Zendesk makes customer service better. It builds software to meet customer needs, set your team up for success, and keep your business in sync.

Jeremy Ambrose joins us once again, this time focusing on those looking for investment or next round investment. This sesson will cover:

• A fun look at how to grow your valuation and what you need to have in place
• A look at both financial, legal and operational due-diligence to maximise your valuation
• What goes up- can easily come down. How to lose valuation in an investors eyes
• We use a model to grow your valuation to £2.1M and then lose it all in one session

Axiologik is a Leeds-based consultancy that helps organisations such as The Home OfficeNHS Digital and Selfridges establish, develop and evolve their digital transformation programmes.

Mike Quate, Gordon Cullum and Adam Cockburn from Axiologik, will share their thinking about the considerations needed to start and develop greener and more sustainable technology plans.

The session covers:

 How vital is the development of technology plans
Creating more value through greener solutions
 How Cloud and Sustainable IT choices can aid cost
 Track and measure the impacts made when targeting carbon neutrality

Zendesk makes customer service better. It builds software to meet customer needs, set your team up for success, and keep your business in sync.

Jeremy Ambrose from Zendesk presents ‘How to turn your Customer Service Centre into a profit centre’.

Jeremy covers such topics as:

• A deep dive into CX trends that have been used by scale-ups and unicorns, compared to near linear growth businesses.
• Insights from working with 4500 startups/scaleups about how to really grow your customer service centre to support your company growth.
• How to save time and effort and get back to working ON the business not IN it.
• Actionable takeaways and timelines for when you should be doing what when it comes to automating customer service.

Liz Wood from Comply Direct will discuss the feasible actions businesses can take to reduce their carbon emissions and work towards a net zero target.

During this webinar we will provide a comprehensive overview of what net zero means, as well as the importance and benefits for businesses of committing to a net zero carbon target. In addition, we will share the roadmap of essential actions an organisation wanting to achieve net zero will need to address – including, carbon footprint measurement, carbon reduction planning, target setting and carbon offsetting.

As climate change is the defining issue of our time, investing in sustainability is becoming increasingly paramount for businesses. More and more organisations now require their supplier base to have made carbon commitments which is an example of the many further economic, commercial and environmental benefits of embracing sustainability, for both your organisation and the wider environment.

Anna Sutton is the co-founder of The Data Shed, and will be looking at the impact of good data on investor confidence, due diligence and, most importantly valuation.

The Data Shed is a Data Consultancy working with organisations of all shapes and sizes at varying stages of their investor journey. Specialising in integrating data sets to drive insight and value, The Data Shed focuses on how their clients can leverage their data as an asset whilst minimising risks.

Backed by research, The Data Shed has found that data is becoming a more important area of focus as each year goes by. In this session, we will focus on how data can play a key part in driving the best outcome for both sides at each stage.

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Helen Darlington is Founder and Director of Woven, a global, multi-award-winning brand engagement agency.

Woven is a place where you can be your true self, a place that brings together diverse talent that generates brilliant ideas and successes for our clients. Put simply it helps luxury, ambitious and best-in-class brands attract new audiences, engage more deeply, and grow market share. Woven makes brands work beautifully.

Over the past 20 years it has understood and owned its niche, which has helped Woven stabalise and grow the business. Through the Mind v Machine session, Helen will explain some of the tactics Woven uses that help us engage and build lasting relationships with its clients.

We hope you will leave the session with ten top takeaways that you find useful.

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Mercia‘s Investment Director, Ash Kumaraswamy gives us a better understanding of what Deep  Tech is, its role within society, Mercia’s investment philosophy and what the future of this market looks like.

Ash also casts the spotlight on many of the Mercia-backed companies such as Faradion, Libertine, Mindtrace, Tribosonics, Netacea and many more.

Read more from Ash here

History often informs our actions. Today, we see many similarities with the 1970s – high inflation, energy price hikes, climbing interest rates pushing up national debt and full employment – albeit conceivably temporary in nature. With indicators pointing towards a sharp economic levelling with the real possibility of a near-term recession, regardless of whether you recognise these as parallels in history or as new challenges, refreshed attitudes are needed.

The age we are living in is increasingly uncertain. Concepts we have considered foundational to our existence – like the widespread health of populations in mature economies or an era of peace in Europe – are no longer as assured. But what is certain is that Mercia will meet these challenges with a spirit of optimism, seeking clarity in a dynamic and rapidly changing environment. As a purpose-led organisation, we operate with a mindset of opportunities rather than challenges.

