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28 October 2013

Over 200 businesses supported, more than £60 million invested, 1,500+ jobs created or safeguarded

This summer we celebrated our 200th investment...

 Fund review

The North West Fund had another active quarter over the summer, during which time we celebrated our 200th investment. We reached a number of key milestones, having invested over £60 million, with a further £40 million in private sector co-funding, bringing the total value of investments into North West businesses to over £100 million. With further investments made throughout the quarter, The Fund has now supported a total of 210 businesses with more than £64 million.

The pipeline of investments remains strong with some interesting and exciting investments planned for the final quarter of the year and into 2014.

Our fund managers have completed some excellent investments across the region in the last quarter, including;
• Investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital into Regent Recruitment, a Manchester-based business which recruits chefs for some of the world's best restaurants;
• A £100,000 loan from The North West Fund for Loans Plus into Bootle-based Spotmix, a commercial waste management and recycling company;
• An investment by The North West Fund for Digital & Creative into Liverpool-based, Branded Reality, which has developed a mobile technology platform that integrates with advertising campaigns and enables brands to more effectively distribute product samples;
• A £400,000 investment by The North West Fund for Biomedical into Absynth Biologics Limited, which is developing vaccines and antibodies to treat bacterial infections. The company has also recently been awarded a £1.5M grant from the Biomedical Catalyst programme as well as receiving investment from Fusion IP; and
• A £500,000 investment from The North West Fund for Energy & Environmental into PVC Recycling, a leader in recycling plastic waste, based in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester.

Innovation is the key to success

In the past, many businesses were able to survive simply by maintaining the quality of their products or services to ensure they remained competitive. More recently however, the innovation process has been driven forward by factors such as globalisation, modern consumer expectations, and outsourcing.

Every business has its own priorities, however, businesses which fail to innovate face the risk of losing contracts to competitors, running inefficiently or even losing valued employees. Businesses now need more than good quality products or services to survive, they need innovative management and processes to improve productivity and sales.

The North West has been responsible for nurturing many great innovative businesses, from well known manufacturers like Unilever, Rolls Royce, and BAE Systems to food and drink producers, Innocent Smoothies and Raggae Reggae sauce. From established, existing businesses to new start ups, entrepreneurs can find a range of innovation initiatives running throughout the North West, for example at the Daresbury Innovation Centre, the Innovation Clinic based at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), the University of Manchester Innovation Centre, Liverpool's Innovation Park or Innovus at Energus the Cumbria-based technology development programme launched earlier this year.

It is clear that innovation has shaped the business world we see today and in this issue of INSPIRE you can read case studies from three of our many innovative businesses; Loksys Solutions, which has developed the innovative Trakalok system for securing freight containers; innovative online ticketing platform, Fatsoma; and Daresbury-based Acoustic Sensing Technology, responsible for developing the SewerBatt, an acoustic method for quickly detecting sewer faults.

Innovation can be a key differentiator between market leaders and their rivals. At The North West Fund we are proud to be supporting innovative entrepreneurs in their plans to grow successful businesses. Investing in innovation is imperative, not only in future proofing the region's businesses but also in protecting the economic wellbeing and prosperity of the North West.


If you are interested in finding out more about equity/loan funding to help grow your business please visit: http://www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk/funds

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