UKBAA CEO Jenny Tooth’s bi-weekly update – 11th July
It’s hard to believe that it is only just over a week since 390 leading players from across our community came together to celebrate the success of some of the most innovating entrepreneurs here in the UK and the fantastic achievements of angel and early stage investors at our Annual Angel Investment Awards Gala Dinner. With such amazing views across London at the top of the Science Museum it was truly inspirational to meet all the finalists and the award winners and hear their great stories. With nearly £400m raised in equity among the entrepreneur finalists this past year, we can be in no doubt of the importance of risk capital in the growth of these businesses and the importance of ensuring that we can continue to build an effective ecosystem to enable them to access the investment and support they need going forward. However, as we all know, for women founders this remains a huge challenge compared with their male counterparts and so we were especially pleased to have so many amazing women innovators featured among the award winners last week. It was also heartening to see a significant number of investments in innovating entrepreneurs led by women this year and we congratulate these women angel award winners.
As you know each year we choose an Angel to be UKBAA Angel of the Year and we are extremely grateful for the support of Chris Adelsbach, our Angel of the Year 2018-19 for his excellent support of our work and in developing a new Angel Manifesto. This year, we have chosen two Angels for the year to be our ambassadors and especially to support our focus on diversity in investment. So I want to congratulate Vin Murria OBE a successful technology entrepreneur and investor who will provide specific support to our work in encouraging more women to become business angels and in ensuring more women entrepreneurs successfully access investment and also Sunil Shah, an active investor in life sciences and biotech and who will be helping to identify more lead angels across the UK to invest in lifesciences and also to help us reach out to attract more angel investors from the Indian diaspora . You will be hearing more from them in the coming months.
Building on our theme of encouraging more gender diversity in investment, we were delighted to welcome yesterday over 100 women angels and potential angels to our National Women Angel Investment Forum at Home Grown and supported by Innovate UK. We heard from eight active women angels who shared insights and perspectives on the world of angel investing, with some fantastic audience interaction. We also heard from five women innovators about their growth journeys and how they had accessed angel investment to build their innovative businesses. We know how important it is to share information and build awareness among women about the opportunities for angel investment and will be continuing our work on building the Women Angel Investment Forum as a centre for events, education and information in the months ahead.