Posted on March 27, 2017 by staff

Manchester ‘has vibrant tech investment market’


UK Business Angels Association chief executive Jenny Tooth has praised Greater Manchester’s thriving tech investment market on the eve of the North’s biggest tech investment conference.

Tooth will address more than 250 angel investors, business funders and financial experts at the first UKBAA Northern Investment Summit at Bridgewater Hall in the city on Tuesday.

She highlighted the key role the likes of the Business Growth Hub’s Access to Finance service, the North West Business Angels (NWBA) and Co Angel Investment have to play in helping to stimulate a culture of angel and venture capital investment in Greater Manchester.

“Manchester is definitely one of the most active and vibrant tech investment markets in the UK and there is a massive amount of potential for local angel investors, regional and national consortiums and international networks to be matched with exciting tech businesses, high growth start-ups and dynamic entrepreneurs based in and around the city,” she said.

“This is one of the reasons we have chosen to host our Northern Investment Summit in Manchester this week, and we are greatly looking forward in helping to bring important funding and support services, such as those delivered by the Business Growth Hub, the North West Business Angels and Co Angel Investment together with new private funders, local investment groups, and financial intermediaries.

“This is in order to build an even stronger and more connected angel investment ecosystem throughout Greater Manchester, the North West and beyond.”

Dotforge’s Emma Cheshire, who acts as strategic advisor for tech and innovation at the Manchester Growth Company and is also speaking at the Northern Investment summit, said: “Key to encouraging more investment into early stage companies is to profile the success stories.

“We have great companies such as Boohoo, Peak and others that are demonstrating that you can build market-changing companies regardless of where you are located.

“This is key for the confidence of both the local investors and the entrepreneurs.”

Business Growth Hub’s Access to Finance service has reported a sharp increase in the number of tech businesses in Greater Manchester both seeking – and finding – angel investment locally to help them to scale.

It has also revealed details of a recent angel funding deal it helped facilitate for a fast-growing Manchester digital SME Magna, which is based in Salford.

Magna, an online health and fitness booking service, recently secured a £50,000 funding package – with expressions of interest from other investors – having successfully pitched to a consortium of North West-based angels.

Founder Adam Barker also now plans to target new markets in both the UK and internationally, and anticipates his business could be worth £50m by 2020.

Philip Hargreaves, head of Business Growth Hub’s Access to Finance service, said: “Both the recent Tech Nation report and the latest Tech North Investment Index research demonstrates that there are increasingly high levels of tech investment, angel funding and deal-making in Greater Manchester and that we are one of the most active tech investment clusters in whole of the UK.

“We are also home to a majority of the biggest VC and angel deals ever seen in the North over the last 10 years, and through our vast network of business and financial support services, including the Business Growth Hub and the North West Business Angels, we are continuing to help ambitious and growth hungry tech companies get the funding they need to scale.

“It’s therefore fantastic that Jenny and the UKBAA have chosen Manchester to host the first ever Northern Investment Summit as it will further enhance the city’s growing reputation as a major UK hub of angel and venture capital funding, especially within the tech and digital sectors.”

In addition to Jenny Tooth and Emma Cheshire, there will over 30 of the UK’s leading investors, investment experts, technology consultants and business leaders drawn from across the UK speaking at the Northern Investment summit.