In my last post I wrote about exploring the right time to take the plunge and turn your good idea into a burgeoning start up. Of course the natural next question that I get asked as an adviser to an investor club is: when should I try to raise my first investment?
The implementation of the SEIS and EIS schemes by HMRC has resulted in a groundswell of UK-based startups receiving early stage investment and has helped to make the UK the number one place to raise equity capital in Europe. It has helped to bring more capital into the market through Angel investors who would otherwise have stayed away from tech investment and vehicles like Venture Capital Trusts (VCT's) have seen a further influx in volume.
Let me say before I begin that this blog is specifically designed for the S100 format, however hopefully some of the tips I provide will be useful in any pitch. These tips are based on my experience in seeing over 150 entrepreneurs pitch to the S100 and my perception on how they are received by the club members. Reflecting on my time in analysing pitches, one quality comes through above all others…simplicity.
Most of our investors and entrepreneurs are aware of the governments SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) and EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme), which has helped to stimulate investment in UK start-ups. As part of the process, companies need to submit an application to HMRC outlining the nature of the company and business plan to qualify for advanced assurance as part of the scheme.
I have had the pleasure of working with the University of Surrey’s Angel investment club for over 4 years. When I first arrived, I was impressed with the polished process that had been developed to link start-ups to investors. It was something the team had been delivering with great results for over 7 years, making its collaboration with the University, SETsquared, Southwest Angels and entrepreneurs truly unique and innovative.
For the past three years I have had the pleasure of helping the Surrey 100 investment club to run their bi-monthly events. For those Angel investors or fund-seeking startups that haven't heard of the S100 Club, you really should look it up, as it is one of the top investor clubs in the country.