A new online business angels investors organisation for the North of England, Angel Groups - Yorkshire, celebrated its launch event at law firm Clarion in Leeds last week (24 November) when two aspiring entrepreneurs from the region pitched their product and proposition to 16 potential investors.
The brain-child of Martin Avison, the online platform aims to bring together enterprising business people with high net worth individuals who can help the businesses to fulfil their potential with investment and support. The angel investors Yorkshire group also supports their investment activity by helping the businesses to access innovation and R&D grant funding and R&D Tax Credits. Martin has many years’ experience working with dynamic businesses and investors, he is managing director of Financial Pulse Limited which specialises in creating and funding growth, for high growth businesses.
The inaugural event saw Huddersfield-based MonitorGO pitch for investment. They have developed a unique solution to allow people at risk of falling to live a totally independent life. With an ageing population this is a serious problem for the NHS and other health care providers. The angels also heard from Sheffield-based Pegasus AV Solutions which has developed a patented, imbedded ceiling rail, referred to as a runway, which allows the users’ TV screens to be attached. The TV screens can then be automatically moved around the room to suit the viewer’s needs. Whilst this has significant retail and commercial applications, the company will initially focus on the luxury homes market.
Martin explains: “Following the closure of the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels (YABA), there is an even greater need in the region to help business looking for investment and support; the support being key as businesses are invariably looking for help as well as investment. The Angel Group’s funding platform has been designed to take this process to the next level, allowing both angels and businesses to communicate directly with each other through the platform. And, unlike crowd funding platforms that post businesses confidential information on the internet for anybody to look at and even invest in (including potential competition), our platform is only viewed by members of the group, who all sign up to a code-of-conduct and treat business information confidentially.
“It’s vital that we engage the support of the wider professional community and it’s great news that Clarion, one of Yorkshire’s most dynamic law firms, is partnering with us. As well as offering our investors an insight into the legal and tax implications of investing in a small business, their experts will also be able to provide innovative businesses with valuable advice about how they can protect their intellectual property.”
Richard Moran, senior partner and head of Clarion’s corporate practice, added: “As the regional economy continues to strengthen, we are seeing increasing numbers of young businesses emerging with exciting propositions, but many of them are struggling to find the funding they need. Angel Investors will help to realise their growth potential, ensuring that Yorkshire remains a centre of innovation and business vibrancy.”