WebStart Bristol is a new internet incubator for the dynamic city of Bristol. Opening in January 2014, WebStart Bristol plans to take its first group of 10 app and web services campaigns through an intensive 10 week programme of mentoring to deliver companies ready for rapid growth. Each campaign will receive a net cash investment of up to £10,000 (depending on the number of founders), mentoring, office space and professional services over the course of the programme. After the 10 weeks, each campaign will present its big idea on demo day to a room full of potential investors.
WebStart Bristol will be located in the new Engine Shed development in Bristol, which combines the world class business accelerator SETsquared with the major Regional, City and Government investment bodies.
We believe that Bristol is a great place to establish an internet incubator:
- It's a creative, tech hub with a long history of fresh thinking, all the way from Brunel to Wallace and Gromit to Massive Attack and Banksy.
- It has a strong pool of talent kept fresh by a vibrant digital economy and constantly topped up by students from the city's world-class universities. Until now that talent often had to look to London to access the seed capital and support vital to growth. Our new venture is going to change that and this is where it's going to happen.
- Its world-class universities mean that 1 in 10 of Bristol's population are students.
- The biggest digital supply chain outside of London, including major home-grown national companies.
- HP Labs Bristol is among the premier corporate research labs in Europe.
- Bristol has been pinpointed as a "hot spring" for innovation on the McKinsey/World Economic Forum innovation map.
- The cost of tech staff and office space in London makes Bristol better value.
Although WebStart Bristol itself will operate on a not-for-profit basis, the founders of WebStart Bristol will invest alongside external investors to hold direct stakes in each campaign that goes through the programme. Each campaign will then pay WebStart Bristol a fee of approximately £4,000 (out of the proceeds of the investment it receives) to cover the costs of the mentoring, office space and professional services it receives.
Bristol has a strong local network of university and city entrepreneur networks through which WebStart Bristol will seek entries from its programme. There are no specialist Internet only incubators in Bristol and being part of the Engine Shed development gives WebStart Bristol a high profile and first mover advantage.
By investing in this campaign, you are investing in the equity of each of the 10 campaigns that will form part of WebStart Bristol's first cohort. Each campaign will issue 10% of its equity to the investors in this campaign, meaning that if you invested the full £150,000, you would receive 10% in each of the 10 campaigns; if you invested £15,000, you would receive 1% in each of the 10 campaigns; and if you invested £1,500, you would receive 0.1% in each of the 10 campaigns. Your investment decision is therefore based on your view of WebStart Bristol's ability to attract and select appealing campaigns.
WebStart Bristol will invest up to a maximum gross investment of £15,000 in each of the campaigns, but will make the decision as to how much to invest depending on the number of founders. Each campaign will then pay Webstart Bristol a fee if approximately £4,000. Regardless of how much is invested, the campaign will always issue 10% of its shares in exchange for such investment. Investors' funds, net of the Seedrs fee, will be held in escrow by Seedrs until the 10 campaigns are selected, and then Seedrs acting as nominee will directly invest up to £15,000 in each company in exchange for 10% equity. Seedrs will then hold your shares as nominee (in the same way that it does for all campaigns that raise money through its platform).
All 10 investments will be SEIS-eligible. WebStart Bristol will only accept applicants that it expects will qualify for SEIS relief, and Seedrs will only complete an investment in each campaign after HMRC has granted advanced assurance to it (in the event that a campaign does not receive advanced assurance, no investment will be made in it, and a pro rata proportion of your funds will be returned to you). Because your investment will be made into each campaign individually, rather than into an intermediate vehicle, you will be eligible for SEIS relief on each such investment to the extent that it is granted by HMRC.