The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, announced last week that early stage technology entrepreneurs are to be given a multi-million pound cash injection under a fund called Episode 1, part of a series of Enterprise Capital Funds supported by the Government and private investment, and used to support fund managers who invest in small, high growth businesses.
Episode 1 is the 14th Enterprise Capital Fund and is aimed at plugging what Dr Cable calls the “serious gap” in the equity market for high growth small firms. The fund is made up of £12.5m of private investment and £25m from the Government.
The Episode 1 Fund will invest between £250,000 and £2m into twenty to thirty early stage companies. Each must demonstrate its potential to be disruptive in the Internet and mobile sectors and must also have satisfied existing customers to validate the proposition.
Led by a team including Simon Murdoch, who has already invested in high profile tech firms such as Zoopla, Shutl and LoveFilm, Enterprise 1 aims to be the best place for early stage technology entrepreneurs who need up to £2m of funding to go.
Apart from potential funding, entrepreneurs who are successful in their applications will also benefit from the experience and expertise of the Episode 1 team.
Dr Murdoch said that he knows from personal experience how hard it is to start and grow a business and to find funding, even without the added difficulties of the current economic climate, so the Fund will give entrepreneurs a great start.
Across the 14 Enterprise Capital Funds launched since 2006, £197m has been invested in over 160 companies, whilst total investor commitment from the Government and the private sector stands at almost £480m.