The UK will be going through a lot of changes in the year ahead, so this could not be a more important time for the investment community to work together to build a connected supply of risk capital for entrepreneurs from angel-backed startups through to successful scale-ups, said Jenny Tooth, CEO of UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), at the UKBAA Winter Investment Dinner yesterday (Wednesday 22nd February).

The annual dinner, hosted at Landing 42 at the top of London’s Leadenhall Building, was attended by nearly 250 key players from the UK’s angel and early-stage investment community, including private investors, angel groups and syndicates, fund managers, crowdfunders, the advisory community, major corporates and entrepreneurs.

Jenny Tooth continued:

“There are two key challenges facing the ‘startup to scale-up’ ecosystem.

“Firstly, there are strong regional disparities in terms of access to capital, with the majority of investment still focused on London and the South East. The investment community and policymakers need to work together to ensure that businesses across all the UK’s regions have access to the investment they need to achieve their growth ambitions.

“Secondly, we lack a sufficient supply of later-stage funding here in the UK, with many of our high-growth businesses going out to the US to find the backing they need. We need more large-scale funds so that our high-potential businesses can find the long-term capital they need in this country to support their global growth.”

David J. Brown, co-founder and CEO of UK unicorn Ve Interactive, provided the keynote address, in which he paid tribute to business angels, noting that angel investors have been a vital source of capital in enabling him to achieve such growth and success to date. He said:

“In my experience the UK leads the world in the innovation and sophistication of its early-stage investment ecosystem. But if we are to produce tech companies that can be global leaders in their field, we need investors to come in and back internationally-focused entrepreneurs in the mid stages and later stages of their growth and support them on that journey, which won’t always follow a straight line.”

 

Notes to Editors

The UKBAA Winter Investment Dinner took place at Landing 42, The Leadenhall Building (The Cheesegrater) on Wednesday 22nd February 2017.

Speaker information: David J Brown is co-founder and CEO of Ve Interactive. Under David’s leadership, Ve Interactive has been listed as one of Europe’s unicorns and named the fastest-growing tech company in the UK by The Sunday Times’ Tech Track 100. By 2015, it had achieved three consecutive years of over 300% growth. David studied composition and piano and still considers himself first and foremost a composer and pianist.

About UKBAA: The UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) is the national trade association for angel and early-stage investment, representing over 160 member organisations and around 18,000 investors. Business angels in the UK collectively invest an estimated £1.5 billion per annum and are therefore the UK’s largest source of investment for startups and early-stage businesses seeking to grow. UKBAA’s members include angel networks, syndicates, individual investors, early-stage VCs, equity crowdfunding platforms, accelerators, professional advisers and intermediaries. UKBAA acts as the voice of the angel investment community and strives to build and connect the angel investment ecosystem so as to ensure a coherent landscape for financing high-potential entrepreneurs.

Contact: Jenny Redman | jenny.redman@ukbaa.org.uk | 020 7492 0494 – for more info and pictures

 

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