MedCity Investment Hub
Our recent MedCity Investment Hub company showcase on 22 Apr kicked off a series of 2021 pitch events. Six breakthrough companies pitched their innovation to a wide group of investors with strong interest generated and many fruitful connections made.
One of the hopeful companies pitching was NuVision, who are developing innovative therapies for ocular surface disease and injuries. Andrew Hopkinson, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, spoke to us after the showcase, saying:
“After taking part in the 2018 MedCity’s Angels investment programme, and successfully securing important investment to contribute to a £1m funding round, we were delighted to work with MedCity to pitch to investors in the Investment Hub once again. Our first funding round helped build important foundations and angel investors that joined that round have recently followed on, as part of our current £2m bridge round to scale the company. We hope the latest showcase will help us achieve our full commitment in the coming months.”
A new partnership
For this series of Investment Hub events, we’ve partnered with Potter Clarkson, whose specialist intellectual property advisers will be bringing experience of working with investors and entrepreneurs to the already successful format. In the six years since its inception, Investment Hub showcase events (formerly MedCity Angels, in conjunction with Newable) have hosted more than 80 companies who have raised funding in excess of £30 million from the showcases.
Commenting on Potter Clarkson’s decision to get involved with the MedCity Investment Hub, partner and patent attorney at the firm, Fiona Law, said:
“Used strategically, intellectual property is an extremely powerful tool for any business – particularly those seeking investment. We want this message to reach as many ambitious, innovative SMEs as possible and that is why we’re proud to be involved with the MedCity Investment Hub.
For us it’s hugely rewarding to have the opportunity to meet face-to-face (albeit virtually for now) with some of the most innovative new and growing businesses, spend time understanding their ambitions and challenges, and offer potential solutions that will ultimately support their commercial objectives.”
Our Partnerships and Programmes Lead
In charge of the Investment Hub is Sarah Bruce-White, our new Partnerships and Programmes Lead for investment, digital data and AI (and formerly our Events and Missions Manager).
We spoke to Sarah about how the Investment Hub works, and her vision for its future…
How important is the Investment Hub?
Sarah: “I come from an SME background myself – I co-founded a med tech company, and have worked in a number of SMEs – so I understand there are many challenges for SMEs, whether it’s regulation, clinical trials or launching internationally. But I’m also very conscious of how vital raising investment is. Without the right funding, so that they can bring those breakthrough innovations to market, many won’t even have the opportunity to face the other challenges.
“What’s unique about the Investment Hub is that we involve investors who are specifically involved in life sciences, and who understand quite complex technologies. Facilitating those fruitful relationships is at the heart of what MedCity does in supporting SMEs. And, from the investor’s perspective, they can have confidence that the companies that we showcase are really at the cutting edge of a big pool of companies.”
How are SMEs supported through the process?
Sarah: “It’s important to us to support SMEs through the journey of their commercial development, so the Investment Hub is not just a one-off pitching event, it’s a relationship we form with the SME to support that entire journey. Before the pitching event we provide support, training and coaching to prepare them.
“One of the pieces of training we do is via a practice session prior to the pitch. Potter Clarkson take part in this and, at the last one we held (prior to our 22 Apr pitching event), they gave some really valuable feedback to all of the SMEs involved, on questions about IP law, but also on the companies’ pitches and propositions more generally. We also had Octopus Ventures giving an overview of how they like to work with companies and what they look for in a pitch.
“After the pitching event we continue to support the SMEs, whether through connecting them with grant funding streams, specialist development programmes, or supporting through a second round of investment. The aim is really to provide wraparound support that helps them through their journey, recognising that appropriate funding is absolutely core to most SME’s development.”
What’s your vision for the development of the Hub?
Sarah: “As the number of brilliant SMEs in our region grows, I see the Investment Hub building and expanding into a thriving community of SMEs and investors.
“Outside of the pitching events, this would include being able to refer SMEs to appropriate investors much more easily. We’re very focused on building good relationships with investors and understanding the types of opportunities they’re looking for. The Hub is the perfect focal point for us to be able to make those direct connections and partnerships that are mutually beneficial to both investor and SME.
“We’re also looking at a number of ways we might leverage more investment for our growing community of SMEs, so we hope there will be more exciting developments to come throughout the year.”
As part of her new role focusing on digital data and AI, Sarah also hopes to capitalise on London and the UK’s unique capabilities in bringing together health data, and will be developing partnerships and programmes within digital data and AI as well as across our SME community.
Sarah would be happy to speak to investors involved in life sciences that are interested in being involved in the Investment Hub. Keith Gibbs, Business Advisor and an active investor through the Investment Hub, has fed back recently:
“The quality and diversity of the early–stage health businesses featured on the MedCity Investment Hub is excellent. I have found it a very valuable source of information and introductions.”
Find out more
Our next Investment Hub company showcase events are coming up on 1 July 2021, 4 November 2021 and 10 February 2022. If you are an investor or early-stage company and want to find out more, contact [email protected]
(Please note, the deadline for companies wishing to apply for the 1 July showcase is 21 May 2021).