Business investment company Northstar Ventures has helped a County Durham firm to grow.

Northstar Ventures has invested into IBEX is based at NetPark in County Durham to enable the team to develop their specialised X-ray detectors, which help deliver improved medical diagnostic imaging as well as detection of impurities, defects and threats.

The company was very early on in its development when it first talked to Northstar Ventures about investment.

Dr Neil Loxley, Chief Executive of IBEX, said: “The company had three employees and was looking for funding to develop Gary Gibson’s idea for a novel X-ray detector technology. The initial loan in 2012 and subsequent investment in 2013 were important for us to move from the patented idea to a practical proof of concept.

“The process of applying for investment with Northstar was straightforward – the processes were straightforward and they didn’t seek unreasonable investment terms or drafting of investment agreement.

“We felt we were ready and prepared to go for investment as we had a clear business proposition, a credible team, an understanding of market opportunity, sensible financials and a good investment pitch.

“Working with Northstar has given us a great source of funding to get the business off the ground. They have also continued to be a supportive and active investor.”

Dr Loxley’s tips for any entrepreneurs thinking about going for investment include:

  • Identify how your idea would translate into a product or service that can be sold into a market.
  • Understand the size, value and dynamics of potential markets and how your idea will bring value to customers.
  • Show how you will monetise it. Have a clear business strategy, and a compelling “story” that you can pitch. Identify a credible team that can fill any gaps in your skills/experience.
  • Prepare a meaningful and defensible financial model.
  • Be energetic and enthusiastic and show commitment/belief in your idea.
  • Be ambitious but realistic in terms of current and possible future valuation.