Commercial investors interrogate business ideas very thoroughly before they invest. They normally require both technical proof of concept (research demonstrating that the technology works) and commercial proof of concept (showing that there is a compelling market for the products based on the technology).
Commercial proof of concept work is not typically covered by research grants. The Enterprise Acceleration team manages two funds that are designed to help bridge the gap between research funding and the necessary commercial investment required to take products to market.
The Enterprising Birmingham Fund
The Enterprising Birmingham Fund bridges the commercial proof of concept gap that arises when research funding has ceased. It enables the University to validate and demonstrate the commercial viability of an idea. Typically this involves the contracting-in of external expertise to carry out market analysis/testing, and the development of business plans, and is often used to attract potential investors.
University of Birmingham Spinout Investment fund
The University of Birmingham Spinout Investment fund was created to enable the University to invest in its portfolio of spinout companies (at both seed and later stages). Up to £5m will be co-invested with third party investors over the period 2016-2021, into well validated spinout companies that have been created to commercialise intellectual property invented at the University.
For further information about funding please contact Steve Ellis, Commercial Intelligence Manager at S.Ellis.firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0121 414 8633.
Through our Business incubation activities, we also help both spinouts and other regional start-ups access finance