Jenny Tooth discusses our 2nd Future Forward Investment Forum


UK Business Angels Association

28 November 2019

During this period of economic and political upheaval, what better time to bring 220 representatives of our community together yesterday at our Future Forward Investment Forum when we looked back at the market in the past year and looked ahead at opportunities for investing in 2020 .

Having focused on future transport mobility and life sciences through our panels of investors and industry experts , it is clear that convergence with deep tech and capacity to address big data challenges offer huge opportunities for investing innovation and disruption in these sectors.
Nevertheless, the need for greater liquidity for our Angel community remains a key consideration. This was the topic of our final panel yesterday when we looked at the challenges for exits and the opportunities for new models including dedicated secondary markets . This is an area that we will certainly wish to build on at UKBAA in the year ahead, since there is a strong gap in the finance chain for angel investors.

Whilst we continue to lack data on Angel exits and returns, Alice Hu Wagner from British Business Bank presented recent data on exits and returns in the UK Venture market versus US . It is clear that, despite perceptions that US continually outperforms the UK VC market, BBB’s research shows that UK Funds are offering similar returns to the US (based on ‘Total Value Put In’) , apart from very highest performing US funds.

We were also delighted to have our two Angels of the Year 2019-20 join us yesterday . Sunil Shah provided valuable insights and a lively perspective on the growing opportunities for angel investors in life sciences. Vin Murria followed with a fascinating “fireside chat” with Peter Evans Business Editor at the Sunday Times. Vin described her successes in building , scaling and exiting three tech businesses which led her into angel investing . Focusing on businesses with a strong tech focus and notably SAAS, Vin is bringing her business expertise and financial capacity to back women led businesses where she feels she can bring real added value and where she can clearly identify the exit route.

The event gave us all some food for thought about our priorities for 2020 and we are looking forward at UKBAA to further building on these themes in the year ahead. Photos and copies of power point presentations will be available shortly on our website.

Meanwhile, you might like to hear my latest interview at Bloomberg Westminster last week on the election and the implications for investors in small businesses:

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