The British Design Fund invests in and provides mentoring to early-stage purpose-led product design and manufacturing businesses based in the UK. Backed by top investors; 165+ yrs combined experience; Already raised £700k; SEIS/EIS.


  • Invests in purpose-led UK product design and manufacturing businesses
  • Fourth fund to be launched by the British Design Fund
  • A mixture of EIS and/or SEIS investments
  • Target return of £3 per £1 invested after six years – not guaranteed
  • Investors will be deployed across a minimum of ten portfolio companies

Pitch detailsEdit

The Business

The British Design Fund is unique in supporting, mentoring and investing exclusively in early-stage purpose-led product design and manufacturing businesses based in the UK. The Fund works with extraordinary entrepreneurs to launch and scale their products, accelerate growth and build long term value – both for investors and business owners.

The focus of this fourth fund is to invest at least £150k across 10 or more businesses in exchange for between 5% and 20% equity.

The Fund has access to unique deal flow and will seek to de-risk investments by validating that there is pre-existing demand for the product as well as providing a lead mentor and board observer to support each business.

The Market

The UK has the second-largest design sector in the world and the largest in Europe. It produces some of the world’s leading inventors and product innovators. However, despite this heritage, there is a significant funding gap for early-stage businesses within this sector.

The British Design Fund was founded by experienced design experts and entrepreneurs to fill this gap.

The Creative Industries Federation highlighted the need for more significant funding in a recent report: “Creative enterprises looking to transition out of their startup phase reported that there are few funding options available to them and many highlighted a gap in the provision of more modest amounts – £50,000 to £250,000 – to enable and sustain their growth.”


This is the fourth fund to be launched by the British Design Fund. The Fund is backed by a number of strategic investors such as the Wilkinson family office, Luke Johnson and Creative England along with other private investors.

Example investments from the previous three funds include Koalaa, who launched a series of easy-to-fit and affordable prosthetic arms for children and adults. Hausbots, who developed a wall climbing robot for exterior painting and infrastructure inspection and surveying. And lastly, Matter who developed a filtration technology to capture, harvest and recycle the microplastics which are released by washing machines.

As of February 2022 there are 17 companies in the portfolio and there have been no failures to date.


There is a huge funding gap facing the UK's design sector, most notably those early-stage businesses within the manufacturing and product space. The British Design Fund plans to continue launching funds to capitalise on this funding gap and build upon its early successes.

The Fund is committed to investing across the whole of the UK and will continue to establish partnerships with ever more universities, design agencies, hardware and maker spaces, and start-up incubators across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The TeamEdit

The British Design Fund's team has a strong background within the design, product and manufacturing sectors. This experience is used to help portfolio companies scale their businesses and enter new markets. Each investee company is assigned a lead mentor, a board observer and access to the BDF’s network of industry experts.


Damon Bonser

Serial entrepreneur with over 14 years’ experience building and running product design and manufacturing businesses.


John Mathers

Former CEO of the Design Council with forty years’ experience in the brand and design industry, across retail, FMCG, and consultancy.

Investment Committee MembersEdit

Luke Johnson

Chairman of Risk Capital Partners, former Chairman of Channel 4 Television and Chairman of Gail’s Artisan Bakery chain.

Mehjabeen Patrick

CFO and Investment Lead at Creative UK with over 25 years’ experience within senior finance across both public and private sectors.

Jonathan Griffin

Director of family office Amalgamated Holdings Wilkinson Ltd with extensive experience across retail, property and care homes. Former partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP supporting the entrepreneurial client base.


David Kremer

Over 25 years’ experience running Seven Towns, a multi-million toy and game business, and co-founder of Rubik’s Brand Limited.

David Motum

Over 30 years' experience at a senior level within the financial media sector including magazine publishing, events and digital products.

Fund ManagerEdit

Vasiliki Carson

Partner at Sapphire Capital Partners LLP, with over 20 years’ experience in accounting and corporate finance.

Lead MentorEdit

Adam Sutcliffe

A leading UK design thinker, RCA Fellow and Imperial College tutor. A serial entrepreneur having helped 200+ product start-ups launch into market.

The DealEdit

Looking for £2,500,000 - Min per Investor £20,000

The target fund size is £2,500,000 with a minimum investment size of £20,000 per investor. Each investor will be diversified across at least 10 investee businesses.

This is suitable for self-certified & HNW investors only. Capital is at risk.


To invest in British Design Fund 4, click here.

To contact British Design Fund 4, click here.