On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, we held our third virtual Growth Tech event - The Funding and Talent Landscape Part 1. The three GT events planned for 2021 will focus on two of the most important issues for any entrepreneur, namely where to source capital and how to find talent. In the first of the trilogy, GT11 was directed at start-ups and very early-stage companies.
After a few words from the Master, four speakers each had ten minutes to provide insight to the approx. 70 strong audience before a general discussion was had with questions taken from the floor.
Andy Bloxam, Investment Director at Foresight Williams, outlined how the partnership between one of the UK’s leading VC firms and the new tech spinout from Williams F1 was supporting innovative engineering businesses. He also advised on how best to present an investment case to investors. Samantha Maxwell-Reed, Chair of Expand Executive Search which source tech talent in the UK and USA then provided important tips on how to approach the thorny issue of finding great people.
The other side of the coin was then heard as Mark Leaning, successful tech entrepreneur and CEO of Directed Systems, outlined the issues he had to overcome, including funding from highly targeted angel investors alongside government grants and using his extensive network to find the best people. Finally, Nic Marks provided a totally different perspective; as the heir to Trebor Sweets, he outlined how that business was centred on the welfare of its workforce and how he has tried to encapsulate this at Friday Pulse, which measures employee happiness .
Feedback from attendees was positive – mainly because the event was both informative and inspiring. Growth Tech 12, scheduled for Tuesday, 22 June 2021, will consider the same topic but for later stage tech companies.