Friday 1st July

The CAF Guide


The Creative Advantage Fund (CAF) was the UK’s first venture capital fund set up to cater for the finance needs of the creative industries.  Since its formation in 2000 it has supported a number of companies in television, film, software, theatre, toy design and jewellery and helped them grow.

Typical levels of investment were between £75,000 and £150,000 in SMEs in the creative industries. However, having recently completed an investment round and the fund is unable to accept new applications for investment at present.

In December 2011, Birmingham City Council approved the creation of a new Creative Industries Fund, building on the achievements of CAF.  To mark the creation of the new fund and celebrate the achievements of this pioneering fund, we have created this online resource for creative entrepreneurs.  We hope that this website will act as a guide to investment readiness and “living with your investor” by sharing insight from both the funders’ and the applicant/investee companies’ point of view.

Following the journey of a fictional creative hero, the site features interviews with CAF’s past and current investee companies. Here you can get the benefit of their expertise and the wisdom gained with hindsight!

The CAF Guide sets out to give you:

- clarity around getting an investment and the difference it would make to your business

- some very practical advice about investment readiness and what you need to do to get it

- some guidance around what is required to make a step change in the business and a consideration of whether it is a step you are ready to take

- an exploration of the mindset required to grow your business by VC investment and a consideration of the “lifestyle” vs the exit business

- a picture of  the reality of having a VC investor on board:  is it worth “giving equity away” for the backing? and

- advice on the best approaches to writing a plan and making the pitch

A companion piece to the guide,  ‘Patient Money’ is available to download here.