Creating a vibrant marketplace among student entrepreneurs. Now there's a proper big marketplace.
Find Invest Grow is a venture capital firm that offers a pragmatic new approach to investing in young entrepreneurs. While most angel investors shy away from those with a lack of experience in running businesses, FIG is not afraid to be working solely with undergraduates and graduates of the past five years.
The firm was set up in 2010 by James King after raising investment for his own ventures. He wanted to create a vehicle to give both support and funding to young entrepreneurs risk-free.
FIG delivers a free-to-use online tool for young entrepreneurs that provides a framework to build and, critically, assess the viability of entrepreneurs’ business plans. Feedback on how to improve their business model is then provided along with introductions to FIG’s strategic partners and access to a network of angel investors such as one of the lead players behind MrandMrsSmith.com, Andrew Grahame.
Since launching, FIG has raised more than £3m for 14 graduate and undergraduate-led start-ups ranging from Bertie and Bean, an online marketplace for nearly-new children clothes, to Wazoku, an “idea-generation” platform.
And FIG has been in demand. Over the past year the company has been approached by more than 3,000 potential start-ups, choosing only to engage with a very small minority of high-quality opportunities; focusing on products that address a need before a want.
Investments include a neuroscience technology that can tell web designers what visitors see in the first five seconds on visiting their websites (EyeQuant), fresh meal kits designed by the chef Michel Roux Snr (Scratch Meals) and fitness equipment that trains multiple joints in a single exercise (MuJo).
At a time when seed investing is scarce, and investing in first time entrepreneurs is even rarer, Find Invest Grow is welcome member of the Wonga Future 50. We can also see potential for the concept to streamline deal origination into other early-stage investors, such as angels and VC firms. We wish them well...