London Co-Investment Fund announces 100th investment 

Capital Enterprise are proud to announce that the London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF), co-founded and co-managed by Capital Enterprise and Funding London, has now invested in 100 startup businesses.
LCIF, founded in 2015, has invested more than £100m into the capital’s startup scene and has created over 1,000 jobs. We look forward to continuing to work with Funding London and London’s innovative startups through LCIF.

Capital Enterprise Annual Report 2017

Foreword to the Annual Report, by John Spindler, CEO of Capital Enterprise

In most respects, 2017 has been an amazing year for Capital Enterprise and the entrepreneurs and member organisations we serve. Due to the hard work of our team and the continuing support of our members and partners, we can proudly report that Capital Enterprise has never been in such a good position to deliver on our twin missions of enabling entrepreneurs in London to start and scale a business, and supporting our members (accelerators, universities and colleges, co-working spaces, enterprise agencies, innovation institutes and public sector organisations) to make an even greater impact on London’s startup ecosystem.

In 2017, Capital Enterprise has been managing the delivery of two European Regional Development part-funded programmes. The Capital Accelerate and Scale Tech Startups (CASTS) programme involves directly and indirectly 15+ Capital Enterprise members, supporting over 600 tech startups to reach important commercial milestones, raise over £30m of investment, and create over 100 jobs. The CAP-AI project, in partnership with Digital Catapult, Barts Health Trust and with the support of Tech City UK and the Alan Turing Institute, is pioneering new ways to help London’s world beating Artificial Intelligent startups to improve and expand their research and development capacities.

As well as managing these £12m + projects, Capital Enterprise is managing the Shoreditch based innovation space “IDEALondon” for UCL, CISCO and EDF Energy, and in 2017 Capital Enterprise is managing the origination and syndication of deal-flow for two seed stage investment funds: The Mayor of London financed London Co-Investment Fund, and the new SEIS/EIS financed AI Seed Fund. These funds will collectively invest in the seed rounds of around 50 tech startups. With our “Green Light” investment readiness and brokerage programme supporting almost a further 100 startups to raise investment, we estimate that almost 50% of all those that receive seed rounds in London will have been supported by Capital Enterprise.

Going forward, there are many challenges facing entrepreneurs in London and those that serve them. In 2017, under the working title “Entrepreneurship for All”, Capital Enterprise has been developing new initiatives and piloting new programmes. The challenges we are looking at include:

– Affordability – With London businesses bearing the vast bulk of the rise in business rates and the evidence of general rent rises in parts of London that have, until recently, catered for “cash strapped” startups, there is a justifiable fear that London might get “too expensive” for early stage businesses. To address this, Capital Enterprise secured some funding from the Mayor of London to research and devise measures to mitigate the impact of business rates on spaces that exclusively serve startups and to secure more affordable premises.

– Diversity – Only 9% of the tech startups that secure seed stage investment are led by women. Although the rate is better for funds that Capital Enterprise help manage, the fact remains that female entrepreneurs are finding it harder to secure the funding for ambitious scalable businesses. In partnership with City Corporation, Capital Enterprise is funding Accelerator Network to run a pre-accelerator programme for women and BAME would-be-entrepreneurs who want to set up a Fintech startup. Other measures such as “Female Founders Pitch Events” are being piloted to try to address this persistent issue.

– Inclusion – Capital Enterprise is actively working with members such as the Princes Trust to secure more funding for new approaches to helping those in London without necessary confidence, social capital, and money to start a sustainable job creating business.

We hope that in 2018 we can turn these initiatives into a major programme in London. We also want in 2018 to explore the possibilities of replicating our success in supporting tech startups in other sectors, such as the creative sector.

Of course, the biggest cloud on the horizon for the London startup ecosystem is Brexit. Presently, virtually all the public funding for entrepreneurship and innovation support programmes in London is from the European Union via funds, such as the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Horizon 2020. If the money is to be replaced from the UK state via the new “Shared Prosperity Fund”, there is a good chance that London may be excluded. Capital Enterprise will join forces with anyone who will fight for London’s share of entrepreneurship and innovation funding.

London is home to almost 21% of the UK’s scalable high growth companies and 25% of its startups; this is one of the major reasons why the London economy is the most productive in the UK. The Government’s recently published “Industrial Strategy” and promise of more funding for innovation is potentially a great fillip to innovation focused startups, but it appears that the government and its funding bodies such as Innovate UK will look to prioritise funding projects and innovation to companies outside London.

The extent of the impact on Brexit in the London startup ecosystem is hard to predict, but already we are seeing that securing funding from Europe for programmes run by Capital Enterprise members is more difficult, that the European Investment Fund suspending its investment in new London based VC’s is making it harder for scalable startups to secure seed funding, and that securing technical and entrepreneurial talent is getting harder for scaling startups, now that less highly-talented EU citizens are coming to London to make their careers and fortunes.

The 6 pillars of a vibrant and successful startup ecosystem are talented people, access to a sufficient mass of early adopting customers, availability of “risk capital”, relative freedom from regulatory impediment, legal protection, and ease of access to high quality support and know-how. Capital Enterprise and our members provide the latter. We will continue to argue the case for recognition and support of our sector.


For access to the full Annual Report and information about our annual activity, please follow this link 


The Business Funding Show 2018

Back for its third year, the Business Funding Show takes pride in being the only funding exhibition in the UK & EU. It will take place on February 22nd 2018 at East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf.

The goal of BFS ’18 is to educate SMEs about the available funding options and ease the process of obtaining capital, while showcasing the best opportunities for both founders and investors.

This event that brings investors, crowdfunding platforms and providers of grants, loans and more, all under one roof! This one-day event will be packed with the knowledge, connections and advice SMEs will need to grow their business fast.

At the Business Funding Show, SMEs can:
–  Attend talks from industry leaders
–  Exhibit amongst prominent funders
–  Participate in one-to-one investor clinics
–  Network with entrepreneurs, lenders & funders

John Spindler, CEO at Capital Enterprise, will be taking part in the 1-2-1 Investment Clinic at the event, offering advice on the businesses funding needs.

Further information and early-bird tickets are available at the event website,

London Plan Public Consultation Events

As the new London Plan is developed there will be opportunities for the public to engage and help shape its development. These events will be held in January and February 2018 across London. Follow the link below for details of past and upcoming events, as well as the opportunity to register to attend.

Mayor’s Entrepreneur 2018 – Applications are now open

Are you, or do you know, any current students or recent graduates from a London university or college who have an idea that can make London a better place to live and work?
This is their chance to win £20k and expert support and advice from City Hall to bring their smart idea to life and be crowned the 2018 Mayor’s Entrepreneur.
Workshops will take place throughout the autumn and winter terms to help students with idea development, pitching skills and employability training.
If you know any students who you think would be interested in taking part please direct them to the website below for more information. Applicants have until 18 February 2018 to enter.

Fast Forward Pre-Accelerator Applications Are Now Open

The Accelerator Network are currently recruiting for the February 2018 Fast Forward programme.
As part of their ongoing commitment to diversity in tech, they are dedicating resources to recruit and support female founders and founders from a minority background.

The 6-week programme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the City of London Corporation, will provide participants with business support, technical expertise, mentorship and access to funding. Applications are open and the deadline to apply is January 30th 2018.

Smiling Barracuda – The Founder’s Programme 2018

Smiling Barracuda are officially launching The Founder’s Programme in 2018. The 12-month programme, funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund and Capital Enterprise, is for founders-only and consists of the below core elements:

–  Quarterly evening workshops (dates below) each with tailored topics chosen by founders and their peers and lead by our domain experts. Plus plenty of time for closed-door discussion and support from later stage founders/ mentors who will speak about their personal challenges.
–  Deep dive into your quarterly sales performance by centrally processing and openly discussing each founder’s sales revenues against your forecasts for each quarter, facilitated by Colin Nunn, the must-have financial director, who shares his time across many startups to provide the essential sales reporting and FD functions.
–  Individual Mentoring from our serial entrepreneur founder, Freddie Talberg, or one of our mentoring founders who have been there and got the t-shirt!
–  Access to The Barracuda Club full of useful connections to fellow founders in every programme and regular updates and insights from us.

The first cohort starting in February is free and limited to 15 selected founders, you must apply to participate.

Techstars London 2018 – Applications are open

Applications are now open for Techstars London 2018. The next program starts in July with the Demo Day in October and will involve funding and mentorship to the startups.
Applications can be made via the website.

PAPIs Europe 2018 – Call For Proposals and registration open

PAPIs is the 1st series of international conferences dedicated to real-world Machine Learning applications. Previous editions took place in Boston, Sydney, Barcelona, Paris, Valencia, São Paulo, and PAPIs is now coming to London!
Capital Enterprise are proud to be a co-organiser of PAPIs Europe 2018.

The conference brings together engineers, scientists, researchers, hackers and managers who meet to share experiences and discover the latest innovations, techniques and tools to build ML applications.

Key dates
January 21 (23:59 GMT): Call for Proposals closes
January 24: Super Early Bird tickets close
February 5: Notifications of acceptance/rejection due
April 5-6: Conference takes place in London

This year PAPIs would particularly like to strongly encourage women to submit proposals. As a community conference, PAPIs think it’s important to increase diversity in AI. Applications for funding to reimburse childcare and travel costs will be invited from women and primary carers whose proposals are accepted.

More information and tickets can be found here