Start-up ‘factory’ Nova looking to raise £600,000 to back new entrepreneurs

Founded in 2014 and backed by investors including former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, Liverpool-based Nova has already helped raise £10m to support start-up ventures. Tony McDonough reports

Andy Davidson chief executive of Liverpool ‘cofoundery’ Nova


Liverpool business start-up ‘factory’ Nova is looking to raise £600,000 to help more entrepreneurs get their high-growth ventures off the ground.

Backed by investors, including former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy and his investment partner Bill Currie, Liverpool-based Nova is a ‘cofoundery’ that attracts venture capital investment for start-ups in the  healthtech, fintech and eGaming sectors.

It takes a 25% equity stake in each business with venture capitalists taking another 25% stake. Each of the entrepreneurs goes through a full mentoring programme, preparing them for their first investment pitches at free ‘Start-up Schools’.

Earlier this year Nova relocated to Box Studios in the city’s northern docklands from its original home in Baltic Triangle, where it was founded in 2014. In 2018 it helped to fund 11 early-stage start-up businesses in Merseyside and across the North West with a a £1m seed fund cash injection.

Now it is embarking on a new 30-day crowdfunding drive via Crowdcube to double a £300,000 pot of cash it has raised through its investment partners. Once raised, the £600,000 fund will help fund UK and international expansion.

Sir Terry Leahy
Former Tesco chief executive, Sir Terry Leahy is backing Nova


Nova chief executive Andy Davidson said: “Our track record and the market data available demonstrates that starting a business with Nova means it’s five times more likely to succeed – and that’s a testament to the methodologies, processes and people that we’ve developed.

“We’ve now got an opportunity to scale our operations and that promises great things not just for our investors, but also the founders, the people who use our products and ultimately the economies of where we set these businesses up.

“We want to allow more people across the world to realise their entrepreneurial ambition by starting and growing successful tech businesses with us. We hope that people will take up the opportunity to back our crowdfund and join us on this journey.”

The £600,000 will allow Nova to expand its offering with new hires in cities around the UK. This expansion will boost startup ecosystems. Pilot programmes are also planned for Riyadh and Kuala Lumpur, with permanent locations to follow if these prove successful. Nova has ambitions to launch 40 more tech businesses next year.

Its programme startup founders have raised more than £10m to date and gone on to create a range of ingenious tech businesses. They include Hy-genie which tackles the infection control epidemic that affects more than 300,000 patients and costs the NHS £1bn per year.

Another, BitBaby, is targeting the £2bn pregnancy market with an anxiety reducing wearable and app to track fetal development. And DLG whose tech enhances the experience of tens of thousands of players globally using Dungeons & Dragons tabletop gaming.

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