Business Angels nurture your Business Ideas...
UK's Most Popular Business Angel Networks
As more and more businesses look towards alternative sources of funding for their businesses, beyond the traditional banks as well as all other forms of accumulating debt – which a lot of businesses are looking to avoid in any case, business angel networks have emerged as a virtual godsend, an answer to their prayers and a panacea to all their funding woes.
In this article, we look at some of UK’s most popular business angel networks.
An upcoming giant of the ‘online solution for matching entrepreneurs and investors’ landscape, Venture Giants seems poised to be the front runner among all its brethren in the fraternity. The various advantages that Venture Giants offers, which help it to establish and maintain its foremost position among online matchmakers of investors and entrepreneurs, include:
- To investors, Venture Giants is a practically never ending source of quality business proposals. The very large number of business proposals received by the network from diverse countries and across a huge variety of industries implies that the chances of investors obtaining just the right kind of a proposal that suits their criteria perfectly are really very high. While investors who limit their sources of obtaining proposals to acquaintances or family/friends tend to obtain very limited proposals, often not suited to their requirement, with a platform like Venture Giants, the options at hand simply explode.
- Not only are the investment proposals huge in number, their quality is also really very diverse. For instance, Venture Giants has proposals coming in from 100 different industries – from manufacturing companies to property opportunities and practically all industries in between. Also, the opportunities present themselves at practically every stage of the funding cycle, be it cutting edge early-stage and seed capital investment proposals, going all the way up to investing in long established businesses that are seeking growth capital to take them to the next level.
- The biggest advantage of working on a network like Venture Giants is that it is totally FREE for investors. So, even after you register and start browsing through the hundreds of proposals on the site, you do not pay anything till the deal starts to get finalized between you and an entrepreneurial prospect. So, you continue the matchmaking process to your heart’s content and put in your best (Venture Giants of course provides its utmost assistance to help investors in zeroing in on that one proposal they know they are looking for!) towards identifying just the apt proposal that matches your needs the best.
- Investors have the option of receiving information on quality proposals that meet their criteria, straight to their Inbox, saving them precious time of having to sift through hundreds of proposals on the site. Specifying requirements or any other criteria is a one-time process so once done, the same does not have to be repeated, unless there is a change in preference mid-way. Investors can also choose the way they receive this information to their Inbox, at times and volumes suitable to them – such as an aggregation of all the suitable proposals put together and sent in a single email at a particular time, or an email going out for every proposal deemed suitable and matching the specified criteria.
- Investors also receive deal flow information from around the world, which really helps them keep track of emerging opportunities from around the world. Investors can specify the region from which they would like to receive this deal flow information, they can even specify receipt in local currency if they so desire and also mandate the industries for which they would like to receive this information. Thus, as an investor, you can be assured that you will be kept really very well informed about every stage of the investment process, by Venture Giants.
- Entrepreneurs on Venture Giants also benefit in numerous ways by setting themselves up on it. First, they get to have their proposals potentially viewed by thousands of investors from around the world who might be looking for just the opportunity that the entrepreneur has envisioned.
- Costs are kept reasonably low, with the whole process of registering and submitting a proposal in fact being FREE, and a small fee having to be paid, only at the time an investor actually initiates contact with the entrepreneur.
- The registration and business proposal submission process are indeed very simple on Venture Giants. Subsequently, details of the proposal are kept very well guarded on the network, assuring entrepreneurs absolute security of their proposals.
Having looked at Venture Giants closely, let us now look at some of the other popular business angel networks in the UK.
British Business Angels Association
The British Business Angels Association or BBAA is the only trade association dedicated to promoting angel investing and supporting early stage investment in the UK. It does not hold investor or entrepreneur information directly, since it is a trade body, but because it has most of UK’s popular business angel networks within its fold as members, both investors and entrepreneurs can look them up, from one location, i.e. BBAA, and opt for a network that seemingly suits their requirement the best. For instance, an investor or entrepreneur looking for proposals or business angels respectively, in the central England region could very well opt for the Central England Business Angels LLP business angels network. Contact information of all member networks are clearly listed on BBAA, and prospective investors or entrepreneurs can make a very well informed choice of the network they eventually work on.
Octopus Ventures is a premier business angel network of more than 100 business angels that make up the Octopus Investor Group. Since inception, Octopus Ventures has enabled the investment of over £30m into 31 companies, generating a 3.5x times realised rate of return.
Great Eastern Investment Forum
The Great Eastern Investment Forum or GEIF is a popular UK business angel network based in Cambridge, traditionally considered to be the center of Europe’s hi-tech/biotech industry. GEIF serves as the ideal go-between for early stage companies and business angels seeking quality investment prospects.