angel investment in rejected projects8 Jul 2017

Why I Choose to Invest When Most Investors Will Not

Speak to most angel investors or early stage VC’s and most will tell you they love your business idea or concept, but to come back once you have created your product and have some traction or proof of concept. I can’t help but agree with their logic. They, and rightly so, want to see how far you can get on your own in order to judge how much further you could go with their investment.

Great Start Up Team18 Jun 2017

The Importance of a Great Start Up Team

People often ask me what the majority of investors look for when considering pitches from start-ups. Is it the idea? Is it the business model? Or the amount of work that’s already been done to validate it? Of course, these are all important factors to take into account, but the main thing most look for is a great team.   I’m no doubt different to most angel investors because I prefer to invest very early

how to get angel Investment14 May 2017

Want me to invest in your idea, but you won’t?!

So your idea is your passion, your be all and end all? You’re certain it’s going to be successful. You want me to invest, but you won’t?! What message does that give to any potential investor? Let me tell you. It tells a potential investor that alarm bells should be ringing – not necessarily about the business idea, but about that person’s commitment and ability to make things happen. I don’t doubt that in many

startup team management24 Apr 2017

Managing a Start-up Team Effectively

Managing a Start-Up Team is probably one of the most challenging tasks you will face as an entrepreneur.  Not only will you have to self-motivate yourself but you will have to motivate and get the best out of your team; the former being far easier than the latter.  However, there are some basic techniques that you can use to ensure that you get the most out of your growing team. First and foremost, you need

successful entrepreneur16 Mar 2017

Does a Successful Employee make a Successful Entrepreneur?

You may be a successful employee but does that guarantee you will be a successful entrepreneur? Not necessarily. The step from employment to self-employment is not a natural one.  I’ve come across a lot of extremely successful employees who struggle to make the transition to successful entrepreneur.  Why is that? One of the major reasons is that employees underestimate the nature of the task ahead of them and the skills they will need.  First and

right business partners banner24 Feb 2017

Are Your Co-Founders Or Shareholders A Help Or Hindrance?

When starting a business it is important to have the right business partners on board; in any walk of life it is essential that you are supported by a good team that can encourage and help you, but with Start Ups it’s even more so.   Whilst investing in start-ups and having investment discussions, I see a lot of common mistakes, but one appears to be more apparent than most when there is more than

17 Jan 2017

Half Way There!

At the beginning of this year I challenged myself to dedicate 2014 to investing in and growing two start- ups a week. This task I have set myself may be well under way, but for the aspiring Entrepreneurs I am investing in the journey is just beginning. Deciding to start your own business is not for the faint hearted. The hard work that goes into creating and developing a business should never be under estimated.

ugly pitches5 Dec 2016

Week 9: Pitches: The Ugly

I have covered the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ pitches in my previous post; now I’d like to write about the ugly side of what I have come across. If I’m honest, I had always suspected that there was an uglier (or darker) side to the start-up space, but listening and speaking to so many entrepreneurs, those suspicions have been more that proved – which is incredibly sad. The start-up space and working within it is

Bad pitches10 Nov 2016

Week 8: Pitches: The Bad and The Unluckiest Businessman alive?

In my last article I discussed some of the good pitches we have received to date and some of the common attributes that encouraged us to invest in them. Today I’m going to take a light-hearted look at the not so good proposals, including one by someone I think must be the most unlucky businessman alive – more to come on him later! What’s a ‘bad’ proposal? In all honestly it is probably not ‘bad’

good Startup proposals11 Oct 2016

Week 7: Pitches: The Good

Seven weeks in and we’ve heard some incredibly good ideas, some good ideas with some flaws, and some fairly bad ideas. Add into the mix good and bad ideas with pitches that vary from incredibly good to incredibly poor, as well as entrepreneurs who are willing to listen to our experience and those that are not, and you’ll have a vague idea of what we get on a daily basis! The most important bit of

