Region’s Innovative Companies In The Spotlight At Showcase Event

Early Showcase photo 750x350tiny9 September 2014

Some of the region’s most innovative companies will gather at a showcase event in Birmingham next week.

Venture capital specialist Midven has organised a portfolio showcase to help mark the fourth anniversary of its Early Advantage fund.  The event – at Austin Court, in the centre of Birmingham – will afford around 20 companies the opportunity to highlight their products and services.

As well as the opportunity to meet the people behind some of the West Midlands’ most promising companies, there will also be a discussion on exits, which will be presented by a panel of leading serial entrepreneurs.  Amongst those on the panel will be Paul Anson, CEO of LumeJet, a Coventry-based company recently named one of the most promising digital concerns in the UK. Paul was co-founder and COO of Inca Digital, a start-up wide-bed inkjet printer manufacturer that was acquired in 2005 by Dainippon Screen. Also on the panel will be Stewart Boxer, co-founder of Dynamic Change which was acquired by Allocate plc in 2010. He has a wealth of experience in how to grow and exit promising businesses. The final panel member is Richard George, finance director of Crowd Technologies and chairman of Activ8. Richard is a serial hands-on angel investor and was a director heavily involved in a number of successful trade sales  including Open Systems Design to Protocol (1997), Open Systems Group to Maxsys Holdings Pty (2001), and Initium Limited to Onboard Retail Solutions (2012.

The event will also hear a discussion on LEPs and the assistance they can provide to SMEs led by Paul Heaven, who sits on the Access to Finance sub committee of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, and runs Blue Sky Corporate Finance.

The event runs from 10am to 1pm on Wednesday September 17 in Birmingham – for more information please call Sam Hayley at Midven on 0121 710 1990. Duncan Kerr, fund principal of the Early Fund, said: “In the four years since we launched the fund, we’ve backed 38 companies, and have worked with high-growth start-ups and early stage businesses to bring not just funding but a wealth of business experience and contacts too – it’s going to be great to see so many of these entrepreneurs demonstrating how that partnership has worked for them over the years by showcasing some of the region’s finest concerns.”

The Early Advantage fund provides investment alongside business angels and other private sector investors. The first investment can be up to £125,000 if matched by private money, with subsequent rounds going up to a cumulative £400,000. The £8million fund was created through the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (“BIS”) and is funded BIS and the European Regional Development Fund.