Our second event of Minerva Black Country is planned for the 17th September 2019, working together with the Black Country Local Enterprise and Growth Hub, we are seeking to build an all-important financial ecosystem in support of growing SMEs.
If you are in the Black Country and ever thought of becoming a Business Angel, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Tuesday 17th September 2019
Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm
Venue: Development Centre, Wolverhampton Science Park, Glaisher Drive, Wolverhampton, WV10 9RT
Background to Minerva
Minerva Business Angels is one of the University of Warwick’s fastest-growing activities. Started initial 1994 by the University of Warwick Science Park to support its tenants, it has grown in the past 18 months to become one of the UK’s largest syndicated angel networks.
Minerva’s model is to bring exciting and fast-growing companies to its investor community, who meet round a table to collectively evaluate the opportunity. Minerva is based in ten locations and links everybody together through an Angel Platform. You can thus evaluate companies remotely or collectively, and we interconnect all interested parties.
Minerva supports start-ups and scale-up businesses who are seeking anything between £150,000 to £2mn, and our Angels have invested in over 83 companies, helping support the raising of over £40mn as a result.
Traditionally Minerva was a Midlands based organisation operating five syndicates; University of Warwick, Hagley Hall, Gloucester, Loughborough University and Wroxall – an associate member. Recently added is Minerva London – based in Warwick Business School the Shard, Minerva Birmingham (a collaboration between Aston Business School, University of Birmingham) Minerva Nottingham – (a collaboration between Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent), Minerva Black Country – supported by the Local Enterprise partnership and Minerva Northwest. With Minerva Northwest, we are working together with Sci-Tech Daresbury Science park and looking to combine our efforts with the universities of Manchester, Liverpool and John Moore.
By working together with these prestigious institutions, we are supporting both the local and increasingly the national ecosystem to help local businesses in their needs to raise funds.
The HMRC in 2017 noted of the £1.8bn invested through the Enterprise Investment Schemes (an excellent tax relief incentive scheme to help mitigate the investment risk in SMEs), £1bn was invested in the South East, with the majority of this going to London based companies. Around 2.6% is invested in the West Midlands and 2% in the East Midlands
Helping address this regional disparity and stem the potential loss of skills, jobs, and companies down South as investment is sought is a key objective for Minerva. We seek to tap into that latent capacity of those investors who traditionally have never thought about working as a collective to invest in fast-growing companies and new novel technology.
Our Angels are from a variety of backgrounds, be it business owners, self-made entrepreneurs or former executives. Our experience base is wide, our youngest is below 30, and increasingly female entrepreneurs are joining our ranks. While all angels must self-certify their investment experience, we seek to work to a minimum investment threshold of £5,000 and low joining fees. Angels can choose to be passive or active investors, but many are keen to get involved and participate in extracurricular activities, which they enjoy, which fuels further involvement. So, we not only support SMEs but play an active role in helping develop entrepreneurs of the future.
Becoming involved as an Angel provides many returns, and not only hopefully financially. It’s an exciting opportunity to “give back” and support a fantastic initiative. You get to work with fellow and like-minded individuals for a common cause – creating successful opportunities.