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Warwick-based Minerva Business Angels expands to Liverpool to supercharge investment in regional start-ups

Minerva Business Angels, part of the University of Warwick Science Park Ltd, is joining forces with Activate, Liverpool John Moores University and world-leading science campus, Sci-Tech Daresbury, in a partnership aimed at increasing the number of investment funds available to businesses and to help with talent acquisition.

Official figures show that £2.1 billion is pumped into promising firms every year through the government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, which were set-up to encourage more entrepreneurial investment through tax incentives.

While 67 per cent of the money backs firms registered in the South East, only a small proportion has supported businesses in the North West.

Alex Toft, who heads Minerva, welcomed the launch of the new network: “Minerva is leading the way in connecting universities, business angels and entrepreneurs to grow an access to finance ecosystem for the benefit of our region’s SMEs.

“We are delighted to be partnering with both of these innovative and successful organisations to bring together entrepreneurs seeking support with investors looking for hands-on investment opportunities.”

Minerva Liverpool wants to increase the amount of money available in the region substantially by attracting successful entrepreneurs and investors to its network and making them more aware of the wealth of investment opportunities.

Activate, Liverpool John Moores University and Sci-Tech Daresbury have a track record of identifying innovative products and solutions that have commercial potential and providing access to support, and expertise to firms looking to accelerate the growth of their business.

John Downes, group managing director of Langtree and chair of the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture company, said: “Collaboration is the bedrock of Sci-Tech Daresbury and while investment is about funding, it’s also about igniting growth to create jobs and economic uplift and helping brilliant businesses reach their potential, prosper and move to the next level.

“Bringing entrepreneurs together happens on a daily basis at Sci-Tech Daresbury, Activate and Liverpool John Moores University’s involvement is an exciting development that will help Minerva’s work have greater reach and impact with our community of start-up and growing businesses.”

Minerva Liverpool will be officially launched on the 10th March in the City of Liverpool

Entrepreneurs interested in finding out more about the investment opportunities it can introduce them to can contact Minerva by email


Activate, Liverpool John Moores University, is a knowledge transfer programme providing practical, hands-on support and funding to help innovative digital, creative & createch businesses in the Liverpool City Region grow. Activate has been in its current format since 2017 and has supported over 100 companies to date. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), led by Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).

Minerva is part of the University of Warwick Science Park Ltd started in 1994 and running in its current format since 2010, has a not-for-profit objective and grown into the largest syndicated network in the UK which has helped over 80 companies receive more than £ 63 million through its network of Angel investors. Find out more at:

Sci-Tech Daresbury is a world class location for high-tech business and leading-edge science based in the Liverpool City Region.  It provides a unique environment for innovation and business growth, with knowledge sharing, collaboration and networking. The campus was granted Enterprise Zone status in April 2012. Enterprise Zone status allows business rates to be reinvested in the campus, potentially creating up to 15,000 skilled jobs and providing funding for new specialist office, laboratory and technical space. Enterprise Zone status will also allow the campus to leverage more than £150 million in private sector investment. For more information visit:


Sheila Kiggins

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