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Founders Investors Connect Event

Thursday the 10th of November saw 120+ founders and investors turn up at the Salford Innovation Forum for the Founders Investors Connect Event.

The Salford Innovation Forum and Oxford Innovation Finance organized an event that brought together a diverse group of industry experts to share their knowledge and experience.

Sponsored by Cazenove Capital, one of the UK’s largest wealth management firms, the event featured guest speakers from companies such as Fearless Adventures, Praetura Ventures, and more. The event was led by Artur Grzybowski, Innovation Director at Oxford Innovation and Salford Innovation Forum.

Event Breakdown

  1. Dominics Mcgregors Founders Journey  

    1. Story of Social Chain and Evolution of setting up Fearless Adventures

    2. Key learners from now being investors

  2. Panel discussions including, Tania R and Richard Cooper

  3. What you must include in your pitch deck

  4. Closing words for Paul Dennett the Mayor of Salford

  5. Networking

Dominics Mcgregor's Founder Journey

The event began with a keynote speech from Dominic McGregor, a founding partner at Fearless Adventures giving essential advice and insight on his experience building a successful business.

Dominic's Background

Dominic McGregor is a founding Partner at Fearless Adventures. From dropping out of University to taking Social Chain to the public markets in 6 years, Dom has experience in navigating the challenges that come with building a successful business. As co-founder and COO of Social Chain, Dom oversaw the phenomenal rise of the business, expanding through investments and acquisitions across EMEA and North America, culminating in public markets listing.

 

Since leaving the business in 2020, Dom has co-founded Fearless Adventures alongside partners David Newns and Charlie Yates, to invest and drive growth in leading, entrepreneur-led, e-commerce businesses.

 

A mental health advocate, Dom is passionate about using not only his capital, but his first-hand experiences to support founders on their journeys to reach the peaks of success.

 

The Journey

Talking from personal experiences, Dominic told the audience the journey of how he started, from dropping out of University to co-funding Fearless Adventures. Sharing advice on starting, shaping, and growing a business.

 

Dominic McGregor then shared valuable advice and insights from his experience building a successful business. Here are 10 key takeaways from his speech that every founder should consider:

 

Thank you Priyanka S. for these notes – https://www.linkedin.com/in/priyanka-s-515747161/

10 points every founder should consider

  1. Learn to Adapt – The market is ever-changing, adapt to the times to keep yourself in the best position to move ahead of the competition.

  2. Finance Management is key – Once you get your investments in, they will get burnt through quickly if you don’t plan your finances effectively.

  3. Do your Due Diligence with Investors – The promise of money is one thing, but what does it mean for you in the long term? Research if an investor is right for you. See beyond the cheque

  4. Marketing is key – Use this to your advantage, this can be easily looked over. By 2023 the biggest sites for connectivity and outreach will be YouTube, Tik Tok and LinkedIn. Learn how to use all the sites now before 2023. Get ahead of everyone else. 

  5. Understand how to manage relationships – As a founder, you will meet 1000s of people with different personalities. Learn how to manage these relationships and see which ones will be worth it, and can lead to a healthy environment that will breed innovation.

  6. Have a backup plan – What happens if plan A doesn’t work? What is your plan B and C. Expect that anything could happen so it doesn’t take you by surprise?

  7. Know your market inside out – You need to know how to spot market changes and trends and what’s in store and what to expect in the coming months. You don’t have to keep constant tabs on your competitors but you need to be able to read shifts in the market.

  8. Fundraising helps you to derisk your business – Securing fundraising helps add value and derisk your business 

  9. Existing customers could become investors – If customers enjoyed your product, why couldn’t they become investors? 

  10. Secure a revenue stream before raising – A good look to investors is to have some revenue coming in before you start raising. If you prove your business module works investors will have more trust in the business 

For more great advice like this please follow Dominics’ LinkedIn page, with over 100,000 followers he is a voice to be listened to. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dpjmcgregor/ 

 

Also, follow Fearless Adventures. https://www.linkedin.com/company/fearlessadventures/ 

The Panel

After a brilliant talk from the keynote speaker, Dominic then joined our panel of industry experts to answer questions from the audience. 

 

Joining Dominic on the panel were Tania Rahman and Richard Copper.

Tania Rahman

Tania is an Investment Manager at Praetura Ventures an early-stage seed-series A sector-agnostic EIS fund based in Manchester.

Before joining Praetura Tania founded, scaled and sold a multi-award-winning restaurant group across London. She was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018 and a finalist for the Barclaycard Everywoman Female Entrepreneur awards where the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan recognised her as a ‘Success Start-Up Story’. 

She currently acts as a Board Member & Trustee at Hatch Enterprise an organisation set up to support underrepresented entrepreneurs to develop the knowledge, confidence, and skills needed to launch and grow a business. Tania holds an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School.

