GROWTHFUNDERS, the region's first online equity crowdfunding platform, has helped its first business to achieve its investment target.

Lewis Pennicott Design has raised £10,000 in its proof of concept (POC) funding round, which they will use to build a prototype of their first product, Chop2Bowl.

The business has also garnered interest from a venture capitalist who is interested in co-investing in the deal and providing additional match funding.

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Chop2Bowl is a multifunctional chopping board and bowl combination which can also be adapted for serving purposes. The aim is to drive this first product to market and develop a further range of kitchen and home ware products.

GrowthFunders has been launched to match ambitious entrepreneurs with great business ideas to a range of investors to create and grow exciting businesses. The platform allows entrepreneurs leading businesses with high growth potential to garner support and raise capital online from a range of investors, including angel networks and early stage venture capitalists.

GrowthFunders also opens up access to this exciting asset class to a wider audience of suitably-qualified online angels, or the eponymous crowd, who can invest alongside more experienced investors.

Mr Pennicott said: “This first stage of fundraising on GrowthFunders has been fantastic, and the support and guidance I’ve been given by them has helped to shape our fundraising strategy. We decided to raise a smaller POC amount first, so we could build the prototype, and then go back to GrowthFunders to raise a full seed round of investment of around £130k.”

Lewis Pennicott Design is based in Eaglescliffe, Stockton.

Craig Peterson, director of Growth Capital Ventures, the firm behind GrowthFunders, said: “I’m delighted to work with Lewis, who is a great example of a young entrepreneur who has the drive and ambition to start and grow a new business.

"Chop2Bowl is an interesting concept. It already has an impressive following on Twitter, with people saying they can’t wait to buy one. With the money raised, Lewis can now focus on building a prototype and paving the way for a full product launch later in the year.”

Launched by North-East and Yorkshire-based entrepreneurs, Craig and Norman Peterson, GrowthFunders has a wealth of experience behind it.

The pair have supported entrepreneurs raising capital, acting as mentors and providing strategic advice to a range of high growth businesses. 

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