Since our inception, Bridge has created a growing network of start-ups, high growth businesses and investors, helping to nurture and promote sustainable entrepreneurship in the Isle of Man and add value to the economy by developing the entrepreneurial eco-system.
During this time, we have delivered 37 successful events, met with more than 220 entrepreneurs and developed a brand new angel network for the Island which includes more than 95 registered angel investors and many hundreds of start-up and scale-up businesses. We have also seen over £2m invested in local start and scale-up businesses and provided more than 450 hours of free business support and mentorship through its corporate sponsors and specialist consultants.
In spite of this success and Bridge being a fully solvent company employing two full time employees, regrettably, we have taken the decision to close our doors at the end of June this year, for a number of reasons.
Simon Nicholas, Chair of Bridge and partner at KPMG, one of the founding sponsors of Bridge, commented:
‘‘Three years ago, Bridge identified a gap between ‘having an idea’ and ‘making it a reality’ and we are privileged to have supported an array of emerging entrepreneurial talent, providing start and scale-up businesses with the crucial support they needed, to help them thrive and reach their full potential.
“We couldn’t have done this without the valued input from Katie Nicholson, Manager of Bridge who has been with us since day one, the support from Isle of Man Government and our corporate sponsors, all of whom are passionate about the part they play in enabling entrepreneurship and contributing to the Island’s economy. We’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved in a short space of time; however we also recognise that three years on, the environment has changed.
“Firstly, there have been changes to the Enterprise Development Scheme (EDS) and changes within the Department for Enterprise, seeing the management of EDS, internalised into DfE.
“Secondly, our future direction and strategy was to include initiatives similar to those seen in the UK, such as crowdfunding and angel investor syndicates. Having discussed our position with the relevant advisors, this was deemed to be ‘regulated activity’, which presented a conflict of interest for our corporate sponsors. These combined factors, put Bridge in an untenable situation and the unanimous decision has been made by the Board, to bring things to a close.”
His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Richard Gosney added:
"Bridge has done an excellent job of bringing together entrepreneurs and potential investors through many networking events, including an event at Government House. They have worked hard to promote the Isle of Man and to help the Manx economy grow.”
Mr Nicholas continued:
“Bridge clearly addresses a market need and supports a new ecosystem and thus we are hopeful that Bridge will live on in one form or another.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support over the past three years and by way of thanks, we will be holding a ‘Wrap Up’ drinks event on June 27th, further details to be announced shortly.”
We confirm that our last day of trading will be 30 June 2019 and that all key stakeholders have been informed.
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