Crowdfunding centre for Newcastle
Newcastle is among the first wave of cities to have their own crowdfunding centres.
The nationwide network of Venture Funding Hubs is backed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and will also be located in Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The centres will provide free advice for entrepreneurs seeking to start or expand a business and help to raise awareness of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending options.
Clegg said: "I've made clear my own ambition to double the number of tech jobs in the north to help create a stronger economy. To make this happen access to finance is critical, so that we can see start-ups and growth within existing tech businesses.
"I would urge investors - big or small - to back this great initiative when the crowdfund goes live. Not only will there be great investment opportunities, but it will be a chance to help our local tech talent create a Northern Tech Hub to rival Berlin, New York, or Shanghai."
Chris Moss, a corporate partner at JMW Solicitors, who has been involved in crowdfunding projects, including the Bank of Dave, said: "Crowdfunding has been more in the media of late but when you speak to the business community, particularly those experiencing difficulty in obtaining funding from traditional sources, it has not been at the forefront of their minds.
"The Venture Funding Hubs will help raise awareness of the potential which peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding represents and increase knowledge of and activity in the large collection of firms in the North West which have already built up a considerable reputation for delivering success in crowdfunding schemes."
The Venture Funding Hubs network was announced at the Deep Impact Conference in Sheffield.