Former Dragon James Caan CBE launches programme to match start-ups with investors

VenturesPlus will connect disruptive entrepreneurs with established corporate businesses who, alongside Caan, will invest in their products and growth

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Former Dragons’ Den investor James Caan CBE and Dutch entrepreneur Hendrik Halbe have partnered to launch VenturesPlus, a support programme which aims to help start-ups find investment.

Inspired by the struggles Caan has seen both new and established businesses face, VenturesPlus will connect corporate businesses with innovative start-ups whose products the corporate has a use for.

Through the programme, corporates can ensure that they are using the latest, most efficient and unique technology by investing in promising start-ups and the disruptive technologies they are developing, while the start-ups in turn gain finance and a long-term partner who knows the market.

Start-up entrepreneurs will be selected, invited to join the programme, and matched with a leading corporate business. Together, the start-up and the corporate will work to create a mutually beneficial investment deal.

Along with the corporates, Caan is also expected to invest in VenturesPlus’ start-up participants.

Caan and Halbe are likely to use their existing connections with start-ups across the world to select participants. Through his work with Get in the Ring, a worldwide community of start-ups, Halbe has formed relationships with over 20,000 entrepreneurs across more than 100 countries.

Meanwhile, Caan connected with over 28,000 businesses during his position as chairman at Startups Awards 2017 headline sponsor The Start Up Loans Company.

In a blog post, Caan wrote: “Traditional accelerators are limited when it comes to accessing top entrepreneurial talent. What we’re doing is bringing the world’s leading entrepreneurs to leading corporate businesses.

“Often, these accelerators ask too much from entrepreneurs; VenturesPlus is all about creating mutually beneficial partnerships. That’s why we never ask for equity until we know both parties are happy working together and have agreed investment terms.

“For change to really happen, you need more than 12 weeks. Partnerships require long term commitment from both sides. That’s why our programme runs all year round – we’re building ventures for the future, not just executing PR campaigns.”

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