Supporting female founder initiatives across the UK & Ireland

Find out more  

BGF backs Jumpstart

BGF News 02.16.2014

Jumpstart, the Edinburgh-based company created to support UK businesses make successful HMRC Research and Development (R&D) Tax Relief claims, is preparing for significant expansion thanks to a £3.4m investment of growth capital from BGF.

This is BGF’s 10th investment in Scotland since the independent company was established in 2011 to help the UK’s growing businesses and its 5th investment in Scotland in the past three months.

Its investment in Jumpstart will support the company’s further growth across the UK through the expansion of its in-house sales, marketing and delivery functions and a strengthening of the management team.  It has also bolstered the Board with the appointment of Jim Faulds as Chairman and David Evans as Non-Executive Director.

Jim brings extensive experience of working with institutionally backed businesses. He is the current Chairman of Change Recruitment and WRG Creative Communication. In his earlier career, Jim founded the Faulds Group, which became the largest marketing services group outside London.

David has joined the board to assist Jumpstart in forming partnerships with UK-based accountancy firms. He was the former UK Senior Partner at accountancy and business advisory firm, Mazars, and has a broad network of contacts within the UK accountancy market.  BGF has taken a minority stake in Jumpstart and one of its Senior Investment Managers, Patrick Graham, has also joined the board.

Jumpstart was founded in a cramped Edinburgh attic in 2008 by Stuart Wyse, Don Galloway and Richard Edwards to address a huge opportunity in the market to engage with UK businesses by guiding them through HMRC’s R&D Tax Relief application process.

They were joined in 2010 by Brian Williamson, the company’s current MD, who invested in the business and brought with him three decades of high-level experience in running both corporate and entrepreneurial businesses.

Helping companies claim R&D Tax Relief is a service perceived traditionally by the business community as one within the domain of accountancy firms.  Jumpstart, however, has brought to the market a unique, tailored approached marked by the recruitment of sector-specific technical analysts with credible industry experience and post-graduate research qualifications.

The Jumpstart team comprises of scientists and technologists, including chemists, biologists, engineers, physicists and software engineers who understand each market area and can produce robust applications, which in turn have resulted in significant R&D claims for clients.

In its relatively short history, the business has grown its client base to over 500 companies across all regions of the UK with a current order book exceeding £10m.

Brian Williamson, Managing Director of Jumpstart, said: “Jumpstart has enjoyed remarkable growth since it was formed with no bank support and little more than a good idea.  In less than five years we have gone from two men in an attic flat to a five floor prime property in the heart of central Edinburgh occupied by almost 50 staff and with a further 50 used on a part-time basis.

“In large part of this growth is due to the service we offer to clients and the business culture we have created, as well as the diverse background of our management team:  Stuart, the architect of its foundation, Richard, the mathematician, Don, the brand ambassador, and me as entrepreneur.

“The level of expertise and calibre of our team means that clients get a very robust claim, which often results in a higher level of R&D relief.  We are proud also to have achieved a 98.9 per cent success rate for our clients.

“This investment from BGF will allow us to rapidly increase the recruitment of senior staff to cater for the increased demand from current and prospective clients.  The BGF team have truly immersed themselves in our business and understand the crucial role R&D Tax Relief can have in expanding the UK economy.”

Patrick Graham, BGF’s Senior Investment Manager, said: “We have been very impressed with what Jumpstart and the team has achieved to date.

“BGF was established to help growing UK businesses that need long-term capital to drive their future success, so it is especially rewarding to be investing in Jumpstart who share the same business ethos. The quality and integrity of service that it provides helps other companies to maximise their investment in R&D, making the UK more competitive internationally.

“With around 10,000 SMEs and 2,500 large companies currently claiming more than £1.1bn in R&D Tax Relief each year in the UK, we believe that there is a large opportunity for the business to grow. ”