Worth Capital exists to help the brightest entrepreneurs obtain funds and expertise required to turn their innovations into thriving businesses, whilst delivering above benchmark returns for investors.

We run business competitions to find and fund British start-up businesses. A Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) investment fund is invested in the winners in return for equity. We are the creative spark and the execution engine that creates the benefit for various parties:




  A media partner commits to a substantial package of coverage to promote the competitions and follow the progress of the winning businesses. They get to be heard as the strongest media voice supporting UK entrepreneurs.


  Investors get to participate in a highly tax efficient investment, investing in companies that are in the early stages of their development, but which possess a particular innovation, service or product that represents a significant high growth opportunity, either in new or established markets. With expert oversight and continued publicity associated with a high profile competition, the expectation is for these companies to accelerate rapidly, generating better than benchmark results within a 5 to 7 year horizon.


  Brands either sponsor competitions in a media title, partner with us or can host their own competition. Either way they gain cut through in the frenzy of large companies trying to demonstrate their credentials in supporting UK start-ups.


  Winning entrepreneurs receive finance, publicity and support.


Looking forward, a separate Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) investment fund will give investors an additional discretionary opportunity to invest in non-SEIS qualifying businesses or for second rounds of previous competition winners.

Meet the team

Meet some of the team who keep the wheels moving behind the scenes here at Worth Capital. Our founders have worked together for over 20 years since meeting at university. Having founded, developed and sold many successful start-ups themselves, they understand what’s required to build a great business from the ground up…

Paul Soanes, Co-founder

“To be successful, an entrepreneur doesn’t always need a great idea, but they will always need a great (and detailed) plan. Success will mostly come from two things. Firstly, the relentless discipline of reviewing and measuring progress against the plan. Secondly, employing a team who can deliver the many small actions to fulfil the bigger plan. Stirring in the other magic ingredients of natural flair, creativity and passion, and the entrepreneur will likely taste success.

I’ve always enjoyed taking pretty big calculated risks, so co-founding iD (a leading experiential marketing agency) straight out of university felt like a natural thing to do. Over the last twenty years, the success of iD has enabled me to have many other adventures in business. These have included creating a disruptive media business called Brandspace, which we built from scratch and sold to private equity in the space of just 5 years. I am also an active startup investor and have backed over 30 businesses across the media, medical and FMCG sectors”.

Matthew Cushen, Co-founder

“During my career I’ve been fortunate to work with, learn from and help the leadership teams of some of the largest businesses in the world. Most recently I’ve been a Director of ?What If!, the world’s largest innovation consultancy, helping the leadership teams of some of the largest companies across the globe including SABMiller, Barclays, IKEA and Tesco.

My empathy with the world of entrepreneurs comes from establishing, and then selling, a retail business and from making several angel investments. I’ve had one very profitable large exit, one exit at par, am sitting on half a dozen growing businesses and (so far) have had no failures.

As a founder of Worth Capital, I work across the day-to-day running of the business, from creating the media and brand partnerships through selecting investments to releasing the full potential of entrepreneurs and accelerating the growth of our portfolio of businesses”.

Hayley Etherington, Business Operations Director

“Over the last 12 years my career has allowed me to work in various strategic client management and relationship development roles for numerous international media and brand partners.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Worth Capital founders for over 10 years and was asked to join the business in 2014 to develop the Facebook relationship, which led to the successful delivery of the Big App Fund and subsequent seed funding of some prosperous new start-ups. I am now responsible for the output of the Start-Up Series competitions & the value generated for media & brand partnerships.

It’s a delight to work with such talented entrepreneurs who become the lifeblood of our business after winning investment via our competitions. I look forward to working with many more over the coming years with anticipation and excitement.”