E2Exhange announces launch of new crowdfunding site

Richard Branson-backed network launches Ice Dragons platform

The London Entrepreneurial Exchange (E2Exchange), the entrepreneur network headed by Sir Richard Branson, today announced the launch of a new crowdfunding platform targeted at young entrepreneurs.

Delivered in partnership with the Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise (ICE), the Ice Dragons platform will aim to connect high net-worth individuals with young entrepreneurs seeking funding for ‘high-quality’ start-ups and early stage businesses.

The platform plans to leverage its extensive network of entrepreneurs affiliated with E2Exchange and ICE to create a UK-wide network of investors and pre-screened early-stage businesses.

Backers can invest upwards of £100 in businesses listed on the platform, with no upper limit imposed.

Physical resources including the Welsh ICE Business Centre will also become available for use by the entrepreneurs who seek financing through the Ice Dragons platform.

E2Exchange said it was working with a number of international partners to create a global crowdfunding network, with operations across Europe and Switzerland launching in late 2014.

A number of businesses have already listed for funding on Ice Dragons, including fashion retailer Tags-on and steel modular building company Modulex.

Founded in 2010, the London Entrepreneurial Exchange is an entrepreneur and investor network backed by a number of high-profile business figures, including honorary president and Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson and Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne.

Shalini Khemka, chief executive of E2Exchange, commented: “We are extremely proud to be partnering with the Welsh ICE to launch the Ice Dragons crowdfunding platform, which will be an excellent option for our members seeking equity-based finance.

“Despite the nascent economic recovery in the UK many early stage businesses are still finding it difficult to raise funding and the this new initiative, based on the proven crowdfunding model, should provide them with a further route to access the capital they need to take full advantage of the opportunities the economic recovery will undoubtedly deliver.”

Adrian Walker, chief executive of Ice Dragons, added: “Welsh ICE is renowned for its skills and expertise in nurturing early stage businesses, while E2Exchange has a strong track record of supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs by providing the business services and advice that enables them to thrive.

“This gives both organisations excellent insight into the funding issues of SMEs, which makes them such fitting partners for Ice Dragons. Working together, we are confident that we can connect many high-quality businesses with the early stage funding that they need to flourish and expand.”

 

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