Help, support and frequently asked questions about The Start-Up Series
What is The Start-Up Series?
The Start-up Series is the UK’s largest ever seed funding competition and gives start-up businesses across the country the chance to win a share of £1.8m funding. Launched by Startups.co.uk in partnership with experienced investors Worth Capital, The Start-Up Series is a series of monthly competitions.
Every month, one business will be chosen to receive up to £150,000 equity seed funding – at a fair valuation from experienced and successful investors.
Who is Startups.co.uk?
Startups.co.uk is the UK’s leading independent, online resource for anyone wanting to start or grow a business.
Established in 2000, it is the longest serving, largest and most comprehensive advice platform covering everything you need to know to start, buy, run or sell a business.
The site receives over 400,000 monthly unique users, and combined has over 68,000 fans on Twitter and Facebook.
Who is Worth Capital?
Worth Capital has a proven track record in helping new entrepreneurs obtain funds and expertise to help turn their ideas into successful, sustainable businesses.
Worth Capital founders Paul Soanes and Matthew Cushen are brand, retail & innovation experts as well as experienced angel investors with over 30 seed investments between then.
Where will the funding come from?
The investment will come from an SEIS fund, being raised specifically to back the winners of the series of competitions.
How much funding is available?
Each month, one business will be chosen to receive up to £150,000 seed funding. There is a total of £1.8m worth of funding available to the 12 winners.
How do I apply for the The Start-Up Series?
You can register your basic information on The Start-Up Series website and then when the competition window is open, you will be contacted by email and provided with a link to the competition application form.
The initial application is very simple and quick, just a few details and a two-minute video or two-page document. If you are successful in getting to the next round, you’ll be asked for some more information.
When can I apply for The Start-Up Series?
Entries for each month’s competition will open on the 1st of the month and close on the 14th of the month.
Is my business eligible for funding?
The Start-Up Series is for early-stage consumer businesses: creating a new product or service, or new ways to buy them.
And because the fund will be for SEIS investments the business needs to satisfy criteria set by HMRC:
- Your business must be UK-based and you must be a UK resident
- You must be over 18 years old at the time of entry
- Your business must have been trading for less than 21 months and have less than £200,000 in gross assets (so as to qualify for SEIS-funding)
- You must employ fewer than 25 staff
Will I be required to give away equity in my business?
Yes, as the competition is for SEIS investment, you will be required to give away equity in exchange for investment. In addition, Worth Capital will receive a 7% share option in funded business.
Can I apply for The Start-Up Series competition more than once?
Yes, you can enter the competition each month. If you are successful and win investment, you cannot apply again.
Can I apply for The Start-Up Series if I run a property or finance start-up?
Financial services and property-related businesses aren’t likely to qualify for SEIS funding so it’s unlikely that your application will be eligible.
Who selects the winner each month?
The winner is chosen by Worth Capital. Final funding with be dependent on some technical due diligence undertaken by the Fund Manager.
How do I find out if I’m a winner?
You will be contacted privately with the good news as soon as the decision is made after the final consultations (within eight weeks from the competition opening).
If I win, when can I expect to receive investment?
It is expected that the winner will receive their investment after four weeks, however this is subject to final due diligence from the Fund Manager.
Can I apply for The Start-up Series if my business is based outside of the UK?
No, your company must be UK-registered to be eligible for the competition. You must also be a UK resident.
Is applying for The Start-up Series a good idea?
Yes! Worth Capital has a proven track record in helping new entrepreneurs obtain funds and expertise to help turn their ideas into successful, sustainable businesses.
Through previous competitions with the likes of Facebook and Metro, Worth Capital has invested over £600,000 into start-up businesses. Past winners Tart and Splendy Entertainment have gone on to raise additional funding at more than double their original valuation.
What is the SEIS programme and how does it work?
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is designed to help small, early-stage companies raise equity finance by offering tax reliefs to individual investors who purchase new shares in those companies. Click here to find out more about the scheme.
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