Shard Investment Day: Build Back Greener

On the 10th March 2022 Connected Places Catapult delivered a Hybrid Investment Day as part of their Engagement Programme. This event was delivered in person at Mathy & Squires offices at the Shard, with an audience of 50 people and many more joining us live via zoom.  

Gokhan Tourkkanli, SME Development Manager and Antonia O’Callaghan, SME Community Coordinator organised and moderated the event where 10 high growth potential tech SMEs picked from 60 applications, pitched for 5 minutes to a wide selection of investors to raise Seed and Series A funding of total £30 million.  


SME’s innovation access to funds barrier and investors’ challenge of finding the right SMEs to invest has consequently led Connected Places Catapult SME Development Manager Gokhan Tourkkanli to design this agile enabler programme as a solution. The programme is centred on cultivating solid investment opportunities for innovative SMEs by bringing in active investors aligned with specific sectors. It runs five times a year; three times in the virtual environment and twice in the hybrid settings virtual + physical.  

On the programme, our experts select SMEs via open call, selected SMEs go through our intensive Investment Readiness Programme; receive Investment Readiness Coaching, Pitch Deck & Pitching Support through our partner Active Investor True Altitude, IP (Intellectual Property) Strategies Support from our partner Mathy-Squire.  

It is not surprising that accessing funds is one of the main innovation barriers for SMEs as this is something we see time and again as we work with thousands of SMEs in our network. SMEs prove their concept achieving traction in the market, but they are not then able to secure funds to roll their product to market or scale up. This problem is partly because SMEs cannot find the right investor to pitch and partly because when they do, despite their well-formed technical ideas, the pitch itself is incredibly challenging to get it right. 

Why Build Back Greener?

The need to achieve Net Zero by 2050 is now being widely recognised as one of the most important goals for this generation. This widely touted target is what everyone is aiming for but having that goal is just the first piece in a huge and complex puzzle. A puzzle which needs innovation and private investment to collaborate which can help us to adapt the way we operate in this world to hit that Net Zero target. 

Connected Places Catapult has an extensive network of more than 4,200 SMEs, we recognise the value that they bring to the table, and we understand that the innovations they bring forth which could, if given the light of the day, help us unlock that Net Zero puzzle.  

Whilst SMEs can help us unlock the Net Zero puzzle, it is up to us to help them unlock their growth puzzle so they can bring their solutions to the fore. We’ve known for a long time that often what SMEs lack is not the solutions to the problem but the access to the right drivers to enable them to scale and grow. These barriers can be access to finance, collaborations, knowledge or business support and it is here that the Catapult can step in and act as that enabler SMEs need! 


We have learnt that while one of the main innovation barriers for SMEs is accessing the finance – finding the right investors and articulating the story can be equally as challenging. And on the other side of the spectrum finding the right SMEs to invest is challenging, highly time consuming for investors. Our Investment Day Programme offers a practical, effective solution to this twofold problem – the Shard Investment Day has led to multiple conversations so far which will undoubtedly lead to several deal flows that will result with positive economic and environmental impact, investment readiness and pitch support learnings will contribute to SMEs other ventures and expand the network of all participants for further collaboration.  

To find out more about these opportunities in the future, and how you can be part of our future Engagement events, join our SME network and receive our SME specific newsletter. Sign up here:

We’d like to congratulate the following SMEs for taking part in the day:

  • Apian
  • One Moto
  • Concrete 4 Change
  • De Graft Management
  • JET Engineering System Solutions
  • Urban Tide
  • Beryl
  • EZ-Charge
  • Maxwell GeoSystems
  • Verv

We’d also like to thank all the investors for attending the event and taking part in this great investment day:

  • True Altitude
  • 2150vc
  • Guys and St Thomas Foundation Trust
  • Foundry
  • Foresight Group
  • Clean Growth Fund
  • The Property Voice
  • PropTech1
  • Green Angel Syndicate
  • Realty Corporation
  • Mountside Ventures
  • Sustainable Ventures
  • London Solicitors
  • Seyir Design & Training
  • Octopus Ventures
  • Blackseed Ventures
  • Pearson
  • Speed Invest