Pitch BlackDozens of investors from across the UK are to descend on Durham next week (Tuesday 21st June) in search of bright North East businesses to back. 

Around 40 investors and lenders representing millions of pounds worth of funds are preparing to talk money with up to 100 businesses at the first ever gathering of FinanceCamp North East, an innovative programme designed to make it easier for the region’s businesses to get hold of the money they need to grow.

Businesses looking for everything from a £1,000 start-up loan to a multi-million pound equity funding round will get a chance to pitch their ideas to a whole spectrum of funders including venture fund managers, angel investors, banks and crowd funding platforms. Those taking part have completed a programme of preparations designed to maximise their chances of securing the funds they need.

FinanceCamp has been organised by the team behind Venturefest North East as a way of building on the success of investor meetings brokered annually at the region’s innovation conference.

Executive Director Simon Green said: “There has been an overwhelming response by the investment community to the concept of FinanceCamp, with dozens of funders excited by the prospect of meeting so many exciting businesses on one day. 

“There’s nothing quite like FinanceCamp across the UK, helping businesses with understanding their funding options, preparing them to meet with investors and then providing the environment to connect with suitable sources of funding. 

By bringing together such a variety of investors and finance experts, we can provide useful content for businesses of all sectors and stages of development. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of all this work in increased funding and business growth in the North East of England.”

The full-day event is a culmination of support provided to increase business’s chances of attracting the investment they need. The day will include:

  • Keynote speakers on both sides of the finance fence will share words of wisdom and warning. Joe Stevens of Whispering Gibbon and Professor Karl Coleman of Applied Graphene Materials will reveal how they raised funding for their North East businesses, while Jeremy Middleton of Middleton Enterprises and Mark Fahy of London Stock Exchange will explain how they have financed ambitious companies 
  • Workshops delivered by experts to prepare businesses for investment 
  • One-to-one investor meetings

The day will climax with Pitch Black, a dramatic pitching test, designed to put new skills (and nerves) to the test in front of a live audience and panel of judges. Businesses will be given three minutes to win over the crowd or risk being plunged into darkness. Pass the test and they will get a chance to pitch their business to a panel of up to 30 London angel investors.

FinanceCamp has been developed with input from businesses and a wide range of enterprise organisations, both local and national.  

This initiative is part of a wider programme being developed with around 50 partner organisations to support innovation in the North East. Led by the Venturefest North East team, the programme is supported by Innovate UK, the North East LEP and North East BIC, with part-funding from the European Regional Development Fund.