13 April 2013

Envestors to operate YABA

On my Inventors Club website, I described a business angel as  
"a wealthy individual who wishes to invest in a new business. Typically, he or she may well have already built up and sold a business and will therefore have acquired skills, knowledge and experience that can be shared with the new business. According to the British Business Angels Association ("BBAA"), the industry association for business angels, a typical investment will be between £10,000 and £750,000 in return for which the investor will expect a proportionate share of a new company's capital and maybe a seat on its board. The investment may be made by the angel individually or as part of a syndicate of angels and other investors."
I added that most business angels belong to networks some of which are regional and I referred to the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels ("YABA") as an example.  I also wrote a little primer on angel investment in "On the Side of the Angels" on my former chambers website on the 8 July 2011,

"Additionally, as of 1 April 2013, Braveheart’s wholly-owned subsidiary Envestors Limited has acquired the rights to operate the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels (‘YABA’) from Yorkshire Association of Business Angels Limited and will combine this with the YABA secretariat, previously operated by VFM.
Scott Haughton, a director of Envestors, said: “YABA has been adapting its business model to develop its longer term sustainability. Envestors is ideally placed to power the growth and sophistication of YABA with increased deal flow and syndication opportunities for its members alongside Envestors’ extensive private investor network.”
So what does this mean in practice for local start-ups and entrepreneurs?   

Envestors describes itself as:
"an award-winning investor network dedicated to helping find quality investment opportunities for its network of 1000 private investors and 30 family offices. We specialise in raising from £300k – £1m in younger companies, and from £1m - £10m in more established companies. We work across most industry sectors with investee companies ranging in size from the smaller, earlier stage, through to the more mature. Investments usually qualify for EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme). Aligned to our investors, we seek outstanding management teams capable of delivering their stated business objectives."
Its holding company, Braveheart Investment Group plc, was formed in 1997 and has been quoted on the alternative investment market since 2007. It manages around £120 million and offers equity, loan and mezzanine funding to SME as well as advice on corporate finance and investment readiness. 

The company from which Envestors took over the management of the YABA network was VFM.   Those letters appear to stand for Viking Fund Managers which is another Braveheart business. Yet another is Finance Yorkshire which offers seed corn funding, business loans and equity linked investments of between £100,000 and £2 million.

On its "latest deals" page YABA reports four transactions between 15 Feb 2012 and 26 Feb 2013. I shall follow this page with interest over the next 12 months and report back in 2014 as to the practical effect of the new tie up.

Incidentally, both business angels and entrepreneurs seeking angel investment require advice on company law, contracts, employment, tax and, of course, intellectual property.   I can help with IP and I have written a short article "What Business Angels and VCs need to know about IP" which can be downloaded from the JD Supra website.  Now that I am in 4-5 Gray's Inn Square I have colleagues who can help with all these other issues.   Should anyone require advice or representation on any aspect of angel investment or launching a new business, please call us on 0113 320 3232, 01484 599090 or 020 7404 5252 or fill in our contact form.  Our chambers are developing a strong presence in Yorkshire and the Humber and can see you in conference in Bradford or Huddersfield as well as London.

If you want to talk to me about this article, you can reach me through my contact form or call me on any of the above numbers.  You can also follow me on Facebook, Linkedin, twitter or Xing.

8 April 2013

New Chair for Leeds LEP

Roger Marsh, Senior Partner of the Leeds office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ("PwC"), will take over the chair of Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership from Neil McLean on 1 July 2013.

Born in 1953, educated at Stockton Church of England Grammar School and the University of Leeds, Marsh joined PwC in 1976. Specializing in business recovery and insolvency he managed T&D Industries, Sheffield Forgemasters, Carpets International, Dixon Motor Group, Shotton Power and Bradford Cathedral.

Between Jan 2007 and Aug 2009 Marsh served as Director-General of Strategic Finance and Operations at the Cabinet Office and was an executive member of the Cabinet Secretary's board.  According to his Linkedin profile, his overall role was "to improve the operational efficiency and efficacy of the agreed strategic objectives of the centre of Government."

Marsh became Senior Partner of the Leeds Office in 2011 and will retire from that post on 30 June 2013. His successor will be Arif Ahmad.

Further Information
"PwC announces change of leadership in Leeds," PwC 26 March 2013
"New Chair for Local Enterprise Partnership". Leeds City Region LEP, 26 March 2013

5 April 2013

Sheffield Inventors Group News

As the first Monday of this month fell on Easter Monday the April meeting of the Sheffield Inventors Group will take place on 8 April 2013 at 18:00 in the Jackson Room of Sheffield Central Library. The speaker will be Richard Hall of pd-m International Ltd.

Richard has spoken to the Group before and is well known as a product design and manufacturing consultant.  Samples of his company's work can be seen on the "Our Work" page of its website. Its clients range from private inventors, SMEs, manufacturers, universities and investors and its design portfolio covers medical, healthcare, consumer, industrial, lighting and nursery.equipment.

The title of Richard's talk is 'Production Development to Production - Avoiding the Pitfalls' which he promises to be a networking opportunity.

The other news from Sheffield is that the Group welcomes Susanne Knight as its new organizer. 

If you would like more information about the event or the group call or email Susanne on 0114 273 4727.