Risk Warning: Investing in early stage businesses can mean loss of investment, dilution and illiquidity. The Start-Up Series SEIS Fund One is exclusively for sophisticated investors who understand these risks. Please click here to read the full risk warning.

What We Do

We have very deliberately designed an innovative approach to seed equity funding by running competitions to unearth smart entrepreneurs with bright ideas. We provide investors with the opportunity to invest in ambitious start-ups from their beginning. We work with brands and media partners to gain cut-through in a frenzied space of talking to growth businesses.

Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs

Thousands of UK start-ups engage with our competitions every year and a select few are chosen for life changing investment. They receive the kudos of winning a huge competition, publicity and support to accelerate and grow their business.

Investors

Investors

Investors can participate in a highly tax efficient Fund and access a ‘mini-portfolio’ of expertly chosen early stage business each with an innovative service or product. The model is designed to ‘stack the odds’ of seed investing.

Media partners

Media Partners

A media partner commits to coverage to promote our business competitions and follow the progress of the winning businesses. They get to be heard as the strongest media voice supporting UK entrepreneurs with real tangible funding help.

brands

Brands

Established businesses partner with us to gain cut through in the frenzy of brands trying to talk to UK start-ups. Partnership opportunities vary from direct referral schemes to stimulate your new business pipeline through to sponsorship of our competitions.

Our Team

Our founders have worked together for over 20 years since meeting at university. Having founded, developed, sold and invested in successful start-ups themselves, they understand what’s required to build a great business from the ground up.

Matthew Cushen Worth Capital

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. I grew up in retail – including senior roles in Kingfisher and John Lewis Department Stores. Most recently I’ve been a Director of ?What If!, the global innovation consultancy, helping the leadership teams of some of the most recognisable companies across the globe including IKEA, Waitrose, SABMiller 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 and am sitting on investments in a dozen growing businesses.

Paul Soanes Worth Capital

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

Hayley Etherington Worth Capital

HAYLEY ETHERINGTON

Business Operations Director

Over the last 12 years my career has allowed me to work in various strategic operational 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. I am now responsible for the delivery of the Start-Up Series competitions & the value generated for our partners, a process which unearths some of the most prosperous new start-ups in the UK.

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.

Spreading the word

We believe the commercial tide has shifted and it is start-ups that have the most potential to challenge the normal rules of business and create new consumer behaviours. In common with others, we believe start-ups and scale-ups are progressively becoming more of the driving force of our UK economic growth and employment.

Successive governments have recognised this to. Launching the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) in 1994 and progressively strengthening it and then introducing Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) in 2012. The tax reliefs that are available to investors are very important ways of encouraging investment in high growth businesses.

Unfortunately these schemes and the reliefs are not widely or well understood. We have been fortunate to make good use of EIS & SEIS and have made good returns. We get a kick out of backing businesses that now collectively employ hundreds of people. So we are more than happy to support the EIS Association in spreading the word about the benefits of EIS & SEIS. And are pleased to talk to investors, advisors and entrepreneurs about either scheme – regardless whether you are interested in our Fund or competition series.

Partnerships

Entrepreneurs are the new rock stars. We all want to be one and mature brands want to associate with them. We’ve teamed up with a number of businesses who work alongside us in the start-up community. Together we’re able provide valuable services to our competition entrants. Here’s a few of the partners we work with. If you’d like to discuss a partnership, please contact us.

Crowdcube logo

Crowdcube

Crowdcube is the UK’s leading investment crowdfunding platform by amount raised, providing you with a route to raising finance to help build and grow your business. With support from Crowdcube’s team of experts, you can take back control of raising finance with the added benefit of being backed by the crowd.

Haines Watts logo

Haines Watts

Haines Watts have developed a range of services to cover many of the challenges you’ll meet, from business planning, business growth support to acting as your sounding board. They are on your doorstep when you need them as a business start-up – and they’re big enough to support you as you expand.

How2 logo

How 2

HOW2 is an information and advisory service, working closely with SME’s and start-ups. They provide information, advice and practical solutions to help businesses grow from start-up to exit. They specialise in R&D and patent government tax credit claims, achieving a 1oo% success rate to date.

RPD international logo

RPD 

RPD International is a product development and manufacturing company, aiming to reduce the time and risk in bringing hardware products to market. RPD provides a scalable platform for startups to design, prototype, design for manufacture, manufacture and build reliable supply chains.

ALREADY ENTERED?

If you’ve already entered one of our competition series, you can access our range of partner offers here.

Investments

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