Northern Gritstone, investor in spin-outs, expands team

Northern Gritstone, the investment business dedicated to supporting university spin-outs and start-ups in the north of England, said it has appointed Andy Naylor as an investment director.

Naylor is the third investment director to join Northern Gritstone in the last six months.

He will work alongside chief investment officer Marion Bernard to help the business to identify further funding opportunities in innovative northern companies.

Northern Gritstone was founded by the Universities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield.

“Andy brings more than 17 years’ experience of growing technology businesses as an investor, advisor and CEO,” said Northern Gritstone.

“He joins Northern Gritstone after five years as CEO of Nottingham Technology Ventures Ltd, where he was responsible for managing the University of Nottingham’s spin-out portfolio and associated investment funds.”

Northern Gritstone, chaired by former Goldman Sachs executive Jim O’Neill, was launched in July 2021 to invest in science and technology-enabled spin-outs in the north of England, while delivering its philosophy of “profit with purpose.”

After the company’s first close of £215 million in May, it has already announced initial investments in four life sciences and technology-focused companies: Imperagen, Iceotope, Phlux Technologies and Opteran.

Naylor will work as part of the investment team across Northern Gritstone’s offices in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.

His appointment follows those of investment directors Gareth Llewellyn and Mark Wyatt and investment manager Alison Maughan, who all joined the company in 2022.

Northern Gritstone CEO Duncan Johnson said:  “To attract someone with Andy’s stature and experience in developing early-stage businesses is another sign of Northern Gritstone’s ambition.

“I look forward to working with Andy as we build on our momentum from 2022 and invest in more ground-breaking university spin-outs in the north of England.”