How venture capital company Northstar helps others shine

BASED in Newcastle, Northstar is a venture capital firm with over £80m under management.

BASED in Newcastle, Northstar is a venture capital firm with over £80m under management.

Having fully invested the £30m Co-Investment Fund and £13m Proof of Concept Funds, Northstar is now actively investing three funds.

The £15m North East Proof of Concept Fund supports innovative projects within the technology sector to create new commercial opportunities.

The fund invests between £20k and £100k and follow-on investments may be completed above this level.

The £20m North East Accelerator Fund invests in high-potential enterprises at an early stage of their development. The fund will invest and complete investments of between £100k and £500k, with the maximum investment into any one company being £750k per year.

Finally, the £2.4m North East Creative Content Fund is aimed at the North East commercial creative sector, with a particular focus on the region’s TV, film, interactive media, music and games industries. This fund backs companies at an early stage of their development with investments of between £50k and £250k.

Over the next five years, Northstar will be investing these funds in a broad spectrum of ambitious businesses located in the North East of England, or those willing to relocate to the region.

Northstar’s new funds provide an exciting opportunity for local enterprises to access the capital they need to get started and grow.

All three funds have closed their first deals with 14 investments completed over the last three months including:

EUTECHNYX – One of the largest independent videogame developers in the world specialising in console-based driving games including Ferrari Challenge, The Fast and the Furious and MTV’s Pimp My Ride.

Their recent financing round represents the first investment made on behalf of the Accelerator Fund and will enable the company to finalise development of a ground-breaking new title set to revolutionise the racing genre.

REINNERVATE – A Durham University spin-out that secured finance from the Accelerator Fund to commercialise and launch its technology for growing cells in 3-dimensions.

The brainchild of Professor Stefan Przyborski, Reinnervate’s technology enables cells to grow in a manner more akin to living tissue than conventional technologies where cells grow in flat sheets.

DEMINOS – A human resources and employment law outsourcing specialist.

The cash injection from the Accelerator Fund will help Deminos achieve its nationwide potential as well as recruit new HR advisers.

IEVO – Have developed a unique biometrics reader that is not harmed by the elements and can scan fingerprints at temperatures as low as -20 degrees.

The reader is vandal resistant and can scan through dirt, dust and some types of latex gloves. Northstar’s investment from the Accelerator Fund will allow IEvo to target wider markets and begin manufacture in the North-East.

ONE NIGHT IN TURIN – A documentary backed by the Creative Content Fund made by James Erskine about the 1990 World Cup which was shown in cinemas in May and is now out on DVD.

The film uses archive material blended with unseen back story of the England team on and off the pitch and tells a great story of North East heroes.

The Proof of Concept and Accelerator funds are funded by One North East, European Regional Development Fund and European Investment Bank as part of the £125m Finance For Business North East programme.

Northstar is working closely with local screen agency Northern Film and Media on the Creative Content Fund, supported by One North East and funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

:: Northstar's experienced and approachable team are always keen to hear from entrepreneurs looking to develop their businesses and succeed. Please visit  or contact our team at Northstar Ventures, Maybrook House, 27-35 Grainger Street, Newcastle, tel: 0191 229 2770.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer