Mercia ‘dragons’ support UK’s biggest student pitch contest

Over 160 graduates and students gathered in Birmingham for the launch of the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Programme. They were there to learn how to pitch their business ideas to investors in one of the UK’s largest competitions of its type.

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards brings together teams from over 80 universities to compete for over £90,000 worth of seed funding on offer.

Mercia is working in partnership with Santander Universities to support the programme, along with regional EU-backed funds including the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) and North East Venture Fund (NEVF).

Investment managers from Mercia attended the launch event at Edgbaston Park Hotel in Birmingham to deliver training and give competitors a better understanding of what investors are looking for. They will also be involved in judging in the subsequent rounds which will culminate in the final in London in October.

Sandy Reid, Investment Manager with Mercia, said: “We are excited to be working with our long-term business partner Santander to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. Through Mercia’s own partnerships with UK universities, we are well aware of the potential they offer in terms of graduate talent and as a hotbed of new technologies. As one of the UK’s most active tech investors, the Mercia team is also well placed to educate students on how best to develop and pitch their ideas and bring them to market.”

MEIF, NPIF and NEVF are supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.