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Digital business briefing October 2014


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A summary of useful funding, support and research for UK digital businesses for October 2014.

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Digital business briefing October 2014

  1. 1. Digital Business Briefing October 2014
  2. 2. What is this briefing? • A digest of useful information for UK digital businesses seeking funding and support, updated every month • Brought to you by the following organisations:
  3. 3. Contents • Public funding calls • Other public funding • Private financing • Other financing mechanisms • Non-financial support for your business • Relevant events • Other information • Useful reports
  4. 4. Open funding calls IC tomorrow Connected Cities Key feature: Grant funding to work with industrial partners to develop new solutions for connected cities Scale: • Up to £35k grants, 100% funded • Specifically for micro, small or medium sized businesses Closes: 14th October 2014 More info on
  5. 5. Public funding calls Innovation Vouchers Key feature: Innovation voucher scheme funding for start-up, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to work with an external expert to gain the knowledge to innovate and grow. Scale: • Up to £5k funding for SMEs Closes: on 22 October 2014 More info on
  6. 6. Public funding calls Food open data challenge Key feature: A grant to use available open data to develop products and services to support people to make better choices with their food. Scale: • Finalists receive £5k • A “Grand prize” of up to £40k for successfully evidenced services Closes: 27th October 2014 More info on Nesta website
  7. 7. Open funding calls Design the Future Key feature: Researching how designers use the integration of new engineering and technologies leading to develop future products and processes. Scale: • Up to £3m to fund a number of small, feasibility-style projects (up to £300,000 and 18-months duration) Closes: on 29 October 2014 More info on
  8. 8. Open funding calls Digital Healthcare Innovation Key feature: The fund is for small creative and digital businesses (SMEs) with innovative concepts or prototypes using digital technology to improve patient care and health services in areas such as dementia, social care, and cardiovascular and medication management. Scale: • £1m over four programmes – £250 per programme, x5 investments of £50k per programme Closes: 31st October, 2014 (West Midlands Interactive Healthcare Fund – 1st programme) More info on
  9. 9. Public funding calls Horizon 2020 ICT-19-2015 Key feature: R&D funding of new or emerging technologies (e.g. 3D and augmented reality technologies) for digital content creation to support the creative and media industries and for unlocking complex information and media and interacting with them. Scale: €561,000,000 Opens:15th October 2014 Closes: 14th April 2015 Further info: Horizon 2020 website, UK list of National Contact Points for Horizon 2020 and the Enterprise Europe Networks
  10. 10. Public funding calls Horizon 2020 ICT-20-2015 Key feature: This challenge encourages public procurement of innovative solutions to address the needs of the digital learning ecosystem in making better use of educational cloud solutions, mobile technology, learning analytics and big data, and to facilitate the use, re-use and creation of learning material and new ways to educate and learn online. Scale: €561,000,000 Opens:15th October 2014 Closes: 14th April 2015 Further info: Horizon 2020 website, UK list of National Contact Points for Horizon 2020 and the Enterprise Europe Networks
  11. 11. Public funding calls "Smart" grants for start-ups and small businesses Key feature: A grant scheme which offers funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology. Scale: • Proof of market - up to £25k - 60% of project cost • Proof of concept - up to £100k - 60% of project cost • Prototype development - up to £250k - up to 45% of project cost Closes: 27th November 2014 More info on
  12. 12. Public funding calls An integrated future for cities Key feature: large-scale SBRI contracts to encourage new ways of achieving better integration of infrastructure and services across a city. Contracts will be to develop prototypes, must link up cities and will enable users to interact with multiple models to tackle different city problems. Scale: • Contracts of between £1.5 - 2m – 100% funded • Single contract, but able to sub-contract out work Closes: registration closes on 7 January 2015 More info on
  13. 13. Public funding calls Social Seed Fund Key feature: Funding and mentoring support for new digital ventures for social impact Scale: • Between £15-50k • A “Grand prize” of up to £40k for successfully evidenced services Opened: 22nd September 2014 Closes: on-going More info on Nominet Trust website
  14. 14. Public funding calls Nesta Impact Investment Key feature: An equity investment fund investing in social ventures with innovative products or services that are addressing some of the UK’s most pressing challenges. Investments are made in areas that tackle: • the health and wellbeing of an ageing population • the educational attainment and employability of children and young people • the social and environmental sustainability of communities. Scale: between £150k - £1m Closes: on-going More info on Nesta Investments
  15. 15. Other public funding Funding Central and Finance Finder websites Key features: Online guide to over 4,000 grants, contracts and other forms of finance: • Fully searchable based on finance type, scale and your geographical location • Constantly updated – especially good for businesses seeking charitable or grant funding More info on Funding Central and Finance Finder
