Posted on February 28, 2019 by staff

Leeds university hub partners with NorthInvest


The University of Leeds’ new innovation hub has partnered with tech investment platform NorthInvest.

The partnership aims to connect start-ups and SMEs within their community to investment advice and funding support.

It sees Nexus join forces with Northern Powerhouse-backed platform and hopes to connect early-stage tech start-ups to investment through angel networks and funds.

The collaboration will include access to the University of Leeds’ academic and research expertise, skills and talent and facilities, commercial business advice from professional services partner KPMG and funding support from NorthInvest mentors and investors.

“Nexus is committed to accelerating business growth for start-ups and SMEs in the North,” said Nexus Director Dr Martin Stow.

“Ahead of our opening this Spring we have built up an expert team, and developed numerous strategic commercial partnerships, to ensure that we can connect our members to the most appropriate expertise and support.

“We have a real synergy with NorthInvest, sharing a key objective of supporting the growth of businesses in the Leeds City Region and helping new ventures to thrive.”

Based in a new £40m building on the University campus, Nexus will feature facilities including office and lab space, collaboration areas, event and meeting space and a dedicated team who will be responsible for facilitating productive working partnerships and collaborations.

Nexus enterprise manager, Lizzie McCloy, will manage the relationship, acting as a representative for both Nexus and NorthInvest.

She adds: “Navigating the funding maze can be daunting for a new business and sourcing funding is often one of the major concerns for start-ups.

“Many entrepreneurs have brilliant, viable business plans, but when it comes to funding, they’re either not aware of the options available to them, or find the process intimidating and stressful.

“Nexus’ partnership with NorthInvest will give members access to mentors who can guide them through the process and connect them to real funding opportunities that can take their business to the next level.”

Nexus is set to open in early 2019, and recently expanded its team with the appointment of Jo Howorth as engagement manager for talent and skills.

NorthInvest founder Professor Adam Beaumont said: “I’ve been passionate about increasing the availability of funding for innovative start-up businesses in the North for the last two decades, and this partnership is another excellent example of how we can continue to support up and coming pioneers through connections to angel investors, mentoring and funds.”