UK science academy The Royal Society has reached a first close on a new fund to support early-stage technology companies.
With a final target of £20m, the Enterprise Fund has so far raised £5m using a venture philanthropy model. This will allow the returns generated by the fund to be reinvested back into future deals.
Donors to the fund include Lord Sainsbury, Roger Brooke, founder of Candover and IP Group, Adrian Beecroft, co-founder of Apax Partners, and Stelio Stefanou, founder of Accord.
The fund will look at making investments in early-stage companies of between £250,000 and £2m, initially in those operating in the physical sciences and engineering.
Andrew Mackintosh, chief executive of fund, said: “Our mission is to create a bridge between today’s early scientific ideas and tomorrow’s technological and commercial winners. Early stage ventures present the highest commercial and financial risk and are therefore starved of investment. Our philanthropic structure combined with our highly commercial approach and unrivalled access to the UK science base will unlock new technologies and ideas that will bring significant and lasting economic and societal benefits to the UK.”