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Do you have an early-stage innovative business that could disrupt the market?

Are you looking to scale your business to new heights, but don't know how?

Are you based in Sunderland, South Tyneside or Durham?

Are you already generating some revenue?

Then you could access an investment of £15,000.

This investment-driven programme is open to innovative businesses of all sectors and individuals with exciting new ideas who are serious about growing a successful enterprise.

To access the Innovate:Grow programme, you will be asked to submit your business vision to a panel of experienced investors, business analysts and industry experts.

Following a careful selection process, the chosen businesses will receive 10 weeks of expert business advice blending 1-1 coaching with critical peer-to-peer support to refine their innovative product or service for development and potential investment. This programme will be paid for from part of the investment awarded.

On completion of the programme, you will have fine-tuned your offering and be in a strong position to confidently pitch your business to investors and engage effectively with potential clients and stakeholders.

Programme Structure:

Week 1: Programme Kick-Off Day with full cohort (9am – 5pm)
Week 2 – 6: 1-1 Delivery focusing on individual business needs
Week 7: Cohort Day – Group proposition presentation development (9am – 5pm)
Week 8: Cohort Day – Individual review and forward development plan (9am – 5pm)
Week 9: Cohort Day – Review (9am – 5pm)
Week 10: Presentation to Investment Panel

In addition, for Sunderland, Durham and South Tyneside-based businesses…

We have teamed up with the North East BIC who are able to offer an additional package of support which includes:

· Access to a co-working space in the Innovation Zone for 6 months, which providing you with a base as well as access to networks, meeting rooms and peer support.

Up to 12 hours support from the following:

· Bespoke mentoring (we are working with Partners offering specialist business advice e.g. financial, legal, etc.)
· Regular meetings with the BIC adviser-in-residence to ensure that you are accessing all the support relevant to you.
· Training & personal development – access to workshops in managing finances & record keeping; marketing, introduction to business planning tools – dependent on your needs.
· Marketing support – we will prepare a press release, provide supporting photography and manage the distribution of the release on your behalf.

The Investment

Northstar Ventures will provide £15,000 to each business in the form of a convertible loan.
£10,000.00 of this will go directly into the business with £5,000.00 to pay for programme fees.
The loan does not carry interest or require security.

If you raise investment the loan plus a 20% redemption premium will convert into shares on the same terms as new investors.

If after 18 months there is no investment and the company is still trading, the loan (£15k) and redemption premium (£3k) will become repayable in equal monthly instalments over 18 months.

Eligibility Criteria:

You must be able to confirm ALL the following in order to be considered for the programme:

  • Business is registered on Companies House and have been trading (revenue generating) for at least three months
  • You employ <250 people, have a turnover of <€50m and have <€43m on your balance sheet
  • The core business is not within the excluded or restricted sectors (see pdf)
  • Your business is located in the North East LEP area (County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, excludes Tees Valley)
  • If your business has benefited from state aid, then the value is <€200,000 over the last three years (rolling)
  • You have a valid business bank account
  • The business is no more than 25% owned by another company/group

The programme has funding from the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by Northstar Ventures.

Northstar Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


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