17 August 2015
Swansea University is launching an Innovation Fund to assist new and existing spin-out companies based at the University. The Innovation Fund, set up by Dr Gerry Ronan (Swansea University) and run by Dr Mark Bowman (Arche Innovations Ltd), will accelerate the route to commercialisation for academic research.
It is inspired by the success of the University’s pilot programme InvestorG8 which is estimated to deliver a 10 fold return on the £450,000 of public funding it received in 2014. InvestorG8 has helped fuel the growth of many spin-out businesses through their investment; one of which is BIPVCo, a company that specialises in integrating photovoltaic solar panels into the fabric of the roof. BIPVCo was spun out of the work carried out at SPECIFIC and is part of their solution to turn buildings into power stations. Dr Ronan said “InvestorG8 has delivered a step change in spin-out activity at Swansea University. The decision to launch an Innovation Fund is part of a broader strategy to support spin-out formation and to ensure that such companies are properly financed. We fully expect to leverage significant additional investment from third party venture capital funds and business angel networks.”
The Innovation Fund will assist businesses through two interlinked funding streams. Funds of up to £5,000 will be awarded for activities such as commissioning of market and technical reports as part of the investment due diligence process. A second stream of up to £50,000 will be available as part of syndicated deals with third party venture capital and business angel investors. “The launch of the Innovation Fund reinforces our ambition to enable the creation of successful, high-growth spin-out companies and to pro-actively assist in their financing.” Professor Richard Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University.
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