Five entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of corporate investors at a ‘Dragons Den’ style event organised by North West Business Angels.
The eighth event since the initiative was launched in association with Accrington-based Haworths Chartered Accountants in 2013, Lancashire Business Angels brings together high net-worth investors and growing start-ups from across the region.
Held at the Mercure Dunkenhalgh Blackburn Hotel on 28 April 2017, the event was attended by dozens of angel investors and saw a line-up of five budding investees pitch for investment between £80k and £350k in return for an equity stake in their business.
Manchester-based Cool Cold Brew was seeking £80k investment to support its crowdfunding campaign in order to launch a range of no added sugar natural cold brew coffee drinks in the UK market.
The founder of Warrington-headquartered online retail store, Calla, which develops specialist heels for ladies who suffer from bunions, was pitching for £100k investment to further expand the business through marketing, product development and recruitment.
Other companies presenting their ideas were Manchester-based Broadstone, a platform for recruitment and subcontracting for the private security industry; KAST Energy Solutions from Stockport which helps organisations to reduce their energy bills and Stephensons Dairy from Morecambe that offers Free Range Milk. The companies pitched for £350k, £150k and £100k investment respectively.
The event was also joined by keynote speaker, Gareth Gibson, business development manager at Yingde Group which facilitates cooperation between Chinese investors and various groups within the UK business sector that are looking for funding.
Paul Spencer, director at Haworths Chartered Accountants, said: “Since the credit crunch, smaller businesses are finding it more difficult to obtain funding from banks. But with finances being the determining factor in terms of scale, scope and speed of possible expansion, it’s crucial that businesses take advantage of other opportunities such as crowdfunding, grants, asset finance and angel investment, which is why we host this event.
“We saw a great shortlist of businesses which all demonstrated possibility for rapid growth, an experienced management team and a viable business plan that has the potential for long-term expansion in a growing market. Whilst funding from banks is not an option for them for one reason or another, angel investors are willing to take more chances and not only provide investment but offer mentorship and guidance which ultimately generates value for both parties.”