InvestWest is a new Bristol-based company, who wanted technical development for their idea to better connect investors to businesses in need of investment. A team from the codeWest enterprise studio worked on the project at the Foundry during 2019.
InvestWest.online is the resulting platform with distinct profiles for investors and start-ups. A start-up company issuer can create a pitch and outline their investment requirements, after which approved investors can browse their pitches and indicate support by “liking” a pitch.
Once an offer receives a threshold number of investor likes, it can proceed to the “primary offer” phase where investment is agreed in exchange for equity.
In addition to the ability to view and express interest in investment opportunities, the platform includes networking functionality, to allow investors to ask questions about a company’s pitch.
For the client, working with students brought several benefits:
Being believers in the untapped capabilities of students, we approached Code West to see whether they could assist with the Invest West development. We were apprehensive as it was quite a significant development over a lengthy period of time but we shouldn’t have been. Not only were UWE staff there to help and guide whenever necessary (and to pull in additional resources if needed), we built a strong rapport with the team as a whole and are delighted that two have even joined Invest West going forward. Having youth on the development side has been refreshing and innovative for the business, definitely would recommend.Stuart Harrison, InvestWest Director
The students also found participation in the project very valuable:
“Working for CodeWest has been a great opportunity, I have had a chance to get industry experience and work a flexible part time contract while studying. I have had the chance to apply what I have been learning at university and expended my industry connections. Though CodeWest I have secured employment with Invest West after my graduation. This have been a unique and enriching experience that I’m glad I was a part of. “Nicholas du Preez, codeWest student intern
“working on Invest West project has been fabulous as I can fully understand the software development process which I have learned a lot from the modules. Additionally, I have a great opportunity to contribute my skills and creativity to the growth of the product. I would highly recommend CodeWest as it is a great place for students to obtain more experience by working on real-life projects.”Khoa Phung, codeWest student intern
For Dr Paul Matthews, codeWest’s academic lead, the project was a big success:
“The students took a really professional attitude to the work and delivered requested functions reliably and to specification. The clients were accessible and really helped to shape the project in the early stages”Dr Paul Matthews, academic lead, codeWest
Investwest is now proceeding to launch and a further phase of product development, with a great deal of interest being shown by investors in the SW region and beyond.