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Opportunity for early stage, ambitious digital businesses to pitch for investment

The Big House at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and Derby Quad’s Mainframe jointly present the opportunity for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire-based businesses to compete for a chance to pitch to investors looking to support the creative and tech businesses of the future.


Businesses innovating with new or existing technology will compete for a place on the Elevator Investor Showcase on the 7 November 2018 where they will pitch to angel investors, equity funders and venture capitalists. The event brings together Mercia Technologies, The Foresight Group, Minerva Business Angel Network, Edge Investment, Accelerated Digital Ventures, Shadow Foundr and Enterprise Loans. Each investor has a different focus so we encourage ambitious businesses at different stages in their life cycle to apply.

Those businesses that want to understand the investor journey better and improve their investment readiness are encouraged to join the accompanying two full-day workshops taking place in October. Led by the Knowledge Transfer Network, the sessions will help innovative tech businesses prepare an investment pitch and compete for a place on the showcase. Participants will find out more about the investment ecosystem, develop a toolkit and practice their pitch with peers and professionals so they can compete for a place on the showcase. The sessions will also include an overview of the investor perspective by Richard Blakesey of Capital Pilot.

This is a fantastic opportunity for tech businesses to secure the investment that they need. At the very least participants will have the chance to understand the pitch process, better define their offering and get constructive and practical feedback to improve their chances of securing investment in the future. Only six businesses will be selected to get in front of our panel of investors. They will really need to prove themselves and we are offering the support to help them do that.

Kate Ling, Project Manager at NTU’s Business School, said:

Charlotte Thompson, Access to Funding & Finance at the Knowledge Transfer Network added: “Equity finance is widely accepted as an important ingredient for businesses with potential for high growth. The Midlands is home to exciting and high growth businesses and its important to highlight these investment opportunities by bringing these kinds of events to the East Midlands for early stage businesses and the investment community.”

Hana York, Marketing Manager from Mainframe at Derby Quad added: “It is great to be working on a project which joins up the D2N2 growth hub areas. Derby is a top rated area for tech businesses and employment in high tech industries. With a renowned history and heritage of innovation, ideas and technology with companies such as Rolls Royce, Toyota and Bombardier, this is an excellent opportunity for early stage Derby businesses to secure investment to follow in their footsteps.”

Elevator Showcase Investors - Derby Quad on 7 November

Sandy Reid | Investment Manager | Mercia Technologies.Mercia is a national investment group focused on the funding and scaling of innovative businesses with high growth potential from the UK regions. Mercia run the Proof-of-concept fund of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) to provide early stage equity finance up to £750,000. Their equity funding can help businesses get their idea off the ground and realise their business dreams.

Ray Harris | Midlands Engine Investment Fund Principal | Foresight Group
The Foresight Group is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager. Managing the later stage equity finance stream of the MEIF, they are interested in supporting established business with ambitious plans, or a large start up with high growth potential. They can provide equity funding of up to £2 million

Alexis Toft | Head | Minerva Business Angel Network
The Minerva Business Angel Network has been established since 1994, providing a forum for private investors to invest in emerging technology businesses. Minerva helps companies attract equity funding from it’s own network of Business Angels and will make appropriate introductions to relevant Venture Capital Funds as well as access other forms of finance from suitable sources including Banks.

Hannah Williamson | Associate | Edge Investment
Edge invests in dynamic businesses guided by exceptional management operating in the creative industries and enabling technologies. They tend to favour companies that are established with proven management teams, existing revenues of  £1m+ and the capacity to scale quickly.

Tong Gu |Investment Lead | Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV)
ADV invest in tech with the capacity to define a generation, backing the most innovative, highest potential, and globally disruptive technology businesses. They are the gateway to long-term, committed institutional capital. Their team is made up of operators and entrepreneurs who’ve built, scaled and exited businesses including AOL, ARM, EasyNet and PlusNet.

Victoria Copestake | Business Development Manager | Enterprise Loans
Enterprise Loans provide finance to individuals, micro-businesses and SMES to support good business ideas that could be difficult to fund through other means. Loans of £3,000 to £150,000 can be used to turn ideas  into a new business or allow an existing business to realise it’s growth potential.

Shadow Foundr - The smartest route to growth capital
Shadow Foundr offers a fast and simple investment model for companies seeking to raise funds. With our FCA-compliant, automated platform, the support of our dedicated, world-class team and access to our global investor network, we are perfectly placed to help you raise funds, whatever stage your business is at. Shadow Foundr has become one of the UK’s leading equity investment platforms and through our private investor network and successful collaborations, we have helped raise huge sums for many early-stage, high growth businesses.

The Big House Accelerator

In addition, later in the year, NTU Business School will also be running the new Big House Accelerator. This bespoke programme will accelerate the growth of ambitious, tech SMEs based in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire. Around ten businesses will receive exclusive support tailored to their specific business needs. The programme will run from late 2018 to mid-2019.

For more details about events and free business support available to businesses in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire through The Big House project, visit

The Big House programme

Supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), The Big House project, provides free support for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire-based creative and digital businesses.

From developing potential business ideas, nurturing start-ups and new entrepreneurs, to working with established business wanting to grow, our partner network provides specialist support. You can access grants, 1-2-1 mentoring, networking events and workshops to help build contacts, skills and knowledge to succeed.

Published on 20 September 2018
  • Category: Business; Nottingham Business School