LCR ventures was launched in 2020 to support Liverpool city region start-up businesses – now it has a new name and an extra £3.2m. Tony McDonough reports
A £10.5m project to support start-ups and innovators in the Liverpool city region is to see an extra cash injection of £3.2m – and it will get a new name.
LYVA Labs was launched by Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham in December 2021 as LCR Ventures. Its initial aim was to support entrepreneurs and innovators in health and life sciences. Funding can help turn their ideas into high-growth businesses and create high-value jobs.
At its meeting on June 10, the Combined Authority approved the extra £3.2m, taking the total to £11m. This will enable LYVA Labs to expand its activity into new sectors, beyond its initial health and life sciences remit.
Mr Rotheram said: “Our region is home to a thriving ecosystem of innovators who have got the talent, ambition and creativity to rival anywhere else in the world. I want to offer them a helping hand with additional funding that can help them to realise their potential. When local businesses flourish, the rest of our economy does too.
“I want the Liverpool city region to develop a global reputation as a place that creates more businesses, attracts greater investment and files more patents. The more we can encourage businesses to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit, the faster we can realise our ambition of becoming an innovation powerhouse.”
LYVA Labs was initially set up to provide “incubator” services and funding to very early-stage start-up companies in the life sciences sector. This sector is one of the strongest in the country, involving over £2bn research in infection alone per year.
It recently announced its first funding of £175,000 for Frequasense to develop technology that rapidly detects sepsis. This is an infection that affects 245,000 people and is responsible for at least 48,000 deaths in the UK every year.
Lorna Green, chief executive of LYVA Labs, added: “We’ve had amazing support from the innovation community for the launch of the Health & Life Sciences Challenge Fund and have already established a strong pipeline for investment.
“This second phase of funding allows us to work with established businesses across all sectors who want to innovate, and to establish up to 20 new deep tech businesses. The Combined Authority approved an initial £7.5m investment to create LCR Ventures, later rebranded as LYVA Labs, in August 2022, with the intention to allocate a further £3m.”