The first South Yorkshire Investor Lounge took place on Wednesday 30th November at Kollider in Sheffield, bringing together members of the region’s rapidly growing startup ecosystem to reflect on the successes of 2022, and discuss the challenges for the future. The evening was launched through the South Yorkshire Angel Hub, a collaboration between TEAM SY and NorthInvest, to showcase some of our finest up and coming startups, (covering sustainability, media, immersive tech, data, AI, medtech, e-commerce and tech for good), and focus on securing early stage funding for them.
With over 100 investors, funders, sector specialists and entrepreneurs in the room, the evening was a great success, and demonstrates just why South Yorkshire is such an exciting place to start, develop and grow a business.
The evening began with an introduction to the current startup ecosystem, and discussions of the amount of support already available through a variety of associations, accelerator programmes and influential people who are making things happen. Attendees then heard a presentation from Ashley Tate from Mina, who shared his journey through fund-raising rounds, before the first of the startups had their chance to pitch.
Before the remaining startups took to the stage, we spoke to a panel of regional specialists including: Louisa Harrison-Walker, Chief Executive of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce; Alex Dochery, Investment Team Manager of Business Doncaster/Doncaster Council; Kathy McArdle, Service Director for Regeneration and Culture of Barnsley Council, and Yvonne Asquith, Business Sheffield and Invest, Sheffield City Council.
Bringing together all of these experts under one roof displayed just how much potential there is in South Yorkshire for startups, investors and sector specialists who are looking for innovation to drive their sector forward.
The evening led to some great successes for the startups, with 7 of them already in conversation with investors who attended the event. A further 4 of them are now having discussions with investors who heard about the event afterwards and have since been introduced, and one of the startups will close their round before the end of the year.
These amazing achievements are a fantastic platform to build from. There are some very exciting things happening in the region, especially with TEAM SY’s programmes and accelerators, which are designed to support a wide range of businesses and sectors. This is leading to a strong and consistent pipeline of credible startups looking to raise investment. The South Yorkshire Angel Hub and NorthInvest are now seeing more regional investment activities and attracting new investors to the region. They have created a great starting point for all of South Yorkshire, and it will be exciting to see how they move this forward in 2023.
NorthInvest is a not-for-profit investment organisation specialising in angel investment in tech and digital start-ups across Tech For Good, Digital Media, Cyber, FinTech and MedTech. NorthInvest is backed by the Northern Powerhouse and facilitates connections and investment between tech and digital startups and angel investors, as well as offering free coaching and mentorship opportunities to entrepreneurs and Non-Executive Director opportunities to investors