment & bank finance

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Business Finance, St John's Innovation Centre

European funding for business – often overlooked

At a time when cuts are affecting UK government funding for business, European grant funding can be an excellent solution. And yet I find it is frequently overlooked because people are put off by the prospect of red tape. There’s no denying, it does take time to develop and complete an application but if you’re looking for as much as €10m, is it so much to ask for a comprehensive, well thought through proposal? Try getting that amount of money from a VC with no guarantees.

Business Finance, Pitching

The disconnect between investors and entrepreneurs

If you’ve ever watched Dragons’ Den, or been to ‘real life’ investment events that follow a similar model of pitching to a panel or a roomful of investors, you’ll know there is often a great chasm between what an entrepreneur thinks an investor wants to see or hear in a pitch, and the information that an investor is actually looking for.

Business Finance, Pitching, St John's Innovation Centre

Showing us the Money

In my previous post, I mentioned that a number of companies pitched to our panel of angel investors at ‘Meerkats and Avatars’. Discussions are ongoing so it’s too early to pronounce judgement on the outcome but suffice to say…

Pitching, St John's Innovation Centre

Gentlemen of the Press, the Lady from the BBC

Earlier this month, after much planning, we finally held the ‘Meerkats & Avatars’ event at the Hauser Forum, Cambridge. During the day, a dozen early-stage companies based in the region exhibited potentially ground-breaking new products – from solar panels to cancer diagnostics, syncing and charging plugs via music in the cloud and network device visualisation. It was exhilarating to see that despite two years of a tough economic climate, ‘Silicon Fen’ hasn’t lost its ability to innovate – in spades.

Cambridge cluster, St John's Innovation Centre

The Economist’s Insights

The ongoing debate around the difficult balance between the underlying dynamism of the Cambridge cluster and the increasing challenge of obtaining funding has been chewed over regularly but The Economist recently covered it in a clear and balanced way, concluding its thoughtful piece:

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