A perfect ten for funding advisors

Nick Butler, chief executive of Connect Yorkshire
Nick Butler, chief executive of Connect Yorkshire
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A leading Yorkshire organisation that helps hi-tech companies find the funding they need to grow is to mark its tenth birthday with an investment forum in Sheffield.

Connect Yorkshire has helped companies secure more than £45 million worth of investment since it was launched with backing from regional development agency Yorkshire Forward.

The not-for-profit organisation has proved so successful in raising funds and winning backing from key players in the finance and advisory sector that it has secured its future beyond Yorkshire Forward’s demise.

Now, it is looking for more fast-growing small to medium sized businesses that are seeking backing from finance and venture capital specialists.

Chief executive Nick Butler, said: “We have worked with many Sheffield organisations over the last ten years and have seen numerous highly successful and innovative companies prosper.

“We feel more than ever companies – which may have superb ideas but can lack the necessary commercial knowledge or specialist expertise needed to grow their businesses – need help in the key areas of commerce such as drawing up business plans, being coached for presenting to investors or legal advice.

“We have superb working relationships and key contacts with many of the UK’s main blue chip organisations across the professional services sector; we will be looking increasingly to develop these relationships as we continue to grow and expand our services.”

Sheffield companies helped to find funding by Connect Yorkshire include Very PC and Seren Photonics. Very PC builds high performance, eco-friendly desktop computers, servers and data management and storage arrays.

Seren, meanwhile, is a Sheffield University spin out that has developed high-performance, low-energy LEDs, which can be used for everything from back lighting for laptop computers and TVs, to signs, displays, domestic and architectural lighting.

Connect Yorkshire has also helped to find backing for R3, recently launched by former DavyMarkham boss Kevin Parkin, which has developed revolutionary technology that technology that turns waste plastic into heavy duty construction products.

Connect Yorkshire’s chairman, technology entrepreneur Richard Doyle, said: “Our success has proved that there is a much needed role to span the private and public sector and provide high growth companies with unbiased advice and access to specialist expertise and investors.

“The SME is the lifeblood of the economy and it is a very important role – and a privilege - to be able to help them prosper and grow.”

Connect Yorkshire’s Sheffield Investment Forum will take place on Wednesday, September 28 at law firm DLA Piper’s St Paul’s Place offices in Sheffield.

High growth companies interested in Making presentations to potential investors should e-mail Danielle.ward@connectyorkshire.org or visit connectyorkshire.org.