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'Raising finance: Top tips from industry experts'

Posted on 28/11/2014

Last night the King’s Commercialisation Institute welcomed four high-profile speakers to the final event for Enterprise Connect Series Four: ‘Raising finance: Top tips from industry experts’. The keynote speakers, Jon Moulton, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Capital, Carlos Eduardo, Partner of Seedcamp, Julia Meyer MBE, Founder of Ariadne Capital and Nigel Verdon, Chairman and Founder of Currency Cloud, discussed their business ventures in the world of finance, offering advice and guidance to an audience of keen entrepreneurs at New Hunt’s House. 

The seminar, hosted by Director of the King’s Commercialisation Institute, Michael Garrison, marked the last in the series of entrepreneurial events that form part of the Enterprise Connect initiative. Over the past weeks, students, staff and members of the public have been invited to hear experts in different fields of business describe the highs and lows of their careers, from their experiences with start-up companies to corporate finance firms.

First on stage was Better Capital’s Jon Moulton, an active private investor who has been working in private equity since 1979. Following an explanation of his 100 angel investments, he took the audience through a series of poor investment practices, offering tips on legal issues, business plans and fair value for investors. Commenting on the importance of working with the right people, he said: ‘The most efficient way of assessing a person to invest in is to look at how much money they want and what their business is.’ 

Michael Garrison then introduced Carlos Eduardo, who, prior to Seedcamp, held a series of diverse positions including working as a venture capitalist at an investment firm and as a network security consultant for Baltimore Technologies. Explaining the process of attracting investment, Carlos drew a parallel with dating, advising start-up companies to embrace rejection and focus on chemistry. He said: ‘You have to go on several dates with several people before you ultimately feel someone is the right one for you.’

Julie Meyer then took to the stage to talk through her career which has involved assisting European entrepreneurs in building and maintaining tech-enabled firms over the last 20 years. She described the thin line between success and failure in raising finance and how being undervalued as a company can be used to its advantage, particularly when it comes to getting a fair value from investors: ‘Money will find you – being underestimated is a good thing.’ If investors are less interested in a company, she explained, they’ll push for less of a share in its value and entrepreneurs can avoid being exploited.

Last to speak was Nigel Verdon, a former investment banker who has used his experience in foreign exchange and payments to help build financial start-up firms. He is also an advisor for BUX, sits on the board for LCJ Investments and is a resident mentor at Barclays’ TechStars. 

Following questions, members of the audience were invited to participate in Enterprise Connector Pods – a one to one session with an expert mentor – through which they had the opportunity to talk through their ideas for start-up companies. 

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