5 funding tips for entrepreneurs
The climate for starting a new business in Oxford has never been better. Nicola Gardiner Executive Search asked the county’s leading business support for entrepreneurs about how start-ups can secure funding.
  1. Have a solid proposition

It seems the key to convincing those with the cheque books that you have a winning proposition is not a well drafted business plan, but that you have identified who your customers are and most importantly that you have engaged with your target market to shape and validate your proposition. Investors want to see that you “understand your customer, what their problem is and how you intend to solve it” says Matthew Arnold ( Principal, Oxford Sciences Innovation).
  1. Engage with local and global investors

Investment might come via local venture capitalists, Pitchfest (or similar), or angel networks but Marcelo Bravo’s (CEO, PharmaScience Group Plc) advice is don’t just engage with local investors. Find out globally which firms/people are investing in your space, and go and talk to them – even if it is US-based firms or further afield.
  1. Get feedback if your pitch is unsuccessful

An unsuccessful investment pitch might be a signal to re-evaluate your proposition, or to head in a different direction for investment – ask for feedback. “Don’t be afraid to pivot!” says Tony Hart (Network Navigator, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP)).
  1. Focus on sales

Sage advice from David Mott (Managing Partner, Oxford Capital) is not to focus on fund raising at the expense of generating sales. “Sales is the cheapest form of equity”, he says. If you can delay fund raising until your business can demonstrate real momentum in that area, there will be less need to dilute equity in exchange for investment.  First round funding may cost the business owner(s) 20-30% of ownership.
  1. Look into EIS and SEIS schemes

Sue Staunton (Partner, James Cowper Kreston) encourages exploring the EIS and SEIS schemes for offering tax efficient investment opportunities for investors.

Latest news

Research, industry, and AGI

Research, industry, and AGI

A transfer of knowledge to industry is a good thing:  One purpose of a university is to benefit society by disseminating knowledge, and one way this can be done is by commercialising research. Universities and research institutions are a dynamo for entrepreneurship, and for innovation in large companies. READ MORE

For success in product development – start at square zero

For success in product development – start at square zero

When it comes to the commercial success of a technology-led product, there are a number of factors that come into play along the development journey. Have the regulatory requirements been met? Can the design be produced at a viable cost? Is it possible to ensure the quality of the manufacturing process? The list goes on. READ MORE

The not-so-small matter of scale: Making it big in microfluidics

The not-so-small matter of scale: Making it big in microfluidics

Microfluidics is a key technology enabling the development of rapid in-vitro diagnostics (IVD). With applications including COVID-19 testing, cardiac arrest assessment and STD screening, decentralised rapid diagnostics are shaping up to be a major part of the future of healthcare and wellness monitoring. READ MORE

Keep in touch

Sign up to the Venturefest Oxford newsletter to make sure you are the first to hear the latest news. The next #vfestox newsletter will be coming out soon! Make sure you're on the list!






Email Preferences

Make connections that lead to new investments, new businesses and new ideas in the high-tech sector in Oxfordshire.