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The Art of Angel and Grant Funding

The Art of Angel & Grant Funding Event

An Introduction to Angel and Grand Funding

The Art of Angel & Grant Funding was an online and in-person event hosted by Salford Innovation Forum and Oxford Innovation, that focused on raising pre-seed, seed round, and grant funding for innovative start-up businesses and organisations.

This event’s guests included industry experts, entrepreneurs, and investors, each giving their unique perspective and insider knowledge on securing capital.

Audience and speakers of the event.

Angela Smith

Angela Smith, team leader at Innovate UK Edge, kicked off the event with a presentation on innovation and grant funding. She talked about the innovation journey that begins with the discovery stage and ends when the product/solution is on the market. She told founders to ask themselves several questions about their product/solution:

“Is it an invention that will grow? Is it a novel idea? Does it fit a societal need?”

Then she asked founders to ask themselves how grant funding would benefit the growth of their business:

“Will it change your business? Are you going to spend more on staff? Will you grow as a result?”.

The rest of her presentation focused on the various sources of grant funding.

Speaker at the grant funding event.

Angela Smith’s top tip:

“When you apply for grant funding, you need to be able to explain your innovation and why it matters in the opening paragraph. Don’t use complex terms and jargon. Clearly explain the problem and the solution so that the person assessing your application can instantly understand the innovation behind your product or service.”

Mike Skinner

Mike Skinner, an innovation and growth specialist, discussed the things to consider when looking for an angel investor or venture capitalist. He highlighted the importance of the pitch deck, investment cost, assets in terms of equality, and the need to consider the best route for founders. In addition, he talked about the importance of explaining your business strategy to convince investors to invest in your business.

Speaker at the grant funding event.

Mike Skinner's top tip:

“Investors won’t be interested in your business if they think they are there to save you. What they want is to see the potential in your business, they want to know about you! Your attitude, your plans and your future potential. The most important thing to consider is that people invest in people.”

Discussion with the founder of Medi Stick

The third section included the founder of Medi Stick, Miriam Rimmer, and the COO, Susan Trish. They discussed the fundraising process from the perspective of an innovative business. When asked about how their business overcame obstacles, they said:

“We always believed in the product, even when we thought we would be laughed out of meetings. Even when we thought we were bonkers three years in for persevering with it. I think the story of our journey and Medi Stick’s journey is so authentic, and that authenticity resonated with investors”.

Hosts of the grant funding event.

Each of them noted how a founder’s story and their business’s narrative are critically important because that is what investors want to hear. They also shared their experience finding the right angel investor for their business and finding an honest investor who is critical, supportive, and willing to act as a mentor.

Panel Discussion with Chris Jones

The event finished with a panel discussion with guest speaker Chris Jones, investor, and Senior Innovation and Growth Advisor at Innovate UK Edge. Chris made various interesting points about what investors look for in innovative start-ups:

“As an investor, I am not looking for reasons to say yes. I am looking for reasons to say no. Don’t give me reasons to say no. What I’m looking for is engagement. I’m not looking for people who sit at the back of the room afraid to ask questions. I need to know I can work with somebody. There needs to be that immediate connection. Don’t tell me you are going to get 0.2% of the entire global market because I won’t care. Tell me you’re going to get 25% of a much smaller discreet market and I will be interested. Even if that market is only worth a couple of million, that is real. You have to sell your business to me”

Event host explaining grant funding.

The panel also discussed other topics like investor readiness, building connections, mentoring, finding the right investors, and innovation mechanisms and resources for founders. If you didn’t have a chance to attend this live event you can stream it on YouTube. There is plenty of information and insider knowledge for founders looking to improve their investor readiness and secure angel and grant funding.

Innovate UK Edge is a key part of the UK Innovation Agency’s plans for investment in the innovative businesses that drive economic growth, with bespoke support from specialists in every region of the UK.

Want to find out more? View our office space solutions, get in touch with our team, or come and join us at one of our upcoming events.

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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
  • 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

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

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

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

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
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
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Have your questions answered
  • Secure your choice of office or meeting space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
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.