The final seminar in the current series, sponsored by JT, was held in the Digital Greenhouse on the 13th May and explored how angel investing allows SMEs to source capital. Accessing capital is a key challenge for start-up and early stage companies, and necessary to foster growth and entrepreneurship in the economy.
Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, the trade body for angel and early stage investing, representing over 15,000 investors around the UK. was the keynote speaker. Jenny has over 20 years’ experience of facilitating SMEs access to investment, both in the UK and internationally. Jenny sits on the Steering Group for Emerging Technologies and Innovations for Innovate UK, is on the Advisory Group for the Enterprise Research Centre, member of the Mayor of London’s SME and Finance Working Group and sits on the Advisory Board for the new London Co Investment Fund.
Jenny was joined on the panel by Jennifer Strachan (Angel Investor and Executive Director, Startup Guernsey), Ian Kirk (of Collas Crill) and James Ede-Golightly (Founder and Director, ORA Capital Partners) to discuss Angel investing in the context of those seeking to raise capital or invest in early stage companies in the Channel Islands.
In her talk we heard how the majority (73%) of investors work in syndicates rather than as individuals and the optimum size of group an Entrepreneur seeking investment should look for. This should include a lead investor with expertise in the particular field the group is investing in. Most Angel Investors have a portfolio of around 10 businesses, effectively spreading their risk.
Some of the key elements are in the slides which are published along with this report. In the discussion which followed Jennifer Strachan talked about the networks that already operated on the Island and Ian Kirk covered some of the legal aspects of investing.