Investor showcase debut for sustainable crop pioneers hoping to yield £150,000

December 7, 2018

A Bath-based biotech firm aiming to increase crop yields while reducing the need for pesticides and fertilisers hopes to gain a £150,000 investment to take it to the next level.

Secure Harvests was selected to attend an investor event in London staged by SETsquared, the innovation hub backed by the University of Bath. 

The firm was among a group of high growth potential technology companies pitching for a combined £18m to an audience of investors at SETsquared’s annual Accelerating Growth Investment Showcase.

Secure Harvests promotes the development of improved crop varieties for food, fibre and biofuel.  Its primary focus is on crops, such as bananas and potatoes, which need massive use of pesticides to achieve good yields.

Director Heather Sanders said of the showcase: “It’s been a fantastic day. We’ve met some interesting people and had some exciting conversations. If we are successful in raising the £150,000 we are pitching for today, we will use it to complete our early stage technical work and expand our offerings.”

Running for the past 14 years, SETsquared’s Investment Showcase has become a huge success, attracting hundreds of investors, seasoned entrepreneurs, corporate investors and venture capitalists, all looking to invest in companies with the potential to become the tech giants of tomorrow.

The 20 start-ups pitching for investment received mentoring and support from SETsquared, and were seeking financial backing, ranging between £150,000 and £5m, from an audience of more than 100 investors and corporates. Already, the total raised by companies who have previously participated exceeds £100m.

Of the 20 companies that participated this year, eight have female founders, the largest number in the event’s history.

SETsquared Bath centre director Rosie Bennett said: “We work with some amazing entrepreneurs and start-ups and this event is our way of getting them in front of investors and business experts who could really help to develop these ventures and take them forward.

“The companies participating this year have all put a tremendous amount of effort into getting their businesses investment ready and their pitches attractive to potential investors.”  

Over the past 18 years, SETsquared has helped more than 3,500 businesses raise more than £1.5bn in investment as well as contributing over £8.6bn in GVA (Gross Value Added) to the UK economy, rising to £26.9bn by 2030 – figures that contributed to it being named by UBI Global as the top university business incubator in the world in 2015 and 2018.


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