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Fund Sets the Seed with Major Investment

Published: 16th April 2008

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Jonathan Dixon Deputy Chief Executive South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) is on target to fully invest a £4.65m Seedcorn Fund in local businesses.

The pilot scheme was launched by SYIF in April 2007 to test ways of financing innovative early stage businesses to help take new technologies to market.

The Seedcorn Fund has filled a significant funding gap, benefiting ventures which may have been seen as too high risk by mainstream investors and provided a secure future for innovation in South Yorkshire.

At present £2.15m of the Fund has been paid out, with the remaining £2.5m scheduled for follow-on investment until 31 December 2008.

Jonathan Dixon, Deputy Chief Executive at South Yorkshire Investment Fund, said: "The demand for the Seedcorn Fund, which was much greater than anyone expected, does provide the strongest possible evidence that technology businesses are alive and kicking in South Yorkshire.

"The lessons learned from the management of the pilot will be used to guide the design of a bigger, regional Seedcorn Fund that is expected to go live from 2009."

SYIF will continue to manage the Seedcorn investment portfolio to support businesses and ensure returns can be maximised, with the aim being to create a self-sustaining legacy alongside the main SYIF Funds.

Jonathan added: "We are exploring options to raise a little more money to extend the Seedcorn Fund for clients with interesting proposals that were just pipped to the post.

"We would therefore still like companies to contact us and, if available, provide us with their business plan in preparation for when the Seedcorn Fund will again be on offer."

SYIF can provide seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Anyone wanting more information on the Seedcorn Fund or South Yorkshire Investment Fund, can contact Jonathan on 01709 386 392 or visit www.syif.com

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).