The North West Fund 4 Digital and Creative


Last December I blogged about the North West Fund 4 Digital and Creative. This fund was set up to invest in North West-based hardware, software, marketing, web, media and creative businesses – from start-ups to large and established companies.


Operations have now been going for over a year and I recently caught up with David Smith, Investment Director at AXM Venture Capital Limited and Manager of The North West Fund 4 Digital to find out how things were going.

David told me that they have now concluded thirteen investments, including those for businesses which do online music publishing, digital games development, traditional and online publishing, and online payment systems.

He said “We have invested a total of nearly £3 million so far, and are very keen to see new investment opportunities.

“Two of our portfolio companies are Lancashire based: Azullo, based in Lancaster, operates an online advertising network, while our latest investment, Connect Technologies, has developed a market-leading nursery management software suite from its head office in Burnley.”

AXM are really keen to hear from entrepreneurial teams with great ideas, ideally with some early evidence that they can build a product or service and create a business.

Increase your chances of gaining funding by understanding what AXM are looking for:

Good people:  Either raw talent or a proven track record, some experience in the market you are targeting, and the right technical skills are key.

Dedication and passion:  It’s hard work – you will need (and need to show) absolute commitment to succeed.

Growth potential:  Businesses with the potential to get big and profitable in a sensible timescale and that someone one day will want to buy.

Market awareness: An understanding of the market your business operates in and a plan of how you intend to cost effectively market your product or service. A thoughtful, concise business plan is important.

A great product or service:  You should be able to demonstrate that your product or service is better and can stay ahead of the competition

David concluded “We have received approaching 500 applicants for funding, and have met about a third, with an excellent pipeline of deals under review. The main point, though, is not just the volume but the quality of the ideas we learn about and the people we meet, clearly the North West now contains a big population of smart digital and creative entrepreneurs.”

Potential applicants can contact David Smith at: