A group of ‘angel investors’ met in Coventry to find out how firms they have supported were progressing. More than 70 investors from the Minerva Business Angel Network gathered at the University of Warwick’s International Digital Laboratory to hear updates from 22 out of the 30 businesses they have invested in since 2010.
The network brings together like-minded business people looking to invest in potential high growth and exciting companies developing innovative ideas and technologies.
To date, more than £4.5million has been invested in early-stage companies including £100,000 into Caption Data Ltd that was sealed on the morning of the event.
Tim Powell, head of the University of Warwick Science Park’s Minerva Network, said: “The news from the companies on the day was largely positive, with financial support and expertise from investors playing a key part in laying the foundations for growth in 2014.
“Investments have gone into everything from lightweight audio speaker technology to medial detection equipment for potentially serious eye conditions in children.
“Innovation in these early stage companies is alive and kicking – and they are now getting ready to knock down doors worldwide!”
He added: “A number of our investments are rapidly gaining sales and notice in the market place. We will possibly see one of these investments mature in 2014 in which case, Minerva business angels may be lifting glasses of Champagne when they gather again in 2014!”
The investment in money and experience by Minerva Angels not only boosts early-stage companies in itself, but at the point of investment and over time as the business develops often generates further funding. For every £1 invested in a business by Minerva, a further £3 has been attracted from elsewhere.
Powell said: “It is that catalysing effect that makes this type of angel investing so crucial for “high risk” early stage opportunities to fulfil their potential, when banks and other structured funds are unable to venture.”
Ian Mackenzie, a leading business angel and chairman of Genesis Technical Systems –which received Minerva funding, said he took great pride in supporting Midlands business.
He said: “As an investor, I expect to see my investment grow but it is wonderful to see the transformative effect some of these businesses can have. They create employment, growth and some of the technologies will make a marked impression on the world.”