  16. 16. Private financing Connect Ventures, London – invest in mobile, internet and digital media businesses; invest at the early stage and focus on seed investments; investment size ranges from £200K-£600k Edge Investments, London - specialist investment house focused on the creative industries sector, in particular media and entertainment, which has raised more than £145m since launch Growth Accelerator, Cornwall – provided by some of the UK’s leading growth specialists; works with businesses from a diverse range of sectors; key eligibility criteria include fewer than 250 employees and annual turnover under £40m Index Ventures, London, San Francisco & Geneva – venture capital firm making investments in information technology and life sciences companies, since 1996 they have teamed up with technology entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries
  17. 17. Private financing Ingenious Media, London – a UK media investment and advisory group with operating divisions of Investments, Ventures, Asset Management and Corporate Finance; since 1998 they have raised and invested over £9bn in the media and entertainment, clean energy and real estate sectors Notion Capital, London – invest in B2B Cloud & SaaS companies who have sustained 100% Year-over-Year growth; investment areas include adtech, communications and collaboration tools, ecommerce, enterprise software, fintech and security; portfolio raised over £200m in 2014 Silicon Valley Bank – global bank dedicated to the innovation sector with focus on technology businesses; have supported clients such as Shazam, The Foundry and Cambridge Broadband Networks
  18. 18. Other financing mechanisms – UK’s largest crowdfunding network having launched 1000’s of projects and raised over £2m, platform launched by KEO digital and partners include Nesta and Plymouth University Funding Circle – an online marketplace which allows savers to lend money directly to SMEs; the first site to use peer-to-peer lending for business funding in the UK; as of February 2014 Funding Circle has facilitated £223 in loans to SMEs – a global crowdfunding platform based in the United States; the company’s stated mission is to help to bring creative projects to life; since launching in 2009, 7m people have pledged $1bn, funding 70,000 creative projects Seedcamp is a London based accelerator that provides startups with seed money, mentorship, office space, support over a year long programme.
  19. 19. Launching a new digital business? • The Open Data Institute runs a start-up programme that helps start-ups build business models around open data • Tech City UK offers advice and support to start-ups looking for guidance in and around London. It has just launched its Digital Business Academy. Tech City UK can also endorse visa applications to help recruit talent to Britain. • Innovate UK - IC tomorrow connects start-ups and SMEs with leading commercial partners and investors, through funded contests, events, and strategic matchmaking opportunities. • Transmit Start Ups provide financial support and mentoring to creative and digital entrepreneurs that would not normally be available via traditional banking relationships.
  20. 20. Are you an existing digital business seeking non-financial advice or support? • Nesta runs a creative business mentor network for digital businesses looking to grow • The UKTI offers advice to help with exporting • Tech City UK can help advise on inward investment • The British Business Angels Association can help put you in touch with relevant business angel investors • The Digital Catapult can help you showcase your business
  21. 21. Are you an existing digital business seeking advice or support? • Subsidised costs to work with a specialist to build and deliver business growth – GrowthAccelerator • Use the IP Health check to identify commercial IP in your business • AngelList – helps source angel investors
  22. 22. Training and skills Develop your skills with these world-class courses: • Training in Open Data from the Open Data Institute • Digital Project Management – via @IABUK • Digital Acceleration – 22-24th October via @hyperisland_uk • Digital training – via @Econsultancy – e-marketing courses
  23. 23. Relevant events in October • AOP Autumn Conference - London 9th October • Play Expo – Manchester 11th-12th October • Bar Camp Manchester – Manchester 18th-19th October • TechCrunch Disrupt Europe – London 20th October • User-Centred Design conference (UCD2014) – London 24-25th October • Bristol digital events – via @goramandvincent • Wired Sussex events – via @WiredSussex • Manchester events – via @McrDig • For all events in and around London, check out Tech City News
  24. 24. Other information • The Digital Catapult Centre opens its doors on November 5th. The Centre will be the cornerstone of the Connected Digital Economy Catapult and the many new collaborations it convenes between business, universities and other digital stakeholders. • The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) recently published their Startup Manifesto setting out 24 ways the next government should make Britain a world leader in digital innovation. • Tech City UK launches Tech Nation Survey to map the UK’s digital economy. • As of 19th August 2014 video games companies across the UK can now claim corporation tax relief for the production of games qualifying under new cultural test regulations. Ask your accountant for more details.
  25. 25. Useful reports • Communications Market report 2014 – via @Ofcom: supporting Ofcom’s regulatory goal to research markets and to remain at the forefront of technological understanding, this is their eleventh annual Communications Market report. • Digital landscape report via @ukaop (membership required) • Making Sense of the UK Collaborative Economy – via @nesta_uk and Collaborative Lab: examines the progress and potential of the UK's collaborative economy, who is operating and participating in it, and how it can be supported and managed.
  26. 26. Something else we've missed? Please let us know, plus sign up for monthly updates at: