Global University Venturing has just completed their inaugural Powerlist for 2018 based on their five-year data review of the university spin-out ecosystem earlier this year.

The data from the study showed Parkwalk as the world’s second most active investor in this sector, which can be seen here: Global investors in University spin-outs 2013 – 2017. Parkwalk were delighted to be ranked in the top 20 in the Powerlist, utilising various of quantitative and qualitative metrics on funds from across the globe. The article can be seen here: “Everything ventured, everything gained”.

Parkwalk have been investing in spin-outs since 2010, and are now the largest EIS growth fund manager focused on university spin-outs, and the largest by funds raised for the last two tax years. Parkwalk has raised over £220m to date and backed over 100 companies across our managed funds.

We believe this sector sits at the epicentre of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, to diversify the UK economy into areas deemed key to the success of UK plc. This includes areas such as mobility (personal and transit); health, well-being and longevity (genomics, AI, med-tech, agri-tech, clean-tech, ed-tech); security (physical, cyber, security of resources); quantum (computing, communications, med-tech); as well as ‘general’ innovation – improvements in software, electronics, sensors, materials and the like. There is further detail in Sir Paul Nurse’s independent review of the UK research councils which can be seen here.

By focusing on the spin out sector we believe our investment strategy will continue to deliver strong investment returns for our investors, as well as supporting the Government’s objectives for UK plc.

The Government has recently been ‘honing’ policy to help support this sector, for instance recent changes to EIS and VCTs rules which offer enhanced reliefs to companies that qualify as ‘knowledge intensive’ (often patent-protected ‘hard science’ companies built on extensive R&D and know-how), and the creation of British Patient Capital (a British Business Bank subsidiary) that has £2.5bn to invest in companies as they mature.

But potentially the largest show of support for the sector was announced in the 2018 Budget, with Chancellor Philip Hammond unveiling a consultation seeking to pave the way for £bns of defined contribution pension money to invest in patient capital.

Parkwalk’s portfolio companies employ over 1,000 people in highly skilled jobs, keeping the most advanced skill-sets active in the UK. We believe the contribution to society created by these companies is almost impossible to quantify.

The creation of the Global University Venturing Powerlist is a sign of the growing strength of the sector and we are delighted to be recognised for our efforts over the last few years.