Reflections on new support for business – Innovate UK and the Future Fund

A new package of support was announced by Government on 20th April, designed to address the needs of innovative, high-growth companies, who are experiencing finance and cash-flow difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 situation.  The package includes £750m of funding to be made available to companies through Innovate UK, as well as the creation of the “Future Fund”.  This latter intervention, which will be delivered by the British Business Bank, will provide risk-capital backed companies with access to convertible loans, as long as the company has previously attracted at least £250k in investment and has ‘match’ investment available from a third party investor.

Barclays Eagle Labs held a virtual event on 23rd April, with panelists including Ian Campbell, Executive Chair from Innovate UK, who gave the latest available detail on £750m package of support.  The Future Fund was also discussed.

The attached note from Advanced Oxford provides a reflection on the discussion, as well as some thoughts and issues on the Future Fund.  IUK and Future Fund – reflections 1

Our key takeaways from the virtual event:

  • Lots of new support available from Innovate UK, including for companies that have not previously received support.
  • Keep checking Innovate UK’s website – everything will be posted there, along with how to apply
  • There is lots of other support available – check out your local Growth Hub, Innovate UK’s Enterprise Europe network, Barclays Eagle Labs Hub and professional services firms – updates and details are regularly being posted.
  • There is still much detail on the Future Fund to be worked out – with an expectation of more detail next week.
  • The need for match funding AND for companies to have already received at least £250k of investment will be a big barrier for many younger, early-stage firms
  • It is not clear how the Future Fund will work alongside Angel investment



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