Innovative businesses in the North East could access up to £15,000 of investment with the launch of a new business support programme.

Innovate:Grow, formed by Generator and Auxin OKR in May 2018, has received investment from the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by Northstar Ventures.

Businesses will have the opportunity to access up to £15,000 of investment which will provide access to expert business advice.

It will run two funding cohorts in May and September and is now open to SMEs operating in the North East LEP area across all sectors.

This launches after the success of the last North East Innovation Fund supported programme which saw 50 per cent of businesses from the first cohort go on to be considered for further investment by Northstar.

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CEO at Generator, Jim Mawdsley said: “We’re pleased to support our region’s innovative businesses with the launch of this new programme of investment which will provide an invaluable platform for future business success.

“What we want to see are ambitious entrepreneurs with interesting and potentially market-disruptive ideas, who are confident in their product and their ability to turn it into a scalable business.

“Working together with Auxin OKR and Northstar, our business support programmes are proven to take companies to exciting new heights, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the variety of businesses that apply.”

Both people with business ideas and more established entrepreneurs can apply.

Auxin OKR principal, David Anderson said: "The journey from having a great idea to running a revenue generating business is challenging.

“The Innovate:Grow fund will support local entrepreneurs on this journey. Ideas are great but it is the ability to make them happen that is important.

“That is what this programme is all about - turning ambitious plans into actionable strategies.”

Alastair Greig, Director at Northstar Ventures said: “We are delighted to be able to support more innovators and start-ups through these kinds of programmes.

“The quality and passion of the entrepreneurs and businesses coming through show how much innovation there is in the region.”