The UK government has announced two new schemes for funding to innovative companies and startups, launching in May 2020.
After certain businesses advised that they were unable to access previously announced government support measures as a result of being either pre-revenue or pre-profit, the UK government announced new schemes to demonstrate its commitment to supporting businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and, in particular, the importance of the innovative and startup sectors to the UK economy.
An additional £750 million (approx. $933 million) of funding will be available from Innovate UK (the UK’s innovation agency) to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that focus on research and development.
The funding includes the acceleration of loans and grants to existing Innovate UK customers, as well as additional funding for both existing customers of Innovate UK and businesses that are not yet receiving funds from Innovate UK. Innovate UK has offered £175,000 (approx. $218,000) of support to 1,200 businesses that are not already receiving its funds (totaling £210 million (approx. $261 million)).
The funding will be made available through Innovate UK’s existing loan and grants scheme. Additional details are expected to be announced in early May when the scheme is set to launch.
Existing customers of Innovate UK are encouraged to reach out to their contacts at Innovate UK for further details, while businesses that are not yet customers of Innovate UK can find more information about how to apply on the Innovate UK website.
A new scheme, the Future Fund, will issue convertible loans to startups facing financing difficulties as a result of COVID-19. The scheme will initially make available up to £250 million (approx. $311 million), with full details regarding eligibility and terms to be published shortly. Certain key terms have been released, including the following:
The Future Fund is therefore aimed at businesses that have already received venture capital or angel investor funding and may not otherwise be eligible for funding under the UK government’s other COVID-19 support measures.
Businesses will be able to access further information once the scheme is launched from this webpage.
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