UKBAA Global Angel Investment Summit – Connecting Globally for Innovation and Investment


UK Business Angels Association

27 June 2018

The UKBAA Summit held on 19th June, in the context of the International Business Festival in Liverpool, brought together over 400 leading players from across the investment and business community, not only from the UK but a wide range of representatives from the angel market from across the world. The UKBAA Summit was sponsored by Lloyds Bank, as headline and Beauhurst and GC Angels were Gold sponsors.

The Summit began with an introduction and welcome from Jenny Tooth OBE, Chief Executive of UKBAA who set the scene for the day.  This was followed by presentations of the angel investment market in key continents, including Suse Reynolds from New Zealand Business Angels; Tomi Davies from Africa Business Angels; Mahong Mannie Liu who presented her latest research on the China Angel market; John Zai from Cocoon Networks, building links between Tech companies in China and London and also Yuri Navarro from Canadian Angels . The presentations provided insights on these markets and demonstrated the opportunities for building new connections for deal flow and cross-border investment.


Oliver Jones from the Chief Economist team at Lloyds Bank provided an insightful review of the economic scenarios and implications for businesses under Brexit and the key challenges and opportunities that we need to be aware of as we move towards the button being pushed at the end of March 2019.


Our second panel, moderated by Oliver Woolley at Envestors, included key industry experts and investors who enabled us to explore the exciting opportunities offered by leading tech sectors for global growth and investment. Caroline Norbury, CEO of Creative England, provided important insights on the global potential of the Creative Industries, notably digital and immersive technologies; Michael Blakey, serial tech investor, gave his overview of the opportunities for tech investing, between London and Singapore where he now spends a good part of his time, whilst Riku Asikainen identified the major global successes that Finnish investors are backing including AI, IOT and Fintech. Darren Gowling from GC Angels and GC Fund, identified the leading growth areas for investors in the Manchester and North West as big data, healthcare and ecommerce, whilst David Newman, identified that the focus of the attention for investors on Delio’s platforms is increasingly on the convergence of tech areas.

The Panel was followed by a fascinating presentation from David Ovens, COO at Archangels who shared the details of the journey of Archangels since its establishment as an angel syndicate 25 years ago. Since that time, they have achieved 22 exits, with an IRR of x3 for their investors but David was also able to share some of the highs and lows of building and growing their investment base over that period. We also congratulate David and Mike Watts co-founder on collecting the Award for UKBAA Lead Syndicate of the Year at our Gala awards dinner that evening.

Paul Misener, VP for Global Innovation and Policy at Amazon who had travelled over especially from Seattle to speak at our Summit, provided fascinating insights on how Amazon is supporting leadership and collaboration in entrepreneurial teams to exploit innovation. He presented some of the key areas of technological development that are being harnessed by Amazon as key global areas for growth and investment.

In the afternoon of the Summit Steve Rotherham , Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City region opened the afternoon session with an overview of his plans for exploiting Liverpool as a centre for digital tech and made a commitment to support the growth of angel investing in the City region and notably to work with UKBAA going forward in establishing an Angel Hub as key focal point for building capacity for angel investment in the region.

This was followed by Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership who provided an overview of the significance of the NPH region, and its growth ambitions in terms of infrastructure innovation and investment. Henri underlined the importance of working with UKBAA in building a vibrant angel investment community to back the innovators and growth-focused business across the NPH region.

This was followed by Henry Whorwood from Beauhurst who provided a very informative analysis of the angel and early stage deals carried out across the UK, showing that over 1.5bn was invested in 2017, as a record year for investment, whilst nearly 50% of this capital is focused on London.  Beauhurst findings also revealed that of these investments ,50% was   in seed stage, 40% was in Venture and 10% in Growth capital.  Mobile, Software as a Service, Food and Drink, Internet platforms and Pharmaceuticals were the top five sectors attracting investment.

Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK, now part of the new UKRI, provided a valuable update on progress of implementing the Industrial Strategy, focusing on key leading growth sectors for the UK and notably the work that Innovate UK is doing to ensure access to support and funding for entrepreneurs and the opportunities offered for investors to engage and co-invest alongside their programmes, such as the new loans programme and the investment accelerator. This was followed by a fascinating case study from female entrepreneur and UKBAA Award winner, Irra Ariella Khi, founder of V Chain who is successfully embracing the power of AI and Blockchain to disrupt the aviation security market.




Matt Adey, Director and Senior Economist at BBB then presented the final report which was distributed at the Summit on the results and analysis of the research carried out with UKBAA during 2017 on the angel market in the UK showing the role that angels are playing in building scaleable businesses. Whilst Angels were shown to have invested more across the UK year and with clear expectations of growth and success in their portfolio year on year, the data shows that 65% of the angel investors are investing in the golden triangle of London, Cambridge and Oxford.

It was therefore very significant that Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Investments was able to present the details at our Summit of a ground-breaking new £100m commercial investment programme to leverage more angel investment in the regions, as first announced by the Chancellor last November. Catherine set out the main parameters of this new scheme, offering new opportunities for syndicates to access a £5m co-investment fund to bring extra firepower alongside their investments into entrepreneurs in the regions. It was also agreed at the Summit that UKBAA would work with BBI to ensure that our community can put forward their views and comments on this new scheme.

The final panel of the day, moderated by Peter Cowley, Chair of Cambridge Angels, together with major players across the angel and VC investment community, including Meganne Houghton Berry, Angel of the Year 2017-18; Tim Mills, Investment Director at the Angel CoFund; Steve Cordiner, Investment Director at Livingbridge Growth and Alex Sleigh, Investment Director at Newable PI. The discussion focused on the issue of whether we should be backing scale-ups rather than start-ups and whether the panel think there has been too much focus on start-up and not enough on scale-up . It was agreed that the ecosystem, certainly needed a strong supply of start-ups with ambition for scale and that this would remain the focus for the investors, whilst it was seen as vital to ensure connectivity between the investment players to identify and share deal flow.


Finally we heard from Simon Calver, Chair of UKBAA and Partner at BGF Ventures on the importance of ensuring an effective and connected ecosystem for angel investing across the UK and to ensure that all parts of the community are able work together. He indicated that the role of UKBAA in the coming year was to use its convening power to create an effective and dynamic alliance among all key players from start up to scale-up, notably at a time of uncertainty and challenge in the face of Brexit.

To view more pictures from the event click here

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