Got a start-up business to shout about? We want to hear from you...
Welcome to the home of the UK’s largest seed funding competition – The Start-Up Series – a unique competition created to discover and invest in the UK’s brightest entrepreneurs with the smartest ideas.
This is not a ‘prize fund valued at X’ scheme where you may win some services for free. The Start-Up Series is a serious investment competition that will invest real money into real businesses.
Interested in receiving an equity investment?
We aim to pick one business every month to receive investment from an EIS & SEIS fund.
Startups.co.uk are in partnership with experienced investment promoters Worth Capital. The series throws the doors wide open for companies to submit their applications from the 1st to the 14th of every month. From an initial simple application, businesses will be assessed through multiple stages and winners will be offered investment at a fair valuation in exchange for an equity stake in their business (subject to due diligence carried out by the Fund Manager).
The amount of funding and the amount of equity in return is agreed with the winners as part of the process. Typically, Worth Capital look to invest most of the £150,000 funding allowed for SEIS qualifying businesses – and then make follow on investments from the fund as the business grows. For more mature EIS qualifying businesses they may invest up to £250,000, either as the sole investor, leading an investment round or alongside other institutional investors.
Access to funding
In a survey we carried out with readers of Startups.co.uk, access to funding came top of the pile of challenges for those starting and growing an early stage business. The Start-Up Series aims to help solve that problem for the successful business, as well as helping unsuccessful businesses received useful feedback having got their thinking together about what investors are after.
In eight to 10 weeks after submitting an application, a competition winner will be chosen and will then enter a due diligence phase before the cash can be invested into the business. We’ll announce the winners and update on their journeys, right here on Startups.co.uk.
But it’s not just about the money. Securing investment is as much about the expertise that comes with the money. Worth Capital are the ideal partner. A winning company will work with an experienced Investor Director who will help them grow their business.
The Worth Capital founders, Paul Soanes and Matthew Cushen, are experienced entrepreneurs and angel investors. They have a track record of backing successful start-ups and helping them accelerate their growth. Learn more about Worth Capital here.
Start-Up Series success
Our competition has been running since October 2016 and has unearthed a number of exciting start-up businesses who have each gone on to receive up to £150,000 of equity investment. Read some of our real winners stories here.
The competition is open to any business that would qualify for SEIS funding. Find out if you qualify for EIS funding here, or SEIS funding here. Worth Capital get particularly excited by businesses with smart market insight and the ability to communicate their new product or service well – as that gives them confidence in the potential to influence customers. Worth Capital look for both consumer and B2B businesses.
The competition is truly UK wide. Whilst HMRC statistics show 65% of SEIS funding for start-ups was directed to London and the South East of England in 2015/16, the first Start-Up Series winner is based in Liverpool, the second just outside Manchester, the third in Birmingham. As of September 2018, 64% of Start-Up Series funding has gone to businesses outside London and the South East.
Similarly, a report by The Entrepreneurs Network (supported by Barclays and published in March 2017) found that private funding in 2016 was split 91% to businesses without a female founder, with only 9% to business including a female founder. The Start-Up Series has directed 33% of funding to businesses with a female founder.
Make yourself known
Finally, every business that makes it through will receive invaluable media coverage and ongoing support on Startups.co.uk. We will want your business to succeed almost as much as you and will follow your progress.
Your business could be on the cusp of something big, so if this sounds like the competition for you either register your interest or enter today.