Two Top UK Universities Joined Forces To Foster Entrepreneurship

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Improving the investment culture in the UK’s West Midlands is a key challenge for the development of the area.

For example, from £1.8 billion invested through to Enterprise investment scheme in 2017 only around 2.6% was invested in the West Midlands versus 56% in the South East – the majority being London-based companies. 

In confirming data, David Coleman, Head of Enterprise Acceleration at the University of Birmingham Enterprise, said:

Within our region companies frequently lack the confidence to seek the finance to grow or those that do are lost to other regions in search of capital. Much more needs to be done to attract and connect angel investors to Birmingham based companies, retain our best entrepreneurial talent and this new network will be an important enabler for this.

With this in mind, Aston University and University of Birmingham joined forces under the Minerva Business Angels network’s umbrella announcing a brand-new collaboration called Minerva Birmingham.

A key function of the new group is to raise the profile of the opportunities to be gained both for growth companies and potential investors in order to work at countering the regional difference with the South East. 

Professor George Feiger, Executive Dean of Aston Business School, pointed out how little funding is available in the region for any start-ups compared to San Francisco urging to,

Further develop this initiative (as it) will support entrepreneurs in our networks to pitch for investment and increase the level of knowledge and activity around early stage investment in our region.

Recalling her experience as an angel investor, the Vice Chair of the West Midlands Growth Company, Liz McKenzie, echoed his discourse by encouraging people to follow suit:

We need more Angels to come on board.

Minerva Birmingham plans further events including embarking on a programme to provide training for those interested in becoming an Angel investor.

The next event will be in June and anybody interested in becoming an investor should contact them at support@minera.uk.net.  Companies should apply through the Minerva website.