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Peeling back the layers of OION’s year 2020/2021

July 27th 2021

PEELING BACK THE LAYERS OF OION’S YEAR 2020/21

Oxford Investment Opportunity Network Limited (OION Ltd) is one of the oldest and largest Angel Investment Networks in the UK. Providing investors with the opportunity to invest in pre-screened opportunities either directly, or via the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund, and providing companies with the opportunity to secure investment from a large, diverse investor base. OION is part of our extended network as part of Oxford Innovation and we have direct links into them should you be looking for equity investment.

During a year unlike any other, OION has continued to assist ambitious, innovative companies with 28 of them securing funding from the network – more detail on these can be found here.

In March 2020, with less than a week’s notice, we were forced to move our upcoming Showcase event from a physical in-person event to an online investment meeting, at the time still something considered rather unusual. More than twelve months on and every OION Showcase since has been held online, continuing to provide the opportunity for promising early-stage companies to pitch to our experienced and diverse investor group. Of the 28 companies we’ve successfully secured funding for, we’ve seen their average required investment round size increase from just under £650k in 2019/20 to nearly £800k in 2020/21.

We’ve found the early-stage investment ecosystem has remained reassuringly resilient throughout the pandemic so far as we continue to see substantial, quality deal flow in combination with strong investor appetite. So much so that we’ve seen our investor membership increase by more than 100 members over the past year. And our company selection meetings, which take place prior to a Showcase, always leave us with difficult decisions to make due to the strong competition among companies that wish to pitch.

Whilst Technology/Software remains the dominant sector of investment by OION members, over the past year we’ve seen several emerging trends. Investments within the Healthcare/Medical Device sector increased significantly over the past year, replacing the Environment/Green sector as second to Technology/Software. Additionally, we’ve seen investments in the Manufacture/Engineering sector increase to over 20% of OION investments in 2020/21. Further sector comparison can be found in the below charts.

Investments by SectorThis year will see the first investments by the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund, to invest alongside our angel investor members. The Fund will look to invest in a portfolio of well led, technology rich businesses with high growth potential. Accessing finance is one of the most critical events in the growth journey of all successful innovative businesses and we are delighted to be playing a part in helping such businesses across the UK.

Through our Innovation Director Babita your business can be recommended to OION if you require Angel investment. Babita will even check your pitch and deck and do some practice pitches with you to help you get pitch ready. If you are interested in how you can be part of the centre, please contact us at Repicentre@epicentrehaverhill.com or 01440 782100

September 9th 2021

Cool Beans OPENS AT THE EPICENTRE

Businesses, musical talent and a local celebrity gathered on 8th September 2021, to support the opening of Cool Beans, the new café at The EpiCentre on the Haverhill Research Park.

September 6th 2021

IoD wins major bid to deliver leadership and digital training for SMEs in the East of England

The IoD and its partner TrueCue have been selected to deliver the leadership and digital innovation programmes for the In-Career Education and Training (ICET) project.  ICET is financed by the European Social Fund and the University of Suffolk and has been designed to support small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to access high quality, immersive training. 

August 26th 2021

OION EIS Growth fund

The Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund 1 closed for investment in March 2021 and OION will be investing in a portfolio of promising technology companies over the course of the 2021/22 financial year.