Mercia was founded with the intent of addressing the regional funding and investment support gap. When we began to address this funding disparity back in 2010, Mercia was a team of five working in one room in the Midlands. Today, we are a team of over 120 with eight regional offices around the UK, including our recently opened office in Bristol. I believe that our focus on solutions, instead of obstacles, has been pivotal to this successful growth.

This attitude is encapsulated in Mercia’s success in Deep Tech investments, particularly when others were reluctant to invest in the space.

Deep Tech businesses are often seen as capital-intensive early-stage concepts, notorious for taking a longer time to generate returns than conventional consumer-facing businesses. Mercia views these businesses through different eyes, recognising the role these regional SMEs have as ‘enabling technology’ businesses. We back innovators who look at capital-efficient ways to use existing base technologies to solve global problems. Last year, our exit from Faradion was a great showcase for this approach of combining patience with capital capability. Our successful sale of Faradion saw us pass the baton of this emerging business to Reliance Industries for a £100million, full-cash exit. Faradion focuses on using existing manufacturing capabilities and modified technologies to create a sodium-ion battery platform. The business continues to grow in the UK, now supported by its new owner. Libertine is also worth mentioning. After listing Libertine last year, it accessed the scale-up capital it needed to accelerate its growth as an innovative developer of smart engines for automotive and distributive power generation set-ups.

Excitingly, our Deep Tech pipeline remains strong. Many of these next-generation businesses are providing creative solutions to environmental challenges and supporting mature economies in their quest to achieve net zero.

Nova Pangaea in the Tees Valley is a promising portfolio company that is primed for international expansion. To help resolve the problem of crops, such as corn, being harvested for use in fuel, Nova Pangaea uses non-food plant residues to develop advanced biofuels and other chemical products.

Other portfolio businesses, such as Tribosonics and Slingshot Simulations, are applying scientific research to reduce the impact of waste on the environment. The smart sensors that Tribosonics develops help industries monitor the degradation of parts to support the development of more efficient and sustainable outcomes. Leeds-based Slingshot takes large, accumulated datasets that are currently neglected and transforms them into legible insights that are actionable in sectors including logistics and urban planning.

We are also encouraged by the progress of two Midlands-based businesses – Warwick Acoustics and Impression Technologies. Despite industries such as car manufacturing experiencing setbacks and delays during the pandemic, these companies have demonstrated remarkable resilience. As electric vehicles become more commonplace, Warwick Acoustic’s low power, superlight speakers are primed to help reduce power usage by reducing the weight of cars. Impression Technologies, with its highly scalable pressing technology, is enabling aluminium’s additional strength and lightweight advantages to be a solution to what will, no doubt, be a commonplace demand in vehicle manufacture.

Our approach to responsible investing is to provide the capital that will allow more purpose-led businesses to continue growing, so that SMEs can positively impact their communities, their regions and the people they serve.

Mark Payton

CEO, Mercia Asset Management PLC

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A new report shows that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has increased productivity, employment and skills across the North since its launch in 2017.

A report by independent research company, SQW, has found that over 6,000 high-quality jobs have been created through the Fund – almost 1,000 more than originally planned

Read more about the report’s findings, including comments from Catherine Lewis La Torre and Sir Roger Marsh, OBE DL

Read or download the full report here


Mercia is pleased to announce completion of a second tranche investment round of £4.3million into existing direct investment portfolio company, MIP Diagnostics Limited, a UK-based nanotechnology business.

As part of this round Mercia invested £1.1million from its own balance sheet, alongside existing syndicate investors including the Business Growth Fund, Downing Ventures and Calculus Capital. This funding round has increased Mercia’s fully diluted direct investment stake to 10.1%.

Based in Bedfordshire, MIP Diagnostics is a market leader in Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (“MIP”) technology. The business has developed and patented a novel design and development process to make nano-scale molecularly imprinted polymers (“nanoMIPs”), that act as synthetic antibodies for use in diagnostic devices, such as biosensors and other next-generation in vitro diagnostic tests. nanoMIPs offer significant differentiators over traditional antibodies due to their robust nature, coupled with best-in-class sensitivity and selectivity, as well as reduced cost of production.

Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia Asset Management, said: “As a founding investor in this University of Leicester spinout, Mercia remains a proactive supporter of MIP Diagnostics in its rapid growth journey. This latest oversubscribed funding round is testament to the exciting potential of its nanoMIPs platform technology, to drive the acceleration of discovery in Life Sciences and bring next-generation products to market faster and more cost-effectively. We look forward to continuing to work with MIP Diagnostics as they expand their talented team and move towards the industrialisation of their technology.”

Read the RNS here