We have recently completed another super successful Investment Readiness Programme with delivery partners and financial experts, Edale, helping a cohort of very talented people across the Tees Valley to demystify the investment process and find out whether it’s the right route for their organisation.
The ultimate session involved a live pitch day, in which we were joined by a group of Tees Valley funders and fixers that have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in helping aspiring businesses to seek and secure finance.
Below some have kindly shared their useful funding nuggets, including the main things that they look for in funding applications…
I’m a venture capitalist who has started his own businesses and funds as a founder; so, I know what it’s like to build a company as well as attract cash and invest.
I have raised over £75m in the seed and growth tech space and have also carried out well over 100 deals over the last 10 years, mostly in the North of England.
I am currently a consultant and also represent WH Ireland who are London investment Brokers and AIM advisors for listing on the public market.
In my freelance capacity I advise and assist businesses raising capital. Prior to my 20 years in venture capital I spent 15 in business development and technology licencing and have a track record in international business mostly selling into Japan. After this I served 3 years as an advisor on commercialising technology in central Government in London.
I also give the occasional lecture on venture investment and have set up and managed investment readiness programmes.
No, the fundamentals still apply. However, it is the case that the investment community has been more selective and there are also more potential investment competing for their cash. That said I see a willingness to invest but there is definitely a turndown in seed capital. So, the money is out there but you have to stand out more than ever to get any.
Be well prepared; that means knowing the business and how it makes money. Investors invest in businesses not the product/service. Spend at least as much effort on how the business is or is going to be managed and reach its customers as you do on the product/service.
Also, ensure you have a strong grip on the finances and make sure any growth is built on clear and solid assumptions, preferably with some evidence of how you will get there. Then ensure you communicate it all clearly and simply.
Having to compete for investment. Businesses forget that investors have a lot of approaches especially investment funds and fund managers. They are comparing you with others so learn what the investors want.
-Clearly explained idea/business model
-Scale and demonstration of how the investment will be used
-How the value in the business is built so I can get a return on my investment
Key Fund Investments offer blended Social Investment Finance to various Social Enterprises to help and support them achieve their stated Social Outcomes. This support can be start up finance, working capital or indeed asset purchase. My particular focus is on our growing footprint especially in the Teesside area.
Prior to joining Key Fund 3 years ago I enjoyed a long career in Corporate and Commercial Banking, supporting clients across various sectors through the different stages of their life cycle. My last role for many years was as a Specialised Relationship Manager for financially stressed clients to help them achieve turnaround.
No, however some of the way we approach clients regarding funding has had to.
We remain true to our core DNA aims and values of providing the right kind of support at the right time to enable organisation to have the best possible chance of success.
In practical terms this means adopting a personal approach:
Given my own focus on Social Investment Finance the most likely advice I would offer on the investment is:
-A balanced clear and succinct business plan.
-Clear statement of assumptions that support the financial projections.
-Clear understanding of what their financial and non-financial KPI’s are. The milestones against which these will be measured against and what fresh consequences might be caused if they under or overachieve.
If you’re exploring business growth opportunities and need some advice, we can help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.