By Daniel Hunter
Securing overseas investment into UK start-ups and venture funds is the objective of a partnership agreement signed on Monday evening between UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA).
The UK is the centre of venture capital in Europe, but this kind of funding can be more difficult to secure in challenging economic times. To help UK-based entrepreneurs fulfil their full potential by expanding globally, UKTI has established a new Venture Capital Unit which will work closely with the BVCA and the venture community.
“The Government is committed to making Britain the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business. It is essential that entrepreneurs have access to the right funding to turn their ideas into successful companies," Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said.
“Through this agreement UKTI and the BVCA will work closely together to promote the UK as an international centre for venture capital, highlight the successes of UK companies and engage with overseas investors.
“I am excited by the possibilities of what the new venture capital unit can achieve, and I am pleased to welcome Chris Wade as it’s new Director. Chris is a serial entrepreneur who has secured significant venture funding and chairs companies in the UK and the US, bringing this expertise to his UKTI role.”
BVCA chief executive Mark Florman said:
“This event is the culmination of work lasting more than a year to link the BVCA formally to UKTI. It is an extremely important development for venture capital as it connects our sector with the UKTI’s network of embassies and consulates throughout the world. This is an alliance which could be invaluable on matters ranging from fundraising overseas, particularly sovereign wealth funds, to the promotion of homegrown venture capital-backed start-ups. This partnership is good for venture capital and good for Britain and I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship between the BVCA and the UKTI.”
UKTI and the BVCA will work closely together across a broad range of areas, but have agreed number of priority areas for joint work as part of the agreement signed today:
- Identifying and highlighting the best elements/companies in the UK venture capital and innovation scene.
- Finding and supporting the best UK SMEs to pitch to investors.
- Encouraging overseas pension funds/sovereign wealth funds etc to consider investments in UK venture capital funds.
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