What we do

Join an inclusive community of first-time and seasoned investors.

Discover what drives us and why we believe SHAPE entrepreneurship and investing is key to a positive economic and sustainable future.
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SHAPE stands for Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities for People and the Economy.
The P and the E are particularly important because ventures created through research in these subject areas focus on benefitting people and the economy in equal measure, facilitating socially responsible innovation. It is with a shared passion for this that people join the Aspect Angels network.

Aspect Angels - leveraging the Aspect Network and the SHAPE Catalyst Programme

Aspect Angels is a project of the Aspect network. Aspect (A SHAPE Platform for Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Transformation) is a growing network for organisations looking to make the most of commercial and business opportunities from Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SHAPE) research. Aspect was launched in 2018 and received a £5 million funding award from Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund for the first three years of operation. In 2021 Aspect received follow on funding of £2.4 million to mobilise the learnings from the first three years of the programme by expanding the membership, creating further additional good practice in social sciences, arts and humanities (SHAPE) commercialisation, capturing that practice and embedding it across the HEI community. 

In addition to working with the 46 (and growing) member organisations of Aspect, Aspect Angels collaborates with the SHAPE Catalyst launched in 2023 in partnership with the Aspect Research Commercialisation (ARC) Accelerator, the Economic Research Council (ESRC) and the Art and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). With £4m million funding over the next 3 years, the Catalyst will work with 75 teams or individuals (25 per year) to develop their social science, arts and humanities-based research insights into scalable products, processes, service or experience innovations with specialist training and awards of up to £50,000 each. Aspect Angels have a first-to-market opportunity to invest in these ventures where it is needed.  
Plymouth Copy
St Georges
Royal College Of Art
Queen Mary
The Open University
N. Trent
Manchester Metropolitan
Kingston London
Our Vision

Impact, sustainability and growth

Our vision is to help improve lives, reduce inequality, enhance arts and culture and make business, government and social enterprises more competitive and sustainable through the transformative power of the ideas and projects of researchers and academics.
Three men surrounding a table with wind turbine models on the tabletop smiling and looking at documentation
Our Purpose

Pioneering SHAPE investment

Our angel investment community is a first-of-its-kind network that builds pathways from ideas and research through to commercialisation via angel investment. 

Our purpose is to encourage investment into ventures that create positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. 

We support and foster scale in innovative solutions that address pressing global challenges, such as climate change, poverty, inequality, and access to healthcare and education. We believe this is a crucial role in identifying and nurturing promising startups that have the potential to make a difference in the world. 

Additionally, we provide strategic guidance and operational support to portfolio companies to help them scale and achieve their impact goals. This can include connecting them with networks and resources, advising on governance and management practices, and helping them measure and report on their impact.
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Our Mission

Socially responsible innovation

We are on a mission to stimulate more socially responsible innovation, by investing in ventures that are driven by the highest-quality research into human behaviour and our relationship with each other and the environment.
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Our mission is delivered through our values:

Vigorous screening of ventures
Alignment of ventures and investors
Ongoing training and community building

Meet the Team

Chris Rees
Investment Network Lead
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Donna Walton
Communications Lead
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Sean Farran
Senior Advisor
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