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Profile Summer 2007 Newsletter

Seedcorn Fund Launch Success

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Pictured from the left are the SYIF Seedcorn Fund team: Chris Fitzsimmons, Mark Rahn, Rod Brew, Jonathan Dixon and Tony Goulbourn.

SYIF's launch of the £4.6 million pilot Seedcorn Fund was a huge success with more than 120 business advisers and intermediaries attending.

The fund aims to invest into early stage technology and knowledge-based businesses over the next two years. Filling a significant gap in the financing market, the Seedcorn Fund will benefit ventures which may be seen as too high risk by mainstream investors, offering a secure future for innovation in the region.

The briefing event, held at the Innovation Centre at Rotherham's Advanced Manufacturing Park, was an opportunity for advisers who work with early stage technology based businesses to find out more about the funding available, hear the portfolio and investment criteria and question a panel of experts.

The Seedcorn Fund is available to help ventures that are based on new and innovative technology with ideas that have strong potential and once in the market, are capable of rapid growth.

The fund provides two key areas of investment. The first is the Proof of Concept with up to £75,000 available to start-up businesses which have a technically proven product but need to fix their position in the market.

The second part of the fund is called Commercialisation - which will place follow-on investment in tranches of up to a total of £500,000. This will be invested into businesses which are likely to have made some progress in their market but need further investment to become established and move into profit.

Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF), said: "We had a great turnout to the launch event. It's exciting that so many people are interested in finding out about Seedcorn Funding. Just like our other funds, the Seedcorn Fund will be run on sound commercial lines with all the discipline of a traditional fund. For SYIF, it will help us to fill the gap that we have for investment in innovative, early stage pre-revenue businesses.

"The new fund will also fill the gap in the local finance market for ventures that are often seen as too risky by mainstream finance providers. For South Yorkshire, it will help to attract and retain the kind of businesses that will shape our economy for many years to come."

For more information on the fund please contact Jonathan Dixon, Deputy Chief Executive of SYIF on 01709 386392 or email jonathand@syif.com. Alternatively, for an application form, email application@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).