Silverstone Technology Cluster “can create market place for investors”

Silverstone Technology Cluster

17th October 2017

Silverstone Technology Cluster companies already have a three in four chance of attracting outside investment provided they can show they are innovative and can be ‘disruptive’ in their own sector.

That is the view of Jenny Tooth OBE, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Business Angels Association which is supporting the STC in increasing the potential of its companies to attract investment.

Jenny commented: “STC and its companies are competing with other clusters out there. However tech is perhaps the biggest area that most investors – probably 75% of them now – are investing in.

“But companies need to know it’s not just the technology that’s of interest to investors. It’s the capacity to demonstrate you are innovative and disruptive in your own tech environment.

“The presence of technology is almost a given for investors. What they want to see are all the different applications of the technologies unpicked whether it’s manufacturing, materials, digital, AI, machine learning, big data, IoT, robotics and so on…”

Jenny has also complimented the STC’s work so far in its promotion of the region within a one hour radius of Silverstone identified in an SQW report as being home to around 4,000 companies with exceptional capabilities in high-tech engineering and recognised by the UK government as having ‘latent potential’.

“It is really setting about things in the right way and we are very supportive of that,” added Jenny. “We want to work with the STC and would be delighted to participate in some of the activities.

“This could include inviting our own investment community to some of the events or another role could be helping to pinpoint who else is out there in the STC who might not be aware of their own capacity and potential to invest in these businesses themselves.”

Companies looking to expand through funding however need to be realistic about how much work can be required to attract to investors, as Jenny also pointed out.

She continued: “There is tendency among tech businesses to focus purely on what they are creating because it’s what makes them successful – it’s their USP. But when it comes to investment there can be a lack of knowledge.

“There is a big difference from focusing on business to focusing on investment. The work to structure your investment proposal is time consuming and you may even have to change your approach to get an investor’s interest

“It can be about having the right skills and expertise, the right kind of business model, being really clear about opportunities that you can offer investors and showing you’ve got the potential to really grab the marketplace and can give investors a great return. Also potentially showing you have the potential to lead investors into other exciting areas.

“Investors won’t just wander in and find business for themselves. That market place needs to be created so a lot of it is about working on areas of investment readiness and showcasing areas of technology. The businesses need advice and support and that’s what the STC can provide.”

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