Tech innovators offered start-up support with launch of £150m fund

MTI partners with university research centres to provide seed capital

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A new investment fund designed to help tech innovators transfer their ideas to market was unveiled yesterday.

The Orion Fund – which was launched by venture capital firm MTI, in partnership with the Universities of Manchester, Edinburgh and University College London – aims to raise £150m for tech start-ups, making it the largest investment fund of its kind in the world.

Working with three of the UK’s top six universities for commercial tech research, the fund will assess hundreds of innovations for their potential – and many will receive pre-seed funding to test their viability as businesses.

Ultimately, 35 of the country’s best tech innovations will be selected to receive seed funding of between £250,000 and £750,000.

These businesses can then potentially bid for further investment, typically ranging from £3m to £5m, at a later stage. The fund, which is currently raising its investment finance, hopes to accumulate the capital from pension funds, insurance societies and family offices.

Four leading investors will use their networks to join the fundraising effort, before joining the board as fund partners when the target is met.

Speaking for the new partners, Sir Richard Heygate said: “The United Kingdom has always been one of the most innovative countries in the world, although sometimes it has lagged behind others in turning this creativity into world-ranking businesses.

“The new fund is well positioned to…create significant new wealth for our investors and our country.”


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