|Kindly supported by|
John Spindler, CEO of Capital Enterprise set the scene with his presentation below, before chairing a panel discussion on what the opportunities he described would mean to SMEs and Start-Ups.
Presentation at MobileMonday London 2011-11-28 John Spindler
- James Mawson, Founder and Editor, Global Corporate Venturing,
- Ben Whitaker, CEO, Masabi,
- Anthony Clarke, Chair of the British Business Angel Association (BBAA),
- Frederic Lardieg from Vodafone Ventures,
- Jamie Finn from Telefonica Digital.
What do you expect or would you like to see the Chancellor include in the next day’s Budget to encourage SMEs?
How did the panel rate the attractiveness of the mobile market in the UK currently?
What advice did the panel have for application developers seeking investment?
An audience member questioned whether it was more important to get the volume of users or the product business model secured first? The panel thought there were possibilities in both approaches, and also noted the US model for big investors need a business model plan which showed the longer term returns and service opportunities – a lot of the US investors were now looking for investment opportunities in the UK and Europe, which was positive as statistics showed the US has invested around 5 times as much as the whole of Europe in this space.
Only 2% of SMEs applying for VC funding get it, what’s going wrong?
What are most common mistakes made by Start-Ups looking for investment?
The panel considered some questions from the audience:
What was the best order for investment criteria? A business plan, getting the users and then planning for growth was one approach. How do you balance the optimistic returns required by investors with realistic valuations? This could be achieved by basing projections on realistic costs and the likelihood of growth, but ultimately solving real business needs may produce ambitious numbers. Was it a good idea to file patentable innovations before being too open? Being able to show patents applied for could be useful it would feed into market validation, but ultimately real users were more important. Was “sweat equity” also important to demonstrate for Start-Ups? It was important to demonstrate this commitment in addition to or instead of financial commitment depending on your circumstances.
John asked the panel to sum up their advice to companies looking for growth investment. James M emphasised that in addition to VC funding, entrepreneurs needed to consider all investment opportunities in the wider world including Angels, corporate and individuals. Ben noted Masabi was actively seeking entrepreneur talent and technology so talk to them! Anthony summed up his advice as stay positive as there was money available, do the research and find out which areas are popular with investors. Frederic rallied the audience to keep doing what they were doing and encouraged them to speak to Vodafone Ventures who were always happy to help innovators. James F agreed that the entrepreneurs who succeed where the ones who kept trying!
With the session over, Jo Rabin thanked the panel, the chair, the MoMoLo volunteer team and the event sponsors ICT KTN.