Blackmailing bad pitches26 Sep 2016

Week 5 to 6: The Start-Up Fund – Tales of blackmail, Interpol, the SAS and Scams

With a backlog of pitches to hear and follow up meetings to attend, my calendar suddenly became a solid block of back to back meetings from 5am right up until 9pm on a daily basis. I was hearing pitches from all over the world and seeing how we could bring them to the UK. It was busy, it was tiring, but I have got to say, incredibly interesting. We were receiving a real mixed bag

Government Internship Scheme mistakes18 Aug 2016

The Folly of the Government’s Current Internship Scheme

As no doubt many of you will be aware, the controversial subject of Internships has sparked much debate within the past year or so. It’s been fuelled by US graduates who worked for huge international companies - Fox and Conde Nast instantly spring to mind - filing lawsuits insisting they were putting in a 12 hour day in some cases and receiving no financial compensation. While I certainly don’t agree with exploiting graduates and other

Action plan for SMES10 Jul 2016

My 10 Point Plan to Get the UK Moving Again for SMEs

Just last month I was asked to partake in a panel at the House of Lords to talk about what the government could do to encourage, support and nurture small businesses in order to ensure continual growth and success and, in doing so, boost the UK economy as a whole. It was my work with start-ups and hands-on experience with various ongoing ventures – as well as my own entrepreneurial tendencies – that prompted the

startup fund launching15 Jun 2016

Week 1 to 5: The Start-Up Fund Launch

Wow!  Since launching the start-up fund on 6th January 2014, I haven’t had the chance to catch my breath!  It’s been a real learning process – even for me! I’ve been investing in Start-ups on an ad hoc basis, but to be able to meet and listen to start up proposals from across the country (and other parts of the world also) on a full time basis, given that’s what I have set aside this

26 May 2016

Virgin Start-Up: “Good – But Could Have Been Fantastic”

Of all the entrepreneurs currently doing their thing out there, were you looking to identify the one most likely to inspire and bring forth a nation of new budding entrepreneurs then, unquestionably, you’d be pointing your finger at Sir Richard Branson. To me, personally, Sir Richard is without doubt one of the best entrepreneurs of our time. And I’m well aware I’m not the only one who thinks along those lines. Both the man and

startup business mentor8 Apr 2016

Why You Need a Business Mentor at Start up

Making the transition from a full-time payroll job to entrepreneurship can tend to be a lonely one. You’re used to the feeling of other professionals being around you, helping you go past hoops and hurdles every now and then, for instance. Entrepreneurship by contrast, is a different ballgame altogether. Everything squarely falls on your shoulders. May be it’s time to consider hiring a business mentor. You may have the support of your friends and family,

avoid home startup plan pitfalls3 Mar 2016

Starting up at Home – Traps to Avoid

Running a business from home offers ample flexibility and the kind of work/life balance most of us crave. However, it can bring with it some baggage in the form of challenges and often traps often may go unnoticed. Avoiding these traps is a must to keep your productivity moving along at a healthy pace: People working from home often complain of loneliness. Most are not prepared to work in an isolated environment. It may be

social media networking for business5 Feb 2016

Making Social Media Networking Business-friendly

It would make sense for just about any business, especially one that’s starting out, to include social media networking among its chief goals; cementing relationships in and outside the industry and having business contacts in abundance. These “friends” and contacts may very well vouch for your services down the road and it’s no secret people have a tendency to often choose their friends’ recommendations over their own findings. Keep in mind social media is not

Momentum for Your Business Idea22 Jan 2016

Building Momentum for Your Business Idea

An entrepreneurship in motion without any direction or momentum is akin to no motion at all. Business startups are aplenty in this economic age, but not every one of them builds the right kind of momentum to really take off the ground. To ensure you are successful as an entrepreneur means you have gained enough momentum to continuously charter your course as the business landscape shifts. A lot of that momentum is going to come

investor friendly preposition9 Dec 2015

Becoming an Investor-friendly Proposition

Once you’ve clearly laid out your business plans, moving forward undoubtedly requires talking to investors and reeling them in. This can often be best described as a daunting task. Most well-known investors come across plenty of pitches on a day to day basis and quite simply don’t have the time or energy to meet everyone with a fresh business proposition. Furthermore, it isn’t unusual at all for aspiring entrepreneurs to speak to more than 50