Maven caught up with specialist provider of medical devices and equipment, IQ Medical, who secured funding via MEIF Maven Debt Finance last year to develop new, high performance products and diversify its NHS & Care Home portfolio.
In Maven’s latest guest blog, Managing Director, Dean Greenwood shares an insight into the company’s funding journey and how the MEIF loan supported IQ Medical’s expansion plans.
- What does your business do and what made you look for funding initially?
IQ Medical is a Medical Device SME which supplies the NHS with equipment that improves the care of patients in both Hospital and Community settings. The need to shorten our supply chain, and create more inventory efficiency, as well as the need for more product innovation, had meant that production was moving from Asia back to the UK. Funding was essential to make this transition: to invest in R&D, to build new products, and to support our revitalised marketing and sales plan
- What attracted you to the MEIF Maven Debt Finance Fund?
After considering a range of funding options, including Bank Lending and VC, we found that the Maven Fund Management Team had a more personal and genuine level of interest in our organisation and its development. This gave us confidence that they had a real desire to see the business grow rather than act as an entirely passive party.
- How did you find the process from applying for finance right up to receiving the loan?
The overall process was simple and relatively quick. We had some initial issues with recreating our financial reports into formats that met Maven’s requirements, but we were supported and steered through that part of the application.
- Knowing what you know now – is there anything you would have done differently when you began your funding journey?
We think we had a fairly rigorous approach to seeking funding and were careful to only consider options that didn’t restrict control or were too onerous. We did find that our accounting system lacked the ability to carry out detailed projection analyses and therefore that is perhaps one area where we might have improved our capability prior to applying for funding, in order to prevent any delays in the process.
- What would you say to a business that were put off by taking on a debt loan?
Look at the long-term picture. Consider the options if you do nothing, and contrast with the difference that can be made by injecting funds. Ask yourself: ‘If my main competitor had been awarded funding, would I be worried’?
- Do you have any advice for businesses currently looking for funding to achieve their growth plans?
Talk to a range of funders and find one that shows real interest in your people and business.
- What are your medium-long term goals for your business, and how will the funding help you achieve them?
Since receiving the funding, we have installed a new manufacturing plant and the first new products are now coming off the production line in the UK. Our sales and marketing capabilities have been strengthened and we have created a strong R&D capability with local, UK rather than Far East, manufacture, reduced our stock levels from 18 weeks to 4 weeks, and strengthened our commercial capabilities. IQ Medical plan to grow significantly over the next 5 years, offering the NHS better-performing medical devices, available at short notice, across the UK.
The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
Are you looking for funding for your business?
Not based in the Midlands? Maven has significant experience of managing regional growth funds across the UK, including on behalf of the Northern Powerhouse and Finance Durham, and since 2009 has invested over £340 million in more than 180 UK SMEs to support their growth strategies.
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