UK innovation is being hampered by a lack of early financial support, according to startup incubator St John’s Innovation Centre.
St John’s hosted the Gorillas of Tomorrow conference in Cambridge last week, which showcased a variety of research developments from three-dimensional modelling to nanotech-enabled next-generation printers.
But insufficient seed funding is making it harder for high-tech developments to make the leap from the drawing board to the market.
Venture capitalists are increasingly reluctant to put money into high-risk fledgling projects, said St John’s head of business support Peter Hornby.
‘If you look at Cambridge six or seven years ago, there were several seed funds focused on early-stage investment, but now there are none,’ he said.
‘Venture capitalists want projects that have moved on to a stage where they can invest larger sums, but if you do not have that seed source, eventually there will be less opportunities.’
UK investment in early-stage business technology development has plummeted by £99m to £303m in the past year, according to figures from researcher Library House.