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Funding and finance: taking a strategic approach

Helping you to propel your growth and scale with the right support at the right time, including investment readiness.
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Securing funding and finance ranks alongside entering new markets and managing innovation effectively as a key priority for fast-growing, innovative businesses that ultimately want to scale.

We can help you develop an approach to funding and finance to enable game-changing growth, along with an action plan. And we can help you identify the connections to realise your ambitions.

If private investment, from seed through to Series A or B, is required as part of the approach then you might benefit from our intensive support pathway that helps you become ready for your next raise.

Investment readiness support pathway

We have the capabilities and regional and national connections to help you define and achieve your investment goals.

Your dedicated innovation and growth specialist will first conduct a deep dive review of your investment-related needs before bringing the valuable perspectives of colleagues from our expert investment group to bear, all of whom have lived through the experience of raising investment or of being an investor.

Together, they will help you to develop your strategy to raise investment and can give you guidance, for example on financial forecasting or the data that investors find valuable, along with connections to further professional support. They can also help you to access other opportunities such as Innovate UK's Investor Partnerships programme and relevant showcasing events.

You may also be invited on to one of our in-person workshops, to focus on relevant topics within investment readiness, preceded and followed by engagement with your specialist. Our wrap-around support ensures that you gain as much as possible from the initiative:


This competitive initiative takes place over two days and is held in every region and nation of the UK. It offers eligible companies a comprehensive introduction to investment readiness fundamentals, with sessions on, for example, valuation, the investment value proposition, term sheets and finding suitable investors. It offers engagement from pitching and investment experts and constructive feedback from a panel of investors.

The Pitch Panel

For companies with a strong investor pitch, or who have previously raised investment. You will be able to practice your pitch and receive meaningful feedback during a half day in front of real investors. The Pitch Panel takes place on a rolling basis in every nation and region of the UK.

Clients who receive investment can benefit from the right post-investment support, providing onward travel to corporate finance, M&A and IPOs, and capitalise on our close relationships with partners such as the London Stock Exchange. For some clients, this support will be provided in the context of our Scaleup Programme for the most dynamic innovation-focused businesses.

Success stories:

Please take a look at what our funding and finance support meant to our clients Dataqube, which raised €26M and Akrivia Health which raised c. $12M in Series A funding


Understanding finance and funding options

The external options below could be applicable to any client that we help to develop a strategic approach to funding and finance.

Each client engagement is bespoke, so we may start by helping our client to understand financial controls, identifying financial KPIs and understanding financial management. Alternatively, it could be that introductions to banks, accountants or R&D Tax credit specialists would meet our client’s objectives.

Where the client’s needs involve private investment, we will help them develop an action plan that focuses on the most relevant aspects of investment readiness. Or if our client understands and is ready to secure equity, the focus may shift to helping the client position itself for suitable investors.

Please also visit our partner, the British Business Bank, to find further information on finance options and providers of support and finance near you.

  1. Innovate UK Innovation Loans
  2. Angel Investors
  3. Equity Crowdfunding
  4. Grant Funding for R&D
  5. Growth Capital
  6. Private Equity
  7. Venture Capital
  8. Asset Finance
  9. Export Capital
  10. Initial Public Offering (IPO)
  11. Peer to Peer Lending
  12. Start-up Loans
  13. Reward-based Crowdfunding
  14. Term Loans
  15. Trade Finance


Innovate UK Innovation Loans

Loans for innovation projects to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) scale up and grow, focusing on late-stage research and development (R&D) projects with a clear path to commercialisation. £150 million has been approved for continuation of the innovation loans programme over three years post 2022 and they are typically for £100,000 to £2 million.

Angel Investors

Angel investment is suitable for early-stage businesses with a clear growth strategy and business plan. Business angels will invest their time, money and resources in exchange for a share in your company.

Equity Crowdfunding

Equity crowdfunding gives you access to a group of investors with diverse backgrounds and experience. Individual investors will apply for a share of your early-stage business.

Grant Funding for R&D

Grant funding often comes from government agencies, research councils and Growth Hubs. A prime source of grant funding for innovation-focused businesses is Innovate UK.

Grants can provide funding for innovation projects or for specific topics or themes. An R&D grant could help your business develop a new product, process or service and get it to market. Such R&D funding can also support companies to test and de-risk ideas without the requirement for repayment.

Although you will not have to repay the grant, grant funding often comes with specific conditions. If you are applying for grant funding, you will need to understand the eligibility criteria and application process to ensure your innovation project complies.

Discover essential questions to ask before applying for innovation funding here.

Growth Capital

Growth capital allows your business to accelerate growth by entering new markets, developing new products or investing in technology. This option is suited to growth stage businesses with evidence of year on year growth and may take the form of venture capital or private equity.

Private Equity

Private equity finance is suitable for growth stage businesses with potential for accelerated growth. This medium to long term investment is made in exchange for equity in the business and often involves larger sums of money.

Venture Capital

Venture capitalists will invest in your business in return for equity shares to help it grow. This type of finance is suitable for early-stage businesses looking for a flexible option to scale quickly.

Asset Finance

Asset finance takes physical assets, such as equipment, as security for lending. This type of lending could work for a growth stage business with assets of value looking for a cash flow injection.

Export Capital

Export finance reduces some of the risk of exporting and trading abroad. Export capital can include bonds, guarantees, letters of credit or working capital loans. An option for UK businesses looking to enter new overseas markets.

Initial Public Offering

An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is when a privately owned business sells shares to the public for the first time. This allows growth stage businesses and scale-ups to raise significant funds.

Peer to Peer Lending

Peer to Peer lending comes from individuals, businesses and institutions as an alternative to bank loans. Borrowers and lenders are matched via online platforms. Suitable for growth stage businesses looking for quick access to finance whilst retaining control of the business.

Start-up Loans

Start-up loans can help new and seed stage businesses get set up for trading. This is a personal loan for business owners who have not been able to secure finance from traditional lenders.

Reward-based Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding, or reward-based crowdfunding offers rewards in exchange for investment from individuals through online platforms such as Kickstarter. This provides an alternative to debt or equity investment, but it can be difficult to reach your funding target.

Term Loans

A term loan is a lump sum of capital that you pay back at a fixed interest rate.

Trade Finance

Trade finance is commonly used for international trade, in which the lender pays for goods which are security for the advance. It can be used to protect against currency fluctuations, political instability and other external factors.

What our clients say about us

" Innovate UK EDGE has been very supportive all the way through, helping review grant material and our Series A funding round, for example... I really value the engagement and support we’ve received.”

David Newton, Chief Operating Officer,  Akrivia Health


"The sessions were so useful...Pantea was very good at listening, asking questions and then gently pushing you in the right direction.”

Tim Williams, Commercial Director,  DataQube Global

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