News story

Introducing the Access to Mentoring & Finance Team (A2MF)

Need help building the business behind your innovation? Get in touch with the A2MF team to commercialise your product and become market ready

, our Access to Mentoring and Finance team can provide you with the support and funding needed to take your idea to the next level.

DASA is not only focused on finding and funding innovation, we also help innovators increase the pull through of their ideas towards commercialisation.

If you need help to establish the business behind your innovation, our Access to Mentoring & Finance (A2MF) team can provide you with the support and funding needed to take your idea to the next level.

How does Access to Mentoring & Finance work?

The A2MF team works closely with innovators to understand their business needs and aspirations. Their goal is to help companies become investment, market and supply chain ready. Engrained in the extensive business incubation and support community, the A2MF team use a smart brokerage model to help companies identify and access the expertise and funding required to overcome challenges to business growth and realise their ambitions.

How can A2MF help your business grow?

Business mentoring

Working one-to-one with innovators to understand the obstacles in the way of business growth and to provide insight on how to develop their organisation into a viable company for investment, partnering and procurement.

Market entry guidance

Helping innovators to understand the buying landscape, identify potential barriers to entry and develop their ‘go to market’ plan for addressable market segments.

Access to funding

Demystifying the funding landscape and supporting innovators in accessing the funding required to grow and scale as a business.

Introducing the Access to Mentoring & Finance team

The A2MF team covers the whole of the UK and are based in the regions they serve. They are highly experienced in helping businesses reach their potential.

Alan Scrase, A2MF Lead and London & the South

Alan has led the A2MF service for the last two and a half years and enjoys supporting our innovators. Prior to joining DASA, Alan was the Manager at SETsquared at the University of Southampton Business Incubation Centre where he supported and guided members to deliver growth and innovation.

He has also run a successful SME business and worked for Business Link. He was closely associated with a wide range of regional and economic development projects and programmes, and uses this experience and knowledge to help DASA support its innovators.

Alan said

I am delighted we have been able to create the Access to Mentoring & Finance team, which really understands the challenges of running a business. Their wide-ranging experience means we can support a broad spectrum of companies and their staff. Even though we are a relatively new team, it’s a pleasure to see the positive impact they have already had.

Tracey North, Northern Powerhouse

Tracey has over 34 years of experience in the Banking and Finance sector as a Business Relationship Manger. Tracey looked after a portfolio of clients and all their business needs, not just financial, assisting SMEs in growing their businesses and realising their aspirations.

She has a sound understanding of the challenges innovators face and the hurdles they have to overcome to commercialise their ideas, and is well placed to support them on their growth journey.

Anis Mourad, Scotland, Wales & International

Anis has spent his career working within the UK and European innovation and economic development ecosystem, in both government and private sectors. He has vast experience in providing hands-on advice and guidance to companies on subjects such as innovation funding, intellectual property, third-party collaboration and commercialisation.

Experience working with businesses of all shapes, sizes, ages and stages gives him a unique insight into the breadth of challenges faced by companies as they look to design, develop and take their products and services to market.

Hannah Tapsell, Midlands Engine and the Golden Triangle

Prior to joining DASA, Hannah spent seven years at the London Stock Exchange. During this time, she helped entrepreneurs and business leaders access the funding and expertise required to scale up their companies. She looked after a portfolio of businesses, working with them to understand their growth ambitions and supporting them through the fundraising process.

Hannah brings her hands-on experience of advising early-stage companies to DASA, and is dedicated to helping SMEs build the business behind their innovations.

New funding options

As well as one-to-one support, the A2MF team are developing a range of alternative sources of funding for innovators.

Defence Innovation Loans

In collaboration with Innovate UK, Defence Innovation Loans has up to £10 million to lend for innovative defence solutions.

Accessible to SMEs, and with a below market interest rate of 7.4% per annum, the Defence Innovation Loan provides an excellent opportunity to apply for affordable funds to help you commercialise your defence solutions. Learn more here.

Investor Showcase

Each year the A2MF team bring together a cohort of top innovators to pitch their businesses and novel technological ideas at DASA’s Annual Investor Showcase. The businesses receive dedicated training and support to develop a compelling pitch deck tailored to the investor audience.

Working with the A2MF team

DASA’s Access to Mentoring and Finance services are already helping innovators across the UK develop their businesses. Here’s some feedback from organisations who have already received support:

The range of different funding mechanisms is really making us think much longer term about how we fund, what we fund and working with DASA to make things happen.

Your support has been confidence building. It will help us review our approach in terms of how we best position ourselves strategically

Thank you for helping us think differently about our value proposition. Both for defence and beyond, we’ll use this methodology as standard in our business

It is quite extraordinary, and rare, to have this level of support, and in a process that is fraught with pitfalls and challenges, it is refreshing to have a team working with us and investing so much effort on our behalf. We appreciate it immensely.

Get involved with DASA

We are looking forward to helping even more innovators commercialise their novel ideas. if you have a mature solution for a defence or security challenge and are looking for additional business support, contact the team today: A2MF@dasa.service.mod.uk

Published 23 November 2021