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Angel Dinner-DigiLeaders

NorthInvest announced as a digital team finalist for DigiLeaders week!

by Camille Sainsbury|21st June 2018

Considered one of the most inspirational weeks in the Digital Transformation calendar. Digital Leaders Week celebrates, showcases, shares and inspires the best digital transformation across the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

This year has seen Northinvest shortlisted for  “Digital Team of the Year”. The criteria are “A team delivering a Digital Transformation who have demonstrated an exceptional digital culture and impact”.

NorthInvest is a not-for-profit company, managing the relationship between early stage tech investors and startup businesses. It’s aligned with the values and mission of the Northern Powerhouse, providing a connected, supportive ecosystem for Northern startups and investors.  It’s lively and diverse events agenda highlights the best of tech in the North. Previous themed events have included Fintech, Healthtech and Digital Media Summits with a Tech-for-good summit scheduled for June 25th and a Cybersecurity event in November.

This week has seen Angel Investors from all over the North invited to a third Angel Dinner hosted by NorthInvest Founder Prof Adam Beaumont. There was much talk about investment and mentorship, including an exciting discussion about Gravity Industries – Two of the Northinvest angels had the privilege to test the jet suit at a purpose built facility.  Gravity was used as a metaphor and exemplar of a company taking advantage of exponential technology advancement to pioneer a new mode of flight. Prof Adam Beaumont, gravity shareholder stated, ‘We’ve been helping Gravity, with a tour of schools and the impact is clear – young students are being inspired to think about life choices in engineering and tech. Imagine what the effect of seeing Gravity’s founder, Richard Browning, hovering under jet propulsion – it makes them believe in what can be done with determination and commitment”. ’

Will Schaffer Head of Investor Relations added,’ Building upon great ideas and facilitating growth is what we are passionate about. NorthInvest continues to go from strength to strength and have some fantastic achievements to date, which include a 75% increase in Angel numbers, via an involvement of about 50 investors, many of whom are very active, participating in pitching events and advising and advancing over 60 companies to their full potential, through specialist business advice.

Henri Murison one of our biggest supporters and Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership commented, ‘This week at the UK Business Angels Global Summit I was proud to be able to share with the audience there the key role NorthInvest is playing, making the case for what they are doing for the funding ecosystem. They are filling a vital gap in the early stage funding space and its’s been great to see their proactivity , contributing markedly to driving ambition for start-up and scale-ups here across the NorthernPowerhouse.

We’ve spoken to over 150+ entrepreneurs working in diverse sectors, out of this selection three deals have been secured and two others are following closely behind. The greatest acceleration we have seen is within the HealthTech sector with tech improving the efficiency of the NHS in dealing with patients and reducing waiting times -a life-changing disruptive tech set to transform traditional methods.

One of our Investors commented to our founder during the event : ‘You’ve given an entrepreneur a life line and it feels good’ as he shared the impacts of NorthInvest  bringing together a blend of exceptional individuals creating a pan-Northern network to drive growth.

Another noted her motivations for joining NorthInvest, ‘I missed the buzz of being part of a startup & I’m keen to give something back, I’ve got the experience of seeing businesses grow exponentially & using my time to do good is why I got involved.’

As discussion moved around the table, investors shared their experiences within business and their thoughts on a collective noun for describing a group of Angels. Of these ‘Triage, School, Flock, Clowder, Dinosaur, Spider Web, Milky Way, insubordination and private dining room were the words of choice – each word was accompanied by a playful and challenging justification, as one would expect from a group of entrepreneurs !  

Another investor noted the increase in women investor numbers and it was great to see many in attendance at the dinner. All agreed we still need to strive to do more.  Bi-Monthly events have been scheduled to connect and raise awareness of the support which Northinvest can provide to women founders in tech in the North and to connect them with the right supportive investor/mentors.