OION celebrates record year

Oxfordshire Investment Opportunity Network (OION) is celebrating a record year of fund raising for start-ups. In the year to March 2004 OION helped 18 companies raise £5m, an increase of £2m on 2003.

OION is a technology business network that links investors with entrepreneurs seeking funds from £50,000 to £2m. Over the last four years OION has helped 61 companies raise £14.8m.

Following the success of the OION model, it has been replicated to set up two other networks; Thames Valley Investment Network and Solent Investment Opportunity Network, which have been running for just over a year and are targeting the Reading and Hampshire areas.

OION is managed by Oxford Innovation, a UK-based operator of innovation centre premises for start-up companies, sponsored by HSBC, Grant Thornton, Frank B Dehn & Co and Business Link. OION holds monthly meetings where selected companies can pitch their proposals to OION’s members, which include over 120 active business angels, VCTs and venture capitalists.