As a group of entrepreneurs and professionals we love to hear about exciting new ideas and innovations.
As a group of entrepreneurs and professionals, the Thrive network loves to hear about exciting new ideas and innovations. Friday afternoon member Hannah Smith is our go-to girl to find out about the region’s up-and-coming projects because she works for Anglia Capital Group as an investment analyst. She works with a network of angel investors and the creators of great new products and services, in the hope that at their regular pitching events, a match can be made. We asked her to tell us more about this fascinating business.
Hi Hannah, how do you spot an angel investor?
We look for people who are keen to put their capital or share their knowledge with a new business. It’s often compared to Dragon’s Den but our events are nowhere near as scary! Our angel investors pay a membership fee to be part of the group and then they are invited to our private events where entrepreneurs will pitch to them.
What sort of investments do they make?
We look for innovative and disruptive products and services, so they get a range of people they could invest in. We’ve had investments from £5,000 to £200,000 in the time I’ve worked with Anglia Capital Group. It’s not our place to give them any advice on where to invest their money, or how much to put in because we’re not regulated by the FCA. If they do decide to invest, they get a financial return and will often be put on the board of the company. It varies between different cases.
What do you require from the people pitching to these angel investors?
We have a screening process and that’s a big part of my role. The typical company we’ll put forward will already have their MVP (minimum viable product) up and running. So, this isn’t for people at the concept stage of their business. We like to see that they’ve got some traction behind them, and had serious conversations with potential clients. The average valuation of these businesses is around £1 million.
Give us some examples of the businesses who have pitched…
We had Extremis Technology deliver a brilliant pitch for the disaster relief shelter idea they had. This product was a fold flat product that was quick and easy to put up and was designed to be moved swiftly by charities working with refugees. These wooden houses can last for 15 years and they can put up an entire village in an hour. It was a pretty amazing solution. There was another, quirky product which a designer of kids’ clothing pitched. These clothes changed colour when they got wet and were great fun for little ones. We also had a company show us an ablation device that can remove cancerous tissues and bigger tumours with less trauma. That idea had the full backing of the NHS and was very inspiring.
What should people planning to pitch keep in mind?
In my opinion, it’s all about passion. Our pitches tend to involve two people at least – one to talk about the technical stuff, the other focussed on the commercial side. It shows that the business has both these crucial things in place. If you can’t sell it to our investors, how are you going to sell it to anyone else? It’s the passion that you demonstrate that makes the pitch special.
The next Anglia Captial Group private pitching event will be held on 22nd March 2017. If you’d like more information as an investor or an entrepreneur, contact Hannah Smith on 07706 990545 or email email@example.com.
Kate White – Front Page Media