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/tania-rahman1987/ 

Praetura Tania – https://www.linkedin.com/company/praeturaventures/

Richard Cooper

Richard Cooper is the Managing Director of OION Ltd. He has been working with early-stage companies for the past twenty years, both in the UK and Australia, in both a funding and business advisory capacity.

Having developed two early-stage software companies himself, he has advised hundreds of early-stage companies to develop their growth strategies and raise their funding as a result. This allows Richard to be able to identify companies with strong growth potential and advise them if needed.

Richard has an MSc in Marketing from the University of Leicester and postgraduate qualifications in applied finance and project management. Richard also has a CFA Certificate in Investment Management and a foundation course in Private Equity from the Australian Venture Capital Association. 

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardjacooper/

What you must include in your pitch deck

The first area the panel discussed was what can set your pitch deck apart from others, and tips for a good pitch deck.

 

Here are 8 tips they gave us;

  1. Showcase your team – Highlight the strengths and experience of your team members, and how they contribute to your company’s success.
  2. Emphasize your Unique Selling Points (USPs) – Make it clear what sets your business apart from others in the industry.
  3. Clearly state your funding needs – Specify how much you want to raise and how the funds will be used.
  4. Demonstrate your market knowledge – Show that you thoroughly understand the target market, including trends and potential opportunities.
  5. Keep it clear, concise and focused – Avoid overwhelming investors with too much information and insight into the key points that showcase your strengths.
  6. Explain why now is the right time for your business model – Provide context and reasoning for why you have decided to bring your business to market 
  7. Highlight what makes you special – Consolidate the information that sets you apart from your competitors and makes you a valuable investment opportunity.
  8. Show your passion – Explain as a founder why you are motivated to solve the pain points your business addresses and how you will lead the company to success.

Audience Participation

We then moved on to questions from the audience. You rarely get the opportunity to have such a prestigious panel in front of you, so we gave the power back to the audience to ask the questions they wanted.

 

Here are some of the best answers we received  

  • Identify and build relationships with people you want to speak to, You can use cold emails for this but don’t expect a response immediately or ever. Once a relationship or at least a connection has been established, the likelihood of your email being well-received is higher.

  • Marketing is a good way to help build rapport and provide value

  • If you are struggling to get around gatekeepers, reach out to multiple people in the business you are targeting.

  • Don’t leave rounds too late and make yourself desperate for money, Come up with a detailed plan. There will be investors who will break down those entry barriers- you just have to do your research and keep reaching out.

  • For those who need money to start, investment doesn’t have to be the first and only way. Generate cash from sales. Hustle.

  • You can use Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme to raise money for your company. Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) offers great tax-efficient benefits to investors in return for investment in small and early-stage start-up businesses in the UK. SEIS was designed to boost economic growth in the UK by promoting new enterprises and entrepreneurship. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/venture-capital-schemes-apply-to-use-the-seed-enterprise-investment-scheme

  • Should you put a valuation on your pitch deck? Yes. It can save wasting time with investors; your ballpark figure should afford you room to negotiate

Paul Dennett the Mayor of Salford

The final talk of the event fell to Paul Dennett the Mayor of Salford. 

Paul was elected Councillor for Langworthy in 2012 and held the Strategic Assistant Mayor position until 2016 focusing on equalities, cohesion, technology, change, urban transformation, innovation, prosperity, growth and workforce.

Paul has a long history of campaigning on social issues and since becoming City Mayor has campaigned for equality, financial inclusion, the living wage, social value, anti-poverty, digital inclusion and critically providing the public/private environment to tackle the housing crisis.

In July 2016 Paul was appointed Greater Manchester Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Low Carbon, Waste and Environment. In May 2017 Paul was appointed Greater Manchester Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Housing, Homelessness and Infrastructure, he’s recently overseen Greater Manchester’s Housing Strategy, and currently overseeing the GM Infrastructure Strategy and Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment. 

The mayors closing word

He began his speech by talking about why Salford is the investment hub to be a part of. With gaining a record level of public and private investment being the social enterprise city of the UK. 

 

With unique and specialist sectors emerging like the NIREC building (just across the road from us), Salford is here to help businesses on their growth journey. With various partnerships available to us, this pioneering city is on hand to unlock your future.

Salford in the palace to be for promoting your growth.

 

The closing statement stuck with everyone in the room “Get involved. The time is now” – Paul Dennett

More Events in the future

With the success of this event, we have more planned for next year so please follow our socials to keep updated with news, events, and general goings on in the Salford Innovation Forum.

Want to find out more? Get in touch or come and join us at one of our upcoming events.

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0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
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0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

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0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

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0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
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  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

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0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
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  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

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0161 743 3500

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Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Book a tour of Salford Innovation Forum
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0161 743 3500

Covid-19 Statement

Update – 11 August 2022

Our Innovation Centres remain operational and accessible, and provide a safe environment for our staff and customers. We continue to assess the risk of COVID-19 alongside the latest guidance from government. In the meantime our Innovation Centre remains COVID-19 Secure and fully open for business. Our detailed risk assessment can be found here.