We’re changing here at Primera Impact — here’s how

It’s been just about four weeks since we launched Primera Impact. Since then, we’ve generated a lot of excitement among startups with bold ideas to change the world and the networks, incubators, and Universities that support them. In that time, we have naturally faced a few challenges as well.

At Primera Impact, our ultimate goal is to generate an ecosystem of innovators and investors who work together to solve major global challenges. It’s ambitious but exactly what the world needs.

To help us achieve this goal, we’re evolving our strategy.

We feel it’s important to incorporate into our work three of our most important learnings:

1. There are teams of people and ideas today we like and can tangibly help.

2. Many organisations have reached out to us with a desire to build long-term partnerships and help us achieve our vision.

3. We have found ideas in other sectors with potential to have large-scale impact that we would like to support.

What does this mean?

At the top level, there will be two immediate changes to our health-tech competition.

First — the format of the competition will shift to rolling, open applications.

Startups can still apply via our application form on our website. We will evaluate applications as they come through, and we aim to provide an initial response to each one within 3 weeks.

Second — we are expanding the focus of Primera Impact to include energy, the environment, and agriculture alongside health.

For people that have applied, this means that we will start considering your applications now. For people yet to apply, this means the sooner you apply, the sooner we can start evaluating you for possible funding. Our evaluation process will also be more streamlined to help provide decisions to applicants earlier.

The most important things will stay just the same. We will continue to offer £100,000 equity investments, as well as a few merit-based grants. Additional resources — follow-on funding and operational support — will also remain unchanged. We are also working on providing more opportunities through our links to Cambridge and our partners, such as the possibility of relocating to the Bradfield Centre in Cambridge.

This brings us on to the three pillars of Primera Impact’s strategy.

1. Actively build our portfolio

For those ideas we have already found that show great promise, we will spend the next few weeks evaluating them for investment. We will also spend time actively identifying additional opportunities. These early investments will build confidence, commitment, and dedication to our vision as we grow Primera Impact.

2. Focus on expanding our network of partners and collaborators

At Primera Impact, we firmly believe that change doesn’t happen alone. The degree of support we have received from our partners in Cambridge has been unmatched, and there are many new promising partnerships on the horizon. Therefore, we’ll be establishing a category of ‘Collaborators’ made up of organisations aligned with our values to help achieve our vision. This will help us build traction and equip us with additional skills and resources to help the people we invest in to succeed

3. Make funding more accessible to the most promising ideas

Balancing building our vision with finding the best ideas against our competition has been a major challenge for the past few weeks. We know that startups require funding soon, but we are also aware that it takes time to raise awareness. This is why we are shifting to rolling open applications — to maximise the outcomes of both these aims. For those that apply sooner, we can evaluate sooner. As our organisation grows, startups that would otherwise have missed our competition window can still apply. To us, this is a critical change to make.

Moving Forward

Over the coming months, we will be taking steps to achieve what we have outlined. We will start making investments, create our foundational network of Collaborators, and identify more world-changing ideas through our search and open applications. We’re keen to keep learning about the early-stage, high-impact startup ecosystem and to help those within it.

Globally, investors are starting to look for more responsible and sustainable investments, and we want make sure that great, world-changing ideas receive the support they deserve.

As always, please reach out to us to learn more, share thoughts, and speak to us about what you’re doing.

- Ravi | Co-Founding Partner | @ravi_sola | ravi@primeraimpact.com

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