Three private investors from regional investment non-profit, NorthInvest, have provided entrepreneurs of three ideation-stage start-ups in the Leeds City Region with wrap-around support alongside investment to accelerate their business growth.
In March, founder of Leeds-based NorthInvest and CEO of aql, Professor Adam Beaumont invested alongside Gary Shuckford and Anthony Ganjou to found hand sanitiser dispenser start-up, Handi.
The touchless dispenser start-up was created to rapidly mobilise health technology in response to COVID-19 and build the world’s largest cloud-connected network of IOT-connected hygiene technology.
The incubator approach of these investors has not only enabled the early stage start-up to bypass traditional routes to investment, but also to fast-track brand and product development to gain market traction.
Handi is the second start-up to benefit from investment and support from the NorthInvest investor trio, with Professor Adam Beaumont, Gary Shuckford and Anthony Ganjou joining UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) innovation business, Hydra, as Founding Investors in February this year.
Gary Shuckford also co-invested alongside fellow NorthInvest angel investor Mo Nazir to co-found Promatica Digital Solutions with local entrepreneur, Mo Rahman, to deliver healthcare quality and resource management solutions to the NHS.
The support comes as concerns around the gap in the market for seed capital funding for start-ups in the ideation phase grows during the COVID-19 crisis.
Start-ups in the ideation stage may find it increasingly difficult to access crucial seed capital as many private investors become more risk-averse due to economic uncertainty caused by the outbreak.
“As our business landscape changes rapidly in response to COVID-19, our approach to funding needs to be equally agile,” said Mr Beaumont.
“I’m proud to back ambitious individuals with great ideas who might have otherwise missed out on crucial funding, and hope more investors and funding organisations embrace this accelerator approach.”
Anthony Ganjou, founder of Handi, added: “I am very grateful to Adam Beaumont and Gary Shuckford, and their confidence in Handi during this uncertain time.
“With their investment and business acumen, Handi have rapidly expanded our Sales & Marketing, built a strong team, and deployed dispensers around the world to help safeguard the health and safety of the public during the COVID-19 crisis.”