The event centred around a presentation from our co-founder, Helena Murphy, who discussed her own entrepreneurial journey, as well as highlighting other entrepreneurs that have interesting stories of raising investment. She broke down: challenges facing founders, nailing your investment proposition, what your investor pack needs to contain, plus lots more!
A range of themes emerged, and it was fantastic to hear agreement from the audience, as specific tips and war stories were covered. Some of the points touched upon during the session are covered below.
The event was kicked off with a short overview of the current investment landscape in the UK: it remains male-dominated and much more cautious than in the US. There was also mention that whilst the event was focused towards women, the big issues that face founders through their investment journey are largely the same, irrespective of gender.
Randa Bennett of VeeLoop (a payment approval platform for children) shared a little on her investment journey. She said that after her organisation started to get traction, doors started opening much more easily, and it was a big relief to know that what had previously stopped this from happening was not that she and her cofounder are women.
“See your business through an investors lens”
This was just one of the pieces of advice shared by Helena. She reminded the audience that you can have all of the connections you need, but if you’re not giving the investors what they need to see – clearly articulating the market opportunity, investment proposition and financials, to name a few – you’re not going to get their attention, let alone their investment.
“Don’t pursue investors that don’t invest in your sector”
Whilst it sounds straightforward, this was reiterated by the investors present in the audience. If an investor doesn’t invest in the the sector you operate in, it isn’t worth approaching them. Also, if they’ve invested in your main competitor, as a rule of thumb, it’s unlikely they’re going to invest in you; if they are willing to do this, be specticial. This leads nicely onto another recommendation that came out of the session…
“Make sure you understand everything!”
Again, on the surface, a fairly straightforward point, however the importance was reiterated and echoed across the group. Get a really good solicitor, and one that is going to be on your side and get you the best deal (we have some recommendations!). Also, remember you get what you pay for – Devina Paul of Galvanise Capital reiterated to the audience “afford the best you’re able to”. Whether that’s in relation to a solicitor or other service businesses who support your entrepreneurial journey – a good deal on fees doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of service you’ll receive.
Finally, make sure you have a full understanding of what you’re signing – whilst it was advised to find the best possible consultants, make sure you have a strong understanding of exactly what you’re walking into with an investor, in effort to avoid finding yourself with golden handcuffs.
We had a lively conversation towards the end of the event; the differing sectors and stages people were at made for a broad ranging, exciting discussion.
Thanks to everyone that attended, and to VeeLoop and Westmont Hub for supporting with organising the event.