Raising £1M and more: equity or debt?

On Wednesday 17th January, I asked this question and many more at our most recent Scale-up Briefing. With over 80 founders, investors and supporters in attendance, I offered some quick reflections as West of England Scale-up Enabler to open the event before turning the floor to our first special guest – Silas Adekunle, Founder and CEO at Reach Robotics.

Silas joined us fresh from CES (the World’s biggest innovation showcase in Las Vegas) and shared candid, humble and open reflections on Reach’s investment journey so far – everything from the importance of accelerator’s like Techstars to the deals they have struck with Venture Capitalists. TechSPARK will be publishing the full interview in the coming weeks but for now, you’ll find a few soundbites in the Storify below.

Next I was joined on stage by Chris Dyson, Partner and Head of Tech Sector at Ashfords who hosted a panel discussion with Claire Dorrian, London Stock Exchange, David Fogel, Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV), Anthony Carty, Alternative Business Funding and Richard Turner of Catalyst Venture Partners. The panel explored the breadth and depth of options available for raising £1M from debt to venture capital and shared candid views on the best practice they’ve seen and their tips for success.

I rounded off the session with some ‘next steps’ for founders looking for investment, and for investors looking to explore deal-flow and good practice in the region:

  1. Scale-up Ecosystem map – I have created a simple interactive map which pinpoints over 300 ‘assets’ that exist in (and around) the West of England to support fast growth businesses.
  2. The Quarterly Investment Briefing – if you know of investors in the region who want to be better tapped into dealflow and engaged with good practice, please ask them to sign up to recieve event invites and newsletters once a quarter.
  3. Engine Shed Investor in Residence – if you want to continue the conversation in a 1:1 environment with investors, please sign up to meet them using the free booking service.
  4. Consider London Stock Exchange Elite Programme when you’re weighing up which of the Scale-up programmes to apply for.
  5. Check out the Alternative Business Funding platform to weigh up and apply for debt finance options.

The event, hosted by Scale-up Enabler Briony Phillips was run in partnership with TechSPARK and SETsquared Bristol and kindly sponsored by the London Stock Exchange and Alternative Business Funding.

This blog series tells the story of the Scale-up Enabler, Briony Phillips. Briony joined the Engine Shed team on a 1 year contract in June 2017 funded by Business West, Engine Shed, The University of Bristol and the West of England Growth Hub. This group have a shared ambition – first, to identify scale-up businesses in the West of England region and to better understand their challenges and second, to design, facilitate and support initiatives that will make it easier for businesses to scale-up more effectively – in the long term.

Links and information are correct as of January 2018.

Briony – Scale-up Enabler