James Watt: 'I would love to do the Next Unicorn again'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Passionate: BrewDog CEO James Watt (pictured) would love to bring back his Next Unicorn investment competition back next year
Passionate: BrewDog CEO James Watt (pictured) would love to bring back his Next Unicorn investment competition back next year

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BrewDog CEO James Watt has said he would “love” to hold the Next Unicorn competition again next year.

Launched earlier this year​, Watt teamed up with funding platform Crowdcube to produce Next Unicorn in a bid to find the “next billion-dollar company”, and the BrewDog​ boss has stated he would “love” to do the same again in 2024.

Watt said: “I would love to do the Next Unicorn again. I love investing, I love business; first and foremost, I’m a huge business geek.

“It’s what I’m most passionate about and I want to take everything I’ve learned from building a unicorn and help other companies, other founders do exactly the same thing.” 

Earlier this month the CEO revealed the competition’s 20 shortlisted companies​ for this year on social media site LinkedIn.

Fantastic companies 

From food products, to booking apps and protective phone cases, to engineering and laundry products, the list includes a diverse range of business.

“So many of the pitches have been good. Overall, the standard has been fantastic.

We’ve seen incredible pitches and it’s exciting to hang out with people who are building incredible businesses.

“Whether they get investment or not, they are all fantastic companies, and I am sure that they will go on to do really great things”, Watt​ continued.

Additionally, Watt said he was looking for companies that were “innovative, disruptive and different” that had people with “tenacity, resilience and a huge amount of passion​” behind them.

Seeking start-ups with the Crowdcube model, Next Unicorn​ allows the public to invest in firms under the same terms as Watt, who will invest up to £5m of his own cash into three businesses.

Turbo charge 

Three winning companies will be flown out to Las Vegas​​ for an all-expense-paid trip will also be guaranteed at least £100,000 of investment each.

While a further investment of between £500,000 and £900,000 will also be invested across these businesses, Watt added he was “excited” to share what he has learnt since becoming a CEO as well as offering time and investment.

He said: “Being a founder or being a CEO is tough and it’s lonely. Over the last fifteen years I’ve done some things fantastically well, but I’ve also made loads of mistakes.

“I’m equally passionate about helping the founders and CEOs that I back and invest in learn from my successes, but also, hopefully help them avoid the pitfalls and mistakes I’ve made along the way too.

“I’m so excited to not only write them all a cheque but help these guys with my time and input, hopefully I can turbo charge them and their mission to become the Next Unicorn​.”

To follow the competition, and register for early access to invest in the shortlisted companies, visit​: https://www.crowdcube.com/explore/the-next-unicorn-finalists​.

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