The Advisory Board to the Jersey Innovation Fund are delighted to announce the first ever investment from the Fund, into Jersey-based company Stumpydog Innovations Limited, to help support the growth of the company over the next three years.
The Jersey Innovation Fund (JIF) – one of the key priorities contained within the States 2012 Economic Growth and Diversification Strategy – was awarded £5 million funding by the States in May 2013, to invest in local companies seeking to encourage innovation and improve Jersey’s international competitiveness in global markets.
Under the leadership of Chairman Tim Herbert, and with its private sector-led Advisory Board, JIF aims to provide funding and support to entrepreneurs, start-ups and established organisations with innovative investment potential, capable of delivering short-term, high growth opportunities with associated employment creation.
Stumpydog Innovations Limited, a Jersey-registered company founded by designer Catherine Curtis, is an innovative local start-up business that has designed a number of products for global baby-care markets. Its patented new portable travel-cot product ‘BabyHub SleepSpace’ is the likely first product-to-market and has already attracted the attention of major UK and international high street retailers.
JIF funding will help Stumpydog secure initial stocks of product, support product selling-in in the UK and international markets, and secure distribution deals in key markets. Funding will also help bring forward development of its award-winning prototyping-stage ‘BabyHub’ bedside crib product.
The JIF Advisory Board has carried out a thorough assessment of the company and its immediate funding needs, culminating in a decision recently to offer a three-year loan on advantageous terms.
JIF Chairman Tim Herbert commented: “I am delighted to be able to confirm the first investment recommendation by the Jersey Innovation Fund and it is fitting that the recipient is a strong example of an enterprising and innovative local start-up company that has identified a significant niche within he global baby-care market. I am certain that the JIF investment will provide encouragement to Stumpydog Innovations Limited and help them progress towards the creation of significant employment opportunities for local people.”
Founder and Managing Director of Stumpydog Innovations, Catherine Curtis, said: “I would like to thank the JIF Advisory Board for having such faith in me and the product innovations that Stumpydog Innovations intends bringing to the market. Accessing growth funding for early stage, start-up companies can often prove difficult, and it is therefore important to recognise the forward thinking of States Members in establishing and funding the Innovation Fund, in order that innovative local companies can gain access to start-up capital. I would particularly like to thank Aaron Chatterley, who was the non-executive director of the Advisory Board assigned to review my proposal in detail. His feedback was invaluable.”
Minister for Economic Development, Senator Alan Maclean, who has political oversight of the JIF, commented: “I would like to congratulate Stumpydog Innovations on becoming the very first recipients of JIF support and wish them every successs in launching their innovative products into global retail and online markets. The JIF Advisory Board, under Tim Herbert, has now considered applications from a number of local innovative companies and they have shown great faith in Catherine and her company, in terms of the likely potential of future growth.
“It is important that the States continue to support efforts to secure the Island’s future economic growth, through initiatives such as the Jersey Innovation Fund, which provides a new approach by Government towards opening up access to finance for early stage, high growth or technology driven companies using Jersey as a global base.”
Tim Herbert confirmed that this initial investment is likely to be followed by others in early course: “I can confirm that the JIF Advisory Board is in advanced discussions with at least three companies seeking to secure significant second-stage investment that could open up significant global market opportunities. Given the technical complexity of their products and scale of investment sought, these applications are likely to take a few more weeks, however I am confident that further good news from JIF will not be long in coming.”