What is Venture Capital?

Venture Capital (VC) investment involves an investor taking some ownership (i.e. some equity) in a company and gaining some control. Investors then want the company to develop and grow quickly so they can sell the company for a much higher value than the company was when they first invested. The period from initial investment to exit is usually 5-7 years but can take over ten years if companies were very young when they first raised the investment. Often VCs have to invest several times into the company as it grows. Sometimes a company can float on the stock exchange (called an Initial Public Offering – IPO) and when that happens, the VC investor then sells their shares on the stock exchange. However, the most common exit is a trade sale to a larger company.

Who can raise funding?

The GM&C Life Sciences Fund can invest in any life science company (subject to State Aid rules and provided they are an SME) with ‘operations’ in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire & Warrington region, or any company committed to establishing operations in the area. We define ‘operations’ as an office and/or laboratory that is the regular place of work for the company’s staff. If a company is based outside of the UK, it will have to establish a UK limited top company in addition to employing staff in the region. Our definition of ‘life sciences’ is quite broad and includes companies involved in veterinary sciences as well as certain specialist services to the health sector, such as software development or specialist testing. But we don’t invest in companies that just provide simple health services, such as a care home for example. 

What's the first step to getting funding?

You can contact the GM&C Life Sciences Fund at any time by emailing an executive summary. The executive summary should be no more than 2 pages, and should include what your business does, why there is a need for it, evidence of market size and prices that people will pay, who you are (past experience) and why you are best placed to deliver on this opportunity. Don’t forget to include how much investment you are looking for, and why.

What is the Fund's investment process?

It normally takes us 1-2 weeks to get back to companies who have submitted an executive summary with a formal response. If we are interested in learning more, an investment executive will likely carry out a telephone review. If this goes well, we may invite the company to have a face-to-face meeting. Often a company will give a PowerPoint presentation so we can learn more about the investment opportunity. After this, we will give feedback on what we like about the business and any areas we feel require more work or research.

Who do you invest alongside?

The GM&C Life Sciences Fund is managed by Catapult Venture Managers Ltd “Catapult Ventures” who have been investing in seed and early stage companies since 2002. We have invested in a large number of life science companies alongside dozens of specialist life science investors. The Fund is also happy to invest alongside qualified business angels.

How do you structure your deals?

The GM&C Life Sciences Fund prefers to keep deals straight-forward but the team has significant experience using a number of equity and quasi-equity financial instruments to get deals done. If we are investing in a deal being led by another venture capital firm, we will likely sign-up to their terms and structures if we think they are sensible.

I’m interested in investing into the GM&C Life Sciences Fund - what should I do?

If you are interested in investing into the fund itself, please send an email to Nick Wright

What is your relationship to Alderley Park Ventures

Alderley Park Ventures ("APV") is a £5m sister fund to the GM&C Life Sciences Fund. It is independently managed by BioCity and makes investments of up to £500,000 into companies located at Alderley Park that use BioCity's incubation and support services. Both funds can invest alongside each other and either fund can make a follow-on investment into a portfolio company of the other. Further details on APV can be found here: Alderley Park Ventures

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Tel: 01625 344300