Win as much as £250,000 of fairness funding to your start-up

Originally written by Nick Ismail on Small Business

Worth Capital is back on the hunt for start-ups with the return of The Start-Up Series.

Continuing our usual monthly cycle, the competition is open for entries from 1st to 14th of each month, where we’ll be hunting for ambitious start-ups with the potential to become much loved brands. Regardless of sector or whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, as long as your start-up is eligible for SEIS or EIS HMRC advance assurance, then we’ll consider your application.

Winners will receive up to £250,000 of equity funding, a minimum of two-years expert support from Worth Capital and media coverage on smallbusiness.co.uk and other channels to promote your business and follow your journey.

See how to enter here. Please note, your start-up will need to be eligible for SEIS or EIS HMRC advance assurance.

Hayley Etherington, business operations director of Worth Capital, said: “The Start-Up Series has already invested over £4.2M into some of the UK’s most promising start-ups – which makes us the largest seed funding competition in the UK.

“We’re hoping and expecting that the September Series, and beyond, continues to attract the very best UK entrepreneurial talent for our investors to back. Along with the other judges, I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next applications to roll in.”

Previous winners include entrepreneurs from all walks of life and throughout the UK.

Cheltenham-based Jo & Nick James, founders of Bedfolk have gone on to achieve exceptional growth with their homewares ecommerce brand since winning the Start-Up Series and receiving their first investment in April 2019. Read more about their story here.

Andy Roberts from Wrexham has a software-as-a-subscription proposition, Weekly10, helping organisations to track and improve sentiment and engagement amongst employees. Having received several investments during 2019 and early 2020, the business was well positioned to take advantage of the increase in remote working over the last 6 months. Read more here.

Like the rest of our lives the competition took a brief pause over the summer, allowing Worth Capital to focus their full attention on supporting previous winners to respond quickly, adapt and reposition their businesses for the future.

Paul Soanes, funding partner of Worth Capital, said: “We paused the Start-Up Series for a few months as we needed to focus our efforts on supporting the businesses we already have in our portfolio through the challenges they were facing. We’ve been helping them to look up to the horizon and spot the long-term opportunities that are arising out of unprecedented changes in the way consumers and businesses are behaving.”

The Start-Up Series has an impressive record of funding diversely. Whilst typically only 9 per cent of early stage funding goes to businesses with a female founder, the Start-Up Series has seen 40 per cent of its funding reach businesses with a female founder.

The Start-Up Series also bucks the trends on geography. Generally, only 35 per cent of seed funding heads to businesses outside of the London & South East ‘bubble’, with the Start-Up Series it is 60 per cent of the funding heading outside London. There are no benchmarks published on how much of the UK’s early stage funding goes to businesses with a BAME founder, but we suspect that the Start-Up Series, at 19 per cent, is more inclusive than most (but still with a way to go to be truly representative).

Ms Etherington continued: “We’re looking across the length and breadth of the country for ambitious start-ups with an innovative proposition in high-growth markets, and with smart and tenacious teams that can grow a business fast”.

Sounds like you? Enter today.

Further reading

The Start-Up Series competition is back — £250,000 equity funding up for grabs! 

Win up to £250,000 of equity funding for your start-up

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