MSIF, Brabners and Grant Thornton have created Liverpool’s first Angel Network
The Liverpool City Region has been gifted with its own network of angels. The LCR Angel Network was conceived earlier this year by Alternative Finance Providers – MSIF, Commercial Law Firm – Brabners, and Business Growth Specialists – Grant Thornton.
The idea came to light when founders, Lisa Greenhalgh (CEO of MSIF), Mark Rathbone (Brabners Head of Corporate) and Gaynor Dykes (Regional Growth Manager at Grant Thornton), recognised both the lack of any coordinated Angel Group in the LCR Region and for those active Angels, the difficulty in finding good opportunities to invest in.
The LCR Angel Network identifies promising businesses and puts them in-front of their growing number of Angel Investors. The Investors then have the opportunity to invest alone, or as a syndicate, providing not only financial support but, highly valuable experience and knowledge to an early stage business.
With 69% of Angel Investors choosing to invest inside of their home region (research commissioned by the UK Business Angels Association, 2017), it was important to all parties involved to create an Angel Network for the Liverpool City Region.
The LCR Angel Network is free to all angels and has now held three successful events this year, with the most recent taking place this month as the ‘Winter Pitch’.
Each pitch event sees growing businesses that have been chosen by the LCR Network founders, present to a panel of investors. The aspiring SMEs are given a quick and punchy five-minute opportunity to describe their business, growth aspirations and most importantly, the funding amount they need. Investors who like what they hear can then spend the rest of the event getting to know the business and their director.
The LCR Angel Network is a member of the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), which will also provide guidance and training for new angel investors. The UKBAA will also provide more networking and syndication opportunities for active Angel Investors in the Region. The LCR Angel Network hopes the introduction of this dedicated network will bring more funding, awareness and success to the city region.
2019 will see the launch of the LCR Angel Network website and an increase in event opportunities, which will ultimately bring more opportunities for growth to the Liverpool business community.
Lisa Greenhalgh, CEO of MSIF said “There was a large gap in the market for angel investments in the Liverpool City Region. We wanted to build a bridge that brought together quality investment opportunities with active angel investors. We also wanted to do this in a different format to the other North West angel events.”
“We’ve had great feedback on the timing and format of our events. We have also had great success of investment into businesses with AlgoLib Ltd as an example- achieving investment as a result of presenting at our second LCR Angel event, and we are excited to communicate future investments deals which we know are in talks at the moment. I am very confident that 2019 will only bring an increase in awareness of the Angel Network and more growth to the region.”
Mark Rathbone, Brabners Head of Corporate said “It’s all about pulling together opportunities for investors and growing businesses alike. There is some real hidden talent in Liverpool and our aim is to bring those businesses to the forefront and help deliver the backing they need.”
Gaynor Dykes, Regional Growth Finance Manager at Grant Thornton said: “When we first looked at creating an angel network, we saw the data from the UKBAA about how many Angels preferred to back businesses in their home region. This confirmed our belief in creating an Angel Network for the Liverpool City Region. We want and need to continue to support and enable businesses in the City Region – the LCR Angel Network is a fantastic way of doing so.”