Cybersecurity training provider CAPSLOCK welcomes free funding advice

CAPSLOCK, with offices in Chorley and Manchester, is an educational provider that delivers career-changing cybersecurity courses online. Working with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Investment Readiness programme they have been able to secure over £850,000 of funding.

Co-Founder of CAPSLOCK Jonathan Slater saw a business opportunity using a deferred tuition model but lacked the funding required to progress. Jonathan said: “We had an idea for a revolutionary educational organization where we would help adult’s re-skill to become cyber security professionals. We decided on a deferred tuition model to remove up-front tuition fees and remove barriers to entry. The business model meant we required investors to get things off the ground, but as first-time founders at a pre-revenue stage, it was a huge challenge."

The support available was minimal, that’s until they came across the University of Central Lancashire Investment Readiness Programme. Having a team of experienced investors and start-up experts was invaluable, especially as it was free for them to access and funded with De Minimus Support. Jonathan added: “We needed expert guidance and introductions to possible investors, and we found that in abundance on the programme."

The business found out about the programme whilst researching start-up investment and funding options in the UK Business Angels Association member directory. The workshops provided by UCLan were invaluable and helped shape the business going forward. Jonathan found them enjoyable too.

“The workshops are brilliant. Being in an environment with experienced investors and start-up experts, who are all there to help and support was so valuable and insightful. You learn what investors really want to see, what the process looks like, and what the different funding options available to you are. The team helped us develop our pitch deck with expert counsel, they helped with our business plan and provided deep expertise around intellectual property considerations. Most importantly, after they provided the support and guidance and thought we were ready, they made introductions to local angel investors and funds. Without the introductions they made, we would have never met our current investors, who have now funded us with over £850,000."

CAPSLOCK have currently raised £1.04m in 2021 via equity, debt and grant funding and in 2022 will be looking to raise over £1m. For anyone else thinking of getting involved with the Investment Readiness Programme Jonathan provide the following advice. “It’s a no-brainer to get involved. Access to the programme is funded and you get so much out of it. Meet other peers going through a similar journey, gain access to start-up and investment experts, be introduced to investors, and take home super useful resources.

Peter Leather, Investment Readiness programme director, said: "CAPSLOCK is a great example of another start-up business that has successfully engaged with and benefited from the UCLan investment readiness programme to help them prepare for raising equity finance.

"Jonathan and his management team have identified a significant business opportunity and skilfully executed their business plan. He is a shining example of how to diligently prepare, refine and successfully sell his innovative education delivery channel investment opportunity to investors."