Adrian Dawson (Head of GAIN Projects and Partnerships), Dawn Bebe (Director, Crowdfunder) and Richard Adams (Corporate Projects Manager, University of Plymouth). Photo by Chris Saville.

The countdown has begun to find the South West’s hottest businesses to form the inaugural GAIN 20. This brand new network will give the most innovative and exciting businesses in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset exclusive access to a unique series of opportunities and support over 12 months.

As part of their remit to deliver business growth in the South West, Plymouth University’s GAIN team will work with partners across the region to identify and bring together the 20 businesses. The aim is that the network will boost enterprise and innovation across the region.

GAIN 20 members will have exclusive access to networking groups and events, Plymouth University facilities, equipment and knowledge and peer-to-peer support from the other members. They will be introduced to a community of established, passionate pathfinder businesses who have achieved sustained growth through innovation or diversification. Members will also have the opportunity to promote themselves through blogs, diaries and articles published on

GAIN 20 is the latest of a series of initiatives run in partnership with leading crowdfunding platform, the Cornwall-based Crowdfunder UK. Half of the GAIN 20 will be recruited through Crowdfunder and these will benefit from £3,000 of investment from GAIN. They will also be invited to take part in an exclusive workshop run by Crowdfunder and GAIN to ensure they get the most from their crowdfunding project.

The remaining ten game-changing businesses will be recruited through events due to be held in early 2016, or by applying through GAIN.

Selected by an expert panel, the chosen members will comprise of businesses with exciting and unique new products or services that have pioneering entrepreneurs leading their development.

Corporate Projects Manager for Plymouth University, Richard Adams, said:

“The GAIN 20 is the first network of its kind and is a unique opportunity for South West businesses to tap into a wealth of expertise, support and facilities. The members will share with each other their expertise in the specific areas they excel - whether that’s logistics, use of technology, raising finance or international trade. The GAIN 20 will provide members with the maximum possible knowledge and support over a year to help them achieve their full potential. This will create a ripple effect of best business practice drivers by Plymouth University and the GAIN 20 across enterprise throughout the region.”

“We’re delighted to be taking part in GAIN 20,” said Phil Geraghty, MD of Crowdfunder. “Crowdfunder offers a great way for businesses to connect with their potential customer, and we are very excited that new and innovative South West businesses will have the opportunity to receive up to £3,000 match fund - along with other support from GAIN - if they crowdfund with us. It promises to be a great partnership and we encourage businesses to engage.”

Businesses interested in getting involved or learning more about the GAIN 20 network should contact Richard Adams at, or call +447703886918.