Cardiff St Mary Street

Twenty of Wales’ top business leaders have joined forces to create Inspire Growth Wales, an investment consortium which aims to give financial and mentoring help to exciting and ambitious start-ups, early stage and growth businesses.

The consortium was launched today (Tuesday) ahead of it sponsoring the Sir Michael Moritz tech start-up award at the ESTnet awards on 2 March.

The consortium members are all Welsh or have a connection to Wales, and are committed to helping the economy and start-up community in Wales, utilising decades of business experience across many sectors from technology, finance and travel, and more.

Inspire Growth Wales members include Simon Powell, founder and CEO of travel industry technology firm Comtec, Hayley Parsons, founder and former CEO of, John Lloyd-Jones, who has over 30 years’ experience in finance, and Ashley Cooper, founder of TES Aviation and director of Catalyst Growth Partners.

Inspire Growth Wales is seeking pitches from entrepreneurs who are interested in investment to start their business or move it onto the next level, along with mentoring and guidance from Inspire Growth Wales members.

Simon Powell said: “Inspire Growth Wales is a really exciting organisation and I am thrilled to be part of it. I know how hard it is to get that first step on the ladder and secure investment, so it is great to be part of this exciting organisation and to be able to give something back.

“We are hoping to be able to help some of Wales’ future FTSE listed companies get off the ground. We can’t wait to get the pitches and listen to some of the exciting business ideas out there.”

Hayley Parsons, said: “I’m so pleased to be part of Inspire Growth Wales. It is great to work with like-minded people to listen to and, hopefully, inspire the next generation of Welsh businesses.

“I can’t wait to hear pitches from businesses who want our help and mentoring to see what entrepreneurs are out there. It would be great to create another Gocompare or Comtec.”

John Lloyd-Jones, said: “Having helped grow several highly successful businesses it’s exciting to be able help people to start and grow their own companies.

“To have 20 people of such high business acumen in one organisation is wonderful and it is going to be very interesting to see what companies we invest in and how successful they become in the coming years.”