Private investors are now able to invest in a fund from the University of Cambridge’s Enterprise hub, Cambridge Enterprise, which aims to commercialise the ideas and inventions of its academics, researchers, staff, students, and alumni.
The minimum investment is £25,000 and the fund is accessed under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) which enables high net worth or sophisticated investors to receive up to 30% tax relief on their initial net investment, as well as tax-free growth should the investments perform well, or loss relief if they fail.
The fund will seek to invest in 10 to 15 early-stage science and technology companies and is being launched in association with Parkwalk Advisors, the specialist university spin-out investor. £500,000 is available to private investors via Wealth Club from today and the fund will close once its capacity has been reached.
Jonathan Moyes, Head of Investment Research at Wealth Club said: “University spinouts are a thriving part of the UK venture capital ecosystem. 2021 saw a record £2.54 billion invested in the sector, up from £1 billion in 2016. £501 million of this was raised by spinouts from the University of Cambridge.
“It’s great to see private investors being given the opportunity to invest at a very early stage in some of the technologies being developed and commercialised at Cambridge. The university’s world-renowned for its research, having been home to over 100 Nobel Prize winners and discoveries such as stem cell research and IVF.
“This is the ninth fund to launch from the longstanding collaboration between Cambridge and Parkwalk. Previous funds have had a bias towards technology businesses operating within hardware, digital health and medtech, and the life science sectors.
“The fund invests in companies at an early stage, making it a high-risk and long term investment. But, for the right investor, we think this is an opportunity to gain exposure to an exciting asset class which is difficult to replicate elsewhere.”
The EIS scheme exists to incentivise investment into the UK’s young and ambitious start-up companies. It does this by giving investors income tax relief of 30% on initial investments, as well as providing the potential for tax-free growth on investments that perform well, or loss-relief on those that do not.