A new partnership between the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is being formed to work with the venture community to help British companies access new markets.
The two industry bodies are establishing a Venture Capital Unit which, they say, will look to aid a funding environment that remains challenging for UK-based entrepreneurs.
The agreement has been formalised by Mark Florman, chief executive of the BVCA, and Nick Baird, chief executive of UKTI, at London’s Lancaster House.
According to a statement, the new partnership will aim to support companies to engage with potential investors and encourage overseas private equity and venture capital to open offices in the UK.
Further initiatives include promoting the UK private equity and venture capital industry to international pension and sovereign wealth funds and champion Tech City, London’s answer to Silicon Valley and what it calls a ‘government initiative’.
The alliance is a culmination of more than a year’s work, says Florman. He adds, ‘It is an extremely important development for venture capital as it connects our sector with the UKTI’s network of embassies and consulates throughout the world.’
Lord Green, trade and investment minister, comments, ‘The government is committed to making Britain the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business. It is essential that entrepreneurs have access to the right funding to turn their ideas into successful companies.’
Chris Wade has been installed as the joint venture’s new director. Green adds, ‘[Wade] is a serial entrepreneur who has secured significant venture funding and chairs companies in the UK and the US, bringing this expertise to his UKTI role.’
Wade has active chairmanships including Edinburgh-based Mobile Acuity and San Francisco-based MePlease.