North East Proof of Concept Fund

The Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund invests at the seed stage in the technology sector, including clean-tech, digital and other high growth sectors such as healthcare.

Northstar Ventures works with entrepreneurs, technology start-ups and networks to develop new high growth businesses.

The Fund’s initial investments are up to £100k. It will follow-on above this level where appropriate, especially in syndication.

Northstar Ventures seeks to invest in companies located, or with substantial operations, in the North East of England.

To qualify for North East Proof of Concept investment, the opportunity should possess the following characteristics:

  • credible management team. In many cases, the team may have limited business or management experience, but this will not be regarded as an obstacle to investment, if the team plans to develop or access management expertise and mentoring
  • a focus on under-served, growing and potentially substantial markets, and a scalable business model
  • products with international potential. The potential size, geography and competitive environment in target markets are key factors. Whilst it is recognised that an application may be to assess these factors, an initial analysis must be communicated in the application to enable us to evaluate the idea
  • proprietary technology with strong IPR and a defensible technological advantage over the competition. Technology that has the potential to have a disruptive impact, either in new or existing markets, will be given greater consideration over a technology that is an incremental improvement to the state of the art, and market-driven rather than technology-led development.

The North East Proof of Concept Fund is backed by the European Investment Bank and European Regional Development Fund.

Please see our Investment Process if you are interested in seeking investment finance.

Latest News

Jan 2017

Success for Brand Ami and TryLife at Pitch@Palace competition

Two Northstar Ventures backed tech companies have progressed through to the next stage of a Royal competition. Brand Ami and TryLife were voted through to the bootcamp stage of the Pitch@Palace 7.0 competition at an event at the Sunderland Software …

Dec 2016

Investment to help innovative new app join social media scene

Pogo Limited has secured a £100,000 investment to help it launch its new photography-based social media app. The investment comes from the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures. Pogo is an innovative social …

Dec 2016

Middleton Backs Job Creation at Newcastle Utility Start-Up

North East investor and philanthropist Jeremy Middleton has backed a Newcastle-based start-up, as part of a round of investment led by Northstar Ventures. His first major investment since the end of his mayoral campaign, Mr Middleton’s stake in One Utility …

Dec 2016

Northstar Ventures becomes an Access Point

On 24th October 2016, Northstar Ventures became the first North East based Access Point, allowing it to help charities and social enterprises secure social investment more quickly. Access Points are social investors designated by the Reach Fund to refer charities …

Dec 2016

Specialist recruitment platform Profile receives £150k investment.

A Sunderland-based start-up has received £150,000 investment to support its spin out from alternative energy service provider Green Marine Solutions (GMS). The funding comes from the Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures. The spin out, …

Dec 2016

Cramlington-based business warming UK homes after £500k investment

A business based in Cramlington is planning a national expansion following £500k investment. The funding comes from the Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures, which has invested £350k alongside an angel investor. Boilerplan UK supplies …


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