START-UP companies involved in media and creative industries will have a chance to grab a portion of a £2.25m investment pot pledged by a London-based venture capital fund.
Ingenious Ventures, the venture capital (VC) division of investment group Ingenious, is fronting up the cash as part of its next investment round, having already invested in a company which helped make BBC drama The Fall.
The VC team will be visiting Belfast next week as part of a UK roadshow which includes Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford, Cardiff, Bristol, London and Brighton.
Its Ingenious Seed Investment Programme will make 15 separate seed investments of £150,000 each into media and creative industries across the UK by September this year.
"Entrepreneurs get the chance to present their ideas, meet their potential investors and receive some valuable free advice, before going on to make their applications online," it stated in a release.
The company wants start-up companies from all areas of the industry to come forward, including consumer technology, e-commerce, gaming, fashion, design, audio-visual content and publishing.
Companies which manage to secure the £150,000 funding will be considered for further funding of up to £1m from Ingenious Ventures' EIS fund as early as Jan 2014, the VC said.
Parent group Ingenious has, to date, invested over £8bn in creative products and businesses – from box office hits such as Avatar and Life of Pi to Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment and Cream, the global dance music operator.
In the latest Creative Industries Economic Estimates, Northern Ireland, Experimental Statistics from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) it emerged that in 2011, the estimated number of business units in the creative industries sector was 1,375, representing 2% of all business units in Northern Ireland.
All the figures are the latest available.
There was no change in the total number of creative businesses between 2010 and 2011 in either absolute or in relative terms.
Almost a third (31%) of all creative industries in Northern Ireland in 2011 were in the architecture sector. Design accounted for 17% of businesses in 2011, while advertising and music and visual and performing arts accounted for 15% and 14% respectively.