A Birmingham company which allows local councils to stream live meetings on the internet has received a £150,000 funding injection to help it grow.
CivicoLive secured the investment from venture capital fund Creative Advantage Fund with the help of the Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) programme at Birmingham Science Park Aston (BSPA).
The firm offers an innovative web streaming service aimed at councils and public-facing bodies, allowing them to integrate video feeds from live meetings and events to social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
Mentors from e4f helped CivicoLive identify the Creative Advantage Fund as a potential funder, formalise its business plan and prepare for its pitch.
The investment, which is in the form of an equity share, will now enable CivicoLive to take its product to market.
CivicoLive director Daniel Cremin said: “The UK has seen a resurgent interest in the democratic process recently, following the parliamentary expenses scandal and the first hung parliament for decades. Even with talk of austere cutbacks in the forthcoming Budget, there is still increased pressure for public bodies to become far more transparent and open.
“The funding from CAF will allow us to approach the 387 local councils in the UK who haven’t even experimented with webcasting in the last 24 months and demonstrate how implementing a solution like CivicoLive can them save time, resources and money.”
Thomas Dillon, chairman of the Creative Advantage Fund, which is backed by Birmingham City Council, Advantage West Midlands and the Arts Council England, said the company had a promising future ahead of it.
“We exist to provide finance to creative SMEs in the West Midlands that just isn’t available in any other way,” he said. “CivicoLive is a perfect example of the type of company we support, as it offers a highly original use of technology which has huge commercial potential.
“In future, the returns we achieve from CivicoLive will be reinvested into other creative businesses to allow them to thrive and prosper.”
E4f is a dedicated programme to help the next generation of Birmingham-based entrepreneurs deliver commercial success run by Birmingham Science Park Aston and funded by Birmingham City Council and Be Birmingham through the Working Neighbourhoods Fund.