Angels offer down-to-earth answer to Mersey entrepreneurs’ funding needs

Liverpool finance and business professionals Lisa Greenhalgh,  Mark Rathbone and Gaynor Dykes join forces to form the LCR Angel Network. Tony McDonough reports

LCR Angel Network
From left, Gaynor Dykes, Mark Rathbone and Lisa Greenhalgh

 

Liverpool city region now has its own business angel network thanks to a partnership between a trio of professional firms.

Earlier this year loan and equity provider MSIF, law firm Brabners and the Liverpool office of accountancy firm Grant Thornton came up with the idea of a local angels network. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who invest their own money into start-up or early-stage businesses in return for an equity stake.

MSIF chief executive Lisa Greenhalgh, Brabners head of corporate, Mark Rathbone, and Grant Thornton regional growth manager Gaynor Dykes identified a gap in the local mix for business finance.

Financial support

The LCR Angel Network identifies promising businesses and puts them in-front of their growing number of angel investors. The Investors then have the opportunity to invest alone, or as a syndicate, providing not only financial support but experience and knowledge to an early-stage business.

With 69% of Angel Investors choosing to invest inside of their home region (research commissioned by the UK Business Angels Association, 2017), it was important to all parties involved to create an Angel Network for the Liverpool city region.

In June representatives from the British Business Bank – the national economic investment  arm of the UK Government – were at Liverpool International Business Festival to bang the drum for angel investing.

Money, business, growth, pound
Angel investors are wealthy individuals who invest their own money into start-up or early-stage businesses

 

Three events

Free to all angels, the LCR Angel Network has already held three successful events throughout year, with the most recent event taking place in early November, called ‘the Winter Pitch’.

Each ‘pitch’ event sees growing businesses that have been chosen by the LCR Network founders, present to a panel of investors. The aspiring entrepreneurs are offered a five-minute opportunity to describe their business, growth aspirations and most importantly, the funding amount they need.

Investors who like what they hear then spend the rest of the event getting to know the business and their director.

The LCR Angel Network is a member of the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), which will further provide opportunities for guidance and training for new angel investors. The UKBAA will also facilitate more networking and syndication possibilities for existing angel investors in the region. 

And 2019 will see the launch of the LCR Angel Network website and an increase in event opportunities, which will ultimately bring more opportunities for growth to the Liverpool business community.

Different format

Lisa Greenhalgh said “There was a large gap in the market for angel Investments in the Liverpool city region. We wanted to build a bridge that brought together quality investment opportunities. We also wanted to do this in a different format to the other North West angel events.”

We’ve had great feedback on the timing and format of our events, with great success of businesses receiving investment. AlgoLib has achieved funding as a result of presenting at our second LCR Angel event, and further investments deals are in talks at the moment.”

To find out more about the LCR Angel Network, follow our twitter account @LCRAngelNetwork or contact info@msif.co.uk to be part of the network.

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