Posted on July 2, 2018 by staff

Tech entrepreneurs need ‘acumen’ to unlock investment


With successful start-ups popping up every day, it’s easy to believe a good idea is all you need for success.

However a good idea without the right presentation is a major turn-off for potential investors, says expert Peter Leather.

Through his work as programme director for the Investment Readiness Programme he has found that the majority of businesses get passed over because they don’t present their idea in the right way.

“A lot of them were good ideas which will have been missed just because they weren’t presented in a cohesive way,” he told BusinessCloud.

“Working with many businesses over many years and trying to help them raise investment, they would invariably get knocked back because the proposition wasn’t correct in the way they presented it.

“During my time working with a seed fund we’d also get hundreds of applications across our desks and the vast majority would not be taken forward or read, just because we didn’t have the time or the resource to put them into a state that was ready to be viewed for investment.”

This is often because the proposition is created by people who are technical experts but don’t have the business management team around them.

“Without the business acumen the idea is just a piece of research that wants to spin out into a company and invariably fails,” he said.

“There’s no shortage of money – it’s getting the right money on the right terms that benefits the company or the opportunity.”

Leather was speaking to BusinessCloud at an investment roundtable in London organised by the Lancashire Investment Readiness Programme.

Leather says there are plenty of tools available to develop online applications but where applications for investment fall down is if they don’t have an experienced management team in place.

“People don’t buy tech, they buy solutions, so you need to build the team around the tech,” he said.

“You can have the best tech in the world but unless you’re addressing a problem and opportunity with a solution then the business is never going to reach its true potential.

“Founders get consumed by the tech role rather than the business opportunity.”

The Investment Readiness Programme is attached to the University of Central Lancashire and is free to Lancashire-based SMEs as it is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Other speakers at the funding roundtable veteran investor Jon Moulto, Norman Molyneux, chief Executive, Acceleris Capital; and Rohit Mateur, senior vice president venture capital, Barclays.