Introducing the Tech North Angel Network

funding, Topics

James BedfordJames Bedford, August 30, 2017

This article was originally posted on the Tech North website.

One problem we hear about time and again at Tech North is how difficult it is for startups to find angel investors and for angel investors to find the best startups. Now we’re doing something about it with the launch of the Tech North Angel Network.

The programme will kick off this autumn with a series of events across the North.

The aim is to build a strong, open network of tech investors that is easy to access and open to pan-Northern collaboration. We are working with a variety of partners on this, including UKBAA, GP Bullhound, Angel Academe, Dow Schofield Watts, All Bright and others.

The ‘open’ aspect is important. Private angel networks have their place, but it can be very hard for startups to access them. That’s if they know about them at all. Great deals could be left on the table because the right entrepreneurs never meet the right angels.

The importance of angels

Sarah Turner, founder of Angel Academe says: “Angel investing offers huge opportunities for entrepreneurs and senior professionals to support the next generation of entrepreneurial talent with their capital, contacts and experience. Our workshops are designed to give participants the knowledge and network to make ‘smart’ investments as part of an angel syndicate.”

David Smith of Dow Schofield Watts says: “Dow Schofield Watts is keen to support these workshops. The North has a strong base of potential investors, with good business skills, sector knowledge, and investable capital, but who are perhaps reticent about angel investing simply due to lack of personal experience.

Alasdair Greig, Director at Northstar Ventures, who will be co-hosting a mini-workshop as part of the programme, says: “Angel investors play a significant role in the technology ecosystem in the North East. As VCs, we regularly invest alongside angels and the support they offer founders – both financially and in terms of their experience – can be vital in helping a business go from startup to scaleup and beyond.”

There are two elements to the programme of support the Angel Network will offer. One is focussed on the next generation of tech investors, and the other focuses on new lead angels to spearhead new syndicates.

Mini-workshops

We’re launching the Tech North Angel Network with a series of workshops in September and October. These are aimed at new or inexperienced angel investors, and existing investors who haven’t yet put money into tech.

If you have money to invest in early-stage startups but don’t know where to begin, we’ll explain everything you need to know. Maybe you already invest in other kinds of businesses, maybe you don’t invest at all. Either way, these events are for you. Young tech startups are different to any other kind of investment, with specific challenges but potentially large rewards.

At these events you’ll hear from experienced investors, lawyers, and accountants. They’ll share everything you need to know about getting started as a tech angel.

The workshop will cover topics like:
● The angel market and the role of an angel investor
● Tax relief and investment trends
● What to look for in an investment opportunity

If you’re an angel investor, or an aspiring angel investor, and want to know more, book yourself in for one of the free events below. And if you know someone who might make a great angel, please spread the word!

The first mini-workshops will be:

Manchester – 7 September 2017
Wilmslow – 13 September 2017
Newcastle – 25 September 2017
Leeds – 2 October 2017
Newcastle – 4 October 2017

More dates will follow.

Investor workshops

These workshops are for inexperienced angel investors, and existing investors who haven’t yet invested in tech. They will introduce the angel investment market and the investment process. They will get new angels ready to write their first cheque.

Using the most effective combination of education, collaboration, mentoring and practice with experienced angel investors we will address topics like:

● Funding and deal lifecycle
● Due diligence exercise using case study
● Angel groups and syndicates
● Making an investment
● Post investment activity
● Networking

The investor workshops will take place on the following dates. More details will follow soon.

Manchester – 17 October 2017
Leeds – 18 October 2017
Newcastle – 19 October 2017

Investor networking events

We will run networking events for new lead angels. These will feature existing angels who have led investment rounds sharing their experience, and great companies and speakers giving the latest market insights.

Look out for more events in the future, all with the aim of connecting and building the angel investment community. Some of the events will be themed around sub-sectors such as healthtech. Others will link in with events such as the Northern Stars Grand Final. There will be pitches from the best tech startups at these events.

Our first networking event will take place later this year, so look out for information about them soon.

Hugh Campbell, founder and Managing Partner at GP Bullhound says: ”Private investors are the lifeblood of a successful tech ecosystem – backing ideas, mentoring founders and taking risk. We need more super-angels in the region and hopefully this initiative will provide an opportunity for more experienced angels to pass on their tips and tricks.”

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