Bloom VC (Venture Catalyst) has secured a financial partnership with NESTA, the UK’s foremost expert on innovation.
Robert Crawford, Director of Innovation, Investment and Growth at NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) said they are delighted to support Bloom and look forward to learning from the company’s crowdfunding model.
Bloom is the first crowdfunding platform of its kind in the UK, enabling anyone with an idea, anywhere in the world, to reach out and receive donations from across the globe, using their social networks.
The company was launched to provide an alternative route to finance for startups, community projects and social enterprises.
Founder and CEO Amanda Boyle said: ”In particular, there’s a real need to support students and graduates, in science, tech and the arts, many of whom have fantastic ideas. And we now have more than a million young people who can’t find a job, so are looking at starting their own business instead.
“Through Bloom they not only raise the money they need to start up, but they are also proving the concept, building a customer base, often pre-selling their product or service, and actively creating a community of fans who want to engage with them.
“And all without having to give up equity in their business. It puts them in a very strong position to scale their business and start their journey on the road to angel or VC investment.”
Ms Boyle emphasised that Bloom is not about replacing banks or the traditional funding organisations, but is simply filling a crucial funding gap at the very early stages, and offering ongoing mentoring and support to help ambitious individuals and groups turn their ideas into reality. In effect, creating a pipeline of opportunities for the angel and VC community.
Bloom, currently in beta testing, has already attracted projects from all over the world. The platform launched with a number of exciting projects seeking funding including an educational anti-sectarian film, dairy-free foods for babies and toddlers, and a music discovery and promotions website.
Over the next week the site will also feature an eco-friendly business which aims to recycle used coffee granules into plant food, a universal e-ticket solution, virtual technology for the camera, an organisation that wants to turn one of the dirtiest beaches in the UK into a clean, tourist destination, and the world’s first “Imax for the home” immersive dome display.
Mr Crawford said: “There are a number of great business ideas out there that aren’t able to attract traditional types of investment and support to become a reality and thrive.
“By using the Web to jumpstart new ideas and find new sources of funding, we believe we can do more to ensure more of these concepts see the light of day and are given the opportunity to drive the economy forward in future.
“We very much look forward to working with Bloom VC and to learn from the model they are developing.”
Bloom has also secured vps.net as a technology partner, and the platform has been developed using the very latest global cloud technology, kindly donated by vps.net.
Phil Male, CEO of vps.net, commented: “We are extremely proud to be the technology partner for Bloom. Working closely with innovative and exciting new ventures is what we do day in day out, what better way is there for us to explore new ways of developing fresh ideas than to support Bloom?”
Notes to editor:
Bloom will be at New Start Scotland Friday and Saturday 18 and 19 November from 10am-4pm. They will be running a crowdfunding clinic at Stand C45. Amanda will also be delivering two seminars.
Bloom project owners are also keen to speak to the press, so if there are any projects in particular in which you’re interested, please let us know.
About NESTA: NESTA is the UK’s foremost independent expert on how innovation can solve some of the country’s major economic and social challenges. Its work is enabled by an endowment, funded by the National Lottery, and it operates at no cost to the government or taxpayer. It is a world leader in its field and carries out its work through a blend of experimental programmes, analytical research and investment in early-stage companies. www.nesta.org.uk.