Manchester Tech Trust Angels is a new angel network which has been established by Manchester Tech Trust to address a requirement for early stage funding for technology businesses in Greater Manchester (GM) and the North West.
When Manchester Tech Trust was set up as a charity in 2015, we recognised that despite the rapid development of the tech sector in GM, it was still difficult for start-ups to access funding from knowledgeable tech investors. This lack of visible ‘smart money’ contrasts with the fact that GM has many successful technology entrepreneurs and investors, however, historically, many of their investments have been made privately.
For their part, angel investors were telling us that they were looking for a better way to combine with other like-minded investors who they trust, under an effective umbrella organisation which managed deal-flow and maintained their privacy.
Our aim, therefore, is for Manchester Tech Trust Angels to be an accessible source of angel investment for GM providing both funding and expertise to its portfolio companies, as well as a profitable vehicle for angels to invest through.
Manchester Tech Trust Angels are a group of high net worth (HNW) investors who are successful entrepreneurs with proven experience in the technology sector across a range of vertical markets. They are active investors who, as well as investing financially, wish to bring their expertise and networks to the companies they invest in.
In September 2018, the network made its first investment of £350,000 in Biorelate, a biomedical AI company, see http://bit.ly/Biorelate_Investment, and in March 2019, our second investment in Hiring Hub, a recruitment agency marketplace, see http://bit.ly/Hiring_Hub_Funding.
Manchester Tech Trust Angels are keen to receive investment proposals from companies who have clear view of their business proposition and why this is an attractive prospect for investors.
Entrepreneurs and management teams who are interested in being introduced to Manchester Tech Trust Angels should send a concise overview of their business to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This should include:
You can include links to a business plan or any other documents if you wish.
Understandably, the group’s investment criteria will develop over time as it grows and considers more investment opportunities. From our experience so far, companies meeting the following criteria will fare best:
While we appreciate that some of these may be subjective to an extent, in summary we are looking for good quality tech businesses in appealing sectors. At the moment we are looking at investment opportunities from around £200k to £500k and are happy to work with other funders in larger deals.
There are currently no formal fees for companies seeking investment from Manchester Tech Trust Angels, although companies who are successful in raising funding are requested to provide a charitable donation to Manchester Tech Trust to assist with its costs in administering the angel network.
Manchester Tech Trust Angels is keen to grow its membership and angels or prospective angels wishing to find out more should contact email@example.com.
Prospective members will be HNW individuals most likely from either a technology or digital business background, or with experience of applying technology in another sector, e.g. retail, healthcare.
As the network’s target funding range is £200 – 500k per investment (excluding subsequent rounds), we are seeking to attract angels who are able to invest from £30 – 50k (or more) per round, with capacity and appetite to invest two or three times a year.
Angels all invest as individuals and each investment must be managed by a lead angel who is chosen by the angels investing in that round. Angels are encouraged to participate actively with investee companies from time to time when their schedules permit, and they are able to contribute particular expertise to an investment.
Our intention is to develop an angel network in which members work closely with each other, sharing opportunities and expertise to ensure each opportunity is evaluated thoroughly and provided the necessary support to succeed.
The strength of any network is the ability of its members to work together and bring their joint experience to bear on investment opportunities. Trust is a key factor and is something which can only be developed over time through the experience of working with others. We also hope our members will find the engagement and investment process generally pleasant and rewarding and that they will look forward to meeting their network colleagues and addressing investment opportunities and challenges together.
Membership is by invitation only, although members are, of course, welcome to propose new members. All prospective members will be approved by the existing membership.
Manchester Tech Trust Angel meetings are co-ordinated and managed by Peter Lusty at Manchester Tech Trust, who is also responsible (with support from Trustees and members) for the initial evaluation of opportunities.
Entrepreneurs who believe they meet the investment criteria above should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Investment and fund managers interested in working with MTTA can also contact us at this address.
Angels or potential angels who would like to find out more should contact us at email@example.com.
The University of Manchester has been a partner of Manchester Tech Trust since we jointly hosted Manchester’s first Silicon Valley Comes 2 UK (SVC2UK) conference in 2014. Since then we have together run annual events including SVC2UK, technology enterprise, and last year joined forces on a conference on angel investment in technology in Manchester.
This collaboration has become progressively aligned with the University’s focus on increasing its societal impact through innovation and commercialisation of its academic research and intellectual property, creating new and exciting discussions with complementary ideas and insights.
“The University engages with enterprise and business across a wide range of its activities from student entrepreneurs at the Masood Enterprise Centre, world-class research spinouts through UMI3 and collaborative ventures within the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre,” said Professor Luke Georghiou, University of Manchester’s Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
“What links them all is their need for commercial input, relevant business insight and, where appropriate, investment to help them grow and realise their true potential.
We believe that the close partnership we have developed with Manchester Tech Trust and now their angel group, Manchester Tech Trust Angels, will facilitate a cross-fertilisation of ideas which can help focus our research on real-world problems, more closely informed by societal experience and data.
The objective is for this two-way flow of ideas and opportunities to forge new and better relationships between the University and the business world so that their respective strengths and unique resources deliver innovation impact which is far greater than the sum of the parts.”
Manchester Tech Trust Angels has invested in the following companies.
Founded in 2014, Biorelate uses existing knowledge to help scientists solve difficult biomedical challenges, enabling smarter and faster research and development. The company’s technology uses AI to curate data and information that’s relevant to biomedical concepts from published literature such as journals, patents and clinical trials. Biorelate’s technology platform extracts more value from data in science texts, 80% of which is unused. Its initial focus is in working with companies in the very early stages of drug discovery to help them make better use of this data on the path to producing viable new treatments.
Ranked among the UK’s top 10 recruitment companies by independent review site Trustpilot, Hiring Hub is used by over 500 employers, who it helps find quality candidates quickly through its network of specialist recruitment agencies. It is free for employers to post briefs on the marketplace, while recruitment agencies pay a monthly membership fee to access the platform and increase their fee income.
Hiring Hub grew the number of active employers on the platform by 102 per cent and active jobs by 83 per cent in 2018.