Praetura Ventures has launched PraeSeed, a new programme that focuses on deploying equity investment into early stage businesses in the North to help fill a known funding gap in ‘pre-seed’ or pre-revenue businesses.

Beginning in June, the programme will be based in Praetura’s Manchester office and run over a six-week assessment period. The workshops will be delivered by experts and later-stage founders to help the cohort benefit from their previous experience in scaling companies.

Applications will be open from the start of May and 10 businesses will be given a place, with up to seven investments available at the end of the assessment period. The programme will run over five years and look to invest over £6 million into 35 startup businesses.

Recent reports from both the British Business Bank and Praetura outline a need for greater access to early-stage ‘risk capital’ for startups in the North of England. While several significant clusters in the region have seen notable success stories and record levels of investment, many leaders suggest more must be done to help founders get newly formed businesses off the ground if the region is to compete globally.

There has been a resurgence of accelerator models across the North, with flagship programmes run by Exchange in Manchester and Baltic Ventures in Liverpool. These accelerators aim to provide entrepreneurs with specialist education and insights around how to run a company to help them get the best start.

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PraeSeed will act as a capital-first programme that aims to work in tandem with these accelerators to predominantly make investments into early-stage businesses, whilst complementing other programmes by providing an additional ‘top up’ on their training and connection to other businesses at a similar stage.

With an extensive background in seed stage investments, investment manager Jess Jackson will be leading the programme.

“We’ve been working on this for some time so we’re so excited to finally launch PraeSeed. Praetura wants to help build the region’s next break-out success stories by supporting them from the very beginning and helping them get started the ‘right way’,” said Jackson. 

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“The programme will focus on assessing the businesses first and foremost, but will also be accompanied by our curated mix of content from those who’ve been there before and help plug them in to the Praetura community. For those who are successful, we will also offer a clear route to follow on investment to help them get funded faster and scale at the rate they need to.

“We want these early-stage founders to know that there’s a whole ecosystem of supporters who want to see them succeed and grow world-leading businesses from the North. The right advice is essential and we want them to learn from the best.”

Praetura Ventures was recently announced as the fund manager for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II – Equity North West with the British Business Bank, a new £100m fund focused on supporting businesses with equity investments of up to £5m.