Secure funding and expert mentoring for your start-up

The Start-Up Series competition is back for February! Enter by February 14th for a chance to secure up to £250,000 in equity funding and expert mentorship for your business

The Start-Up Series competition is back for February! Win hands-on help and up to £250,000 in equity funding for your business (subject to due diligence, terms & conditions) – apply before February 14.

Continuing our usual monthly cycle, the competition is open for entries from 1st to 14th of each month, where we’ll be hunting for ambitious start-ups with the potential to become much loved brands. Regardless of sector or whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, as long as your start-up is eligible for SEIS or EIS HMRC advance assurance, then we’ll consider your application.

Winners will receive up to £250,000 of equity funding, a minimum of two-years expert support from Worth Capital and media coverage on and other channels to promote your business and follow your journey.

See how to enter here. Please note, your start-up will need to be eligible for SEIS or EIS HMRC advance assurance.

Hayley Etherington, business operations director of Worth Capital, said: “The Start-Up Series has already invested over £4.2M into some of the UK’s most promising start-ups – which makes us the largest seed funding competition in the UK”.

“We’re hoping and expecting that the Start-Up Series, continues to attract the very best UK entrepreneurial talent for our investors to back. Along with the other judges, I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next applications to roll in.”

Previous winners include entrepreneurs from all walks of life and throughout the UK. Cheltenham-based Jo & Nick James, founders of Bedfolk have gone on to achieve exceptional growth with their homewares ecommerce brand since winning the Start-Up Series and receiving their first investment in April 2019. Read more about their story here.

Andy Roberts from Wrexham has a software-as-a-subscription proposition, Weekly10, helping organisations to track and improve sentiment and engagement amongst employees. Having received several investments during 2019 and early 2020, the business was well positioned to take advantage of the increase in remote working over the last 6 months.

Read more here.

The Start-Up Series has an impressive record of funding diversely. Whilst typically only 9 per cent of early stage funding goes to businesses with a female founder, the Start-Up Series has seen 40 per cent of its funding reach businesses with a female founder.

The Start-Up Series also bucks the trends on geography. Generally, only 35 per cent of seed funding heads to businesses outside of the London & South East ‘bubble’, with the Start-Up Series it is 60 per cent of the funding heading outside London. There are no benchmarks published on how much of the UK’s early stage funding goes to businesses with a BAME founder, but we suspect that the Start-Up Series, at 19 per cent, is more inclusive than most (but still with a way to go to be truly representative).

Ms Etherington continued: “We’re looking across the length and breadth of the country for ambitious start-ups with an innovative proposition in high-growth markets, and with smart and tenacious teams that can grow a business fast”.

Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor of Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and cyber...

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The Start-Up Series