The intelligent & relevant news service for investors and entrepreneurs
AngelNewsletter - No.89
 
 

Dear Reader

Happy New Role 2012!

I met someone the other day who told me that they were pretty impressed about how AngelNews has reinvented itself over the last five years to serve better the wants and needs of people in our community.

What a compliment, but we stay loyal to our roots, even as we expand into new areas.

This is the 89th edition of the AngelNewsletter Online. I sent the first newsletter out in summer 2003, over 8 years ago. In those days I just typed it in Outlook and blind copied it to all recipients. Look at this issue and you will see how far we have come. But we continue to do our utmost to make the content as relevant for you today as it was for you and others then.

This month read:

Look out for www.makinglifericher.co.uk – our EIS edition will be published on 26th January – just 2 weeks away. Amongst other articles you will be able to read our detailed analysis about the state of the EIS market in 2012 and where it is expected to head!

All the best

Modwenna Rees-Mogg, Founder CEO, AngelNews
The relevant news service for entrepreneurs and investors
Email: modwenna@AngelNews.co.uk  |  Tel: +44 (0) 1761 452248

Attention
We believe backing UK small businesses can deliver investment returns and pull us out of the economic mire!

YFm Equity PartnersYFM Equity Partners, through its investing subsidiary companies has over 25 years experience of managing funds that invest in UK businesses going through transformational growth. We have a portfolio of over 200 investments in UK small businesses managed by our team of over 50 people based across six regional offices, who are dedicated to working alongside management teams to create consistent medium term value growth and strong returns for our investors. This year's double award wins for VCT Deal of the Year (best realisation) and VCT of the Year help to endorse our approach. Measured over the last 8 year period all realisations from unquoted business have delivered an aggregate of 3.4 x capital for our Venture Capital Trusts.

** Double award win! **

Investor All Stars VCT of the Year 2011 - British Smaller Companies VCT plc - Investor Allstars Awards
   
British Private Equity Awards 2011 VCT Deal of the Year 2011 - 'GO Outdoors' - unquote British Private Equity Awards

This year's Offers

British Smaller Companies EIS

A new Growth capital EIS Fund from the top performing VCT investment team*

A winning EIS strategy.....focused on delivering consistent medium term value growth and strong investment returns, enhanced by the valuable EIS tax reliefs

British Smaller Companies VCT2 plc

Attractive yield and strong dividend stream

An average annual tax free cash dividend of 4.44 pence per Share1 equates to an annual yield of 6.3% based on an offer price of 70.5 pence per Share and 9.9% per annum to a higher rate tax payer2

If you share our dual aims of investment return and investing in Britain then contact Tracey Nice tracey.nice@yfmep.com T 0113 294 5055, visit our website www.yfmep.com or come and meet us at the Angel News conference on 23rd November 2011.

* British Smaller Companies VCT plc is the top performing VCT (by Net Asset Value growth) over 1, 3 and 10 years (Citywire data, August 2011)

1 BSC2 has paid an average annual dividend of 4.44 pence per share since it started paying dividends in 2005

2 For a higher rate taxpayer assuming a top rate of tax of 36.1%

Click Here to read the disclaimer.

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20 Predictions for 2011 - how we did
 
1
  Vince Cable and Mark Prisk will be removed from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills in the spring UK cabinet reshuffle. Neither Vince nor Mark have managed to impress since the election and clearly do not "get" what is needed to stimulate activity in entrepreneurial Britain. They are particularly guilty of listening to the placemen who had the ear of the Labour Government rather than the true entrepreneurs and investors of this country.

I've come under some stick for my criticisms of Messers Cable and Prisk. Vince is winning the hearts and minds of younger entrepreneurial types and Prisk is doing his best.  Rather than criticising, the message of 2011 was offer help to the boys in Westminster by making constructive suggestions on what they could do, rather than knocking down what they have been trying!

     
2
  The concept of the crowdsourced float will emerge
A smart corporate finance adviser will team up with a still smarter stockbroker to have "crowdsource flotations" on AIM. Those high up in the LSE and FSA will fast track approval of this new development in fundraising.

No crowdsourced float but www.crowdcube.com did its first £1m fundraising.  The arrival of smart peer to peer lending business www.marketinvoice.com has already started to revolutionise the invoice financing market. 

     
3
  The government review of VCTs and EIS Scheme will be a surprise
The results will see a slackening of the restrictions as a tax effective way to stimulate entrepreneurial activity

The review which came out just after the 2011 Autumn statement has slackened restrictions and introduced the SEIS – the seed EIS investