The venture capital arm of investment company Ingenious has today opened a programme that will see up to £2.25m (around $3.5m) invested in 15 startups working in the media and creative industries in the UK.

The financial backing has already been put in place and will see the successful 15 startups each receive £150,000 in funding in exchange for a stake in their company from September this year.

“Finding 15 great ideas in three months is a challenge. But we’re confident the ideas are out there: this sector is one of the UK’s most under-tapped sources of fast-growth businesses founded by innately entrepreneurial, ambitious and inventive individuals,” Patrick Bradley, CEO of Ingenious Ventures, said.

The exact amount of equity that each startup will be expected to offer up varies on a case-by-case basis, an Ingenious spokesman told The Next Web, although all will be “within the range of what VC firms normally take”, he said.

Ingenious Ventures will set out on a roadshow of the UK’s “top innovation hubs” in order to find new startups that want to be involved with the competition and will be visiting Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford, Cardiff, Bristol, London, Brighton and Belfast between 17 June and 5 July.

At the events, entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to pitch their consumer tech, e-commerce, gaming, fashion, design, audio-visual content and publishing ideas to Ingenious Ventures in person and get some feedback, before continuing on to make their application online.

The winning startups will be announced in September, at which point they’ll get help in developing their business model, growing their team and growing their infrastructure with the ultimate goal of starting to generate revenue firmly in sight.

As the cash is being provided by Ingenious Ventures under SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) terms set by the UK government, startups need to fulfill certain criteria to be in with a chance of qualifying for investment, including:

  • Be an unquoted, independent company which is trading, or preparing to trade
  • If already trading, not have commenced trading more than two years ago
  • Have fewer than 25 employees
  • Have gross assets of £200,000 or less.
  • Not be, or ever have been, under the control of another company (with the exception of certain “off the shelf” companies).
  • Not have raised any money under EIS or VCT schemes previously
  • Commenced trading fewer than two years ago

Following the initial investment phase, businesses that continue to do well could be in with the chance of receiving up to another £1 million of follow-on investment as early as the start of 2014.

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