Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Banks have thrown their combined weight behind the IP100 league table, an initiative to celebrate the intellectual property (“IP”) created by innovative companies throughout the UK. Earlier this year, BQ Scotland and its sister magazines teamed up with the experts at Metis Partners, an award-winning IP solutions firm, to launch the league table, with companies from a broad range of economic sectors throwing their hats into the ring to take part. There are already 50 companies registered.
Many small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) may not even consider their IP to be an asset, yet their brands, patents and other inventions are an important part of their business and can become a source of value too. Entering the IP league table is a great way to get an early indication of how much a company’s IP could be worth, which in turn can become an important factor when seeking finance from investors or when it comes to selling a business.
The Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks IP100 will identify the businesses that have made significant investments in their IP through commercialisation, management, and research and development (“R&D”). Metis Partners is looking at data relating to five main IP asset classes – brands, critical databases, patents, software, and trade secrets – and will calculate a score for each business, which will be used to rank companies in the IP100 league table. There could be a few surprises as some hitherto unknown companies might emerge as IP Champions!
“We are really proud to sponsor this new league table,” says David Hayers, head of Growth Finance at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks. “It will give much-needed recognition to a wide range of companies that have already started to commercialise their IP. IP-rich businesses are key growth drivers of the UK economy and yet have often found it challenging to secure debt finance to accelerate their growth plans.
“Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks have a strong pedigree in funding both early- and late-stage IP rich businesses. This partnership reinforces the Banks’ commitment to this critical sector of the economy and is just one example of the innovative approach that we are taking to funding SMEs in the UK.”
Stephen Robertson, founder and director at Metis Partners, adds: “We are thrilled to have the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks on board, having worked with them in the past on the many investments they’ve made in IP-rich companies across the UK. We look forward to that relationship continuing around the IP100.”
The league table has been open to all businesses throughout the UK and has been free to enter, giving every company the chance to be recognised for its ideas and innovations. Entering the IP100 isn’t just about winning the Champions’ League of innovation though taking part can also be a useful business tool. This in turn opens up a whole stream of options when it comes to raising finance or restructuring debt. Recognising the value of intangible assets such as IP is playing an increasingly-important role in modern business, especially when it comes to fundraising.
Gaining recognition for the value of its IP can also help companies when it comes to: boosting the exit valuation when selling a business; improving access to potential new markets; creating new barriers to entry in order to deter potential rivals; and protecting an existing market share.
As well as featuring in BQ Scotland, the IP100 league table will also receive coverage in the magazine’s sister titles in the North-East of England, the West Midlands and Yorkshire. Companies from throughout the UK have already signed up, celebrating the wealth of IP being created by businesses across a broad variety of economic sectors.
Bryan Hoare, managing director at Room 501, the publishing company behind BQ Scotland and its sister magazines, says: “The BQ brand is all about celebrating entrepreneurship, whether it’s in our magazines, on our BQ Live website or across our events. What better way to mark the success of entrepreneurs than by recognising the amazing ideas and innovations that make up their IP?
“But this isn’t just a vanity exercise – recognising the value of your IP can bring really concrete benefits to your business too, when it comes to having conversations with your bank or other investors about taking on fresh funding or restructuring your debt.
“It’s also important to shout about your achievements – making sure that you talk about your IP and your R&D can help you to attract new customers, open the door to partnerships in other countries or sectors of the economy, and put off potential rivals from entering your market. This is no time to hide a light under your bushel – it’s time to make a noise about your achievements and celebrate your ideas and innovations.”
The IP100 is already making waves, with details about the league table appearing on the websites of ScotlandIS, the national trade body for the thriving digital technologies industry, as well as Interface, the public sector body that helps businesses to access the talent and expertise in Scotland’s colleges and universities and also Entrepreneurial Finance Hub, a digital and physical entrepreneurial finance platform, to name a few.