|Blake's Angel of the Revelation|
A business angel is a wealthy individual who has often acquired wealth through running and sometimes selling his or her own business and buys ordinary shares in a new or growing company. Usually, the connections and experience that an angel brings to the business in which he or she invests are at least as valuable as his or her investment. They can make all the difference between success and failure for that business.
They are therefore very useful people to know but they are not always easy to reach. Although many angels follow emerging technologies and keep in close touch with entrepreneurs and inventors, they cannot know everything that goes on in an industry. To facilitate contact between angels willing to invest and entrepreneurs seeking investment, networks are formed.
Tech North, "a government-backed initiative charged with accelerating the growth of the digital business sector in the North of England," has just announced the launch of new angel network for the North of England (see James Bedford Introducing the Tech North Angel Network 30 Aug 2017 Tech North website).
According to Bedford:
"The aim is to build a strong, open network of tech investors that is easy to access and open to pan-Northern collaboration. We are working with a variety of partners on this, including UKBAA, GP Bullhound, Angel Academe, Dow Schofield Watts, All Bright and others."
Bedford stresses that "the ‘open’ aspect is important." He explains:
"Private angel networks have their place, but it can be very hard for startups to access them. That’s if they know about them at all. Great deals could be left on the table because the right entrepreneurs never meet the right angels."
The network launches with a series of workshops for new investors the first of which takes place in Manchester on 7 Sept 2017 for those new to investing. Others will follow in Wilmslow and Leeds and there will be workshops for more experienced investors and other events later.
It is very important that investors should understand intellectual property strategy when contemplating an investment and that they should understand whether a business's technology or other intellectual assets are properly protected and adequately leveraged. As a starter, I suggest they read my IP Primer for Business Angels and Private Equity Investors 29 Aug 2016 NIPC News. No business is too small to have an IP strategy and if a company does not have one I would be slow to invest in it.
If there is sufficient interest in IP strategy with Techn North or its partners I shall run a workshop on IP strategy for business angels and entrepreneurs in Manchester, Liverpool or both.
Should anyone wish to discuss this article, IP strategy or IP and angel or private equity investment, call me on 020 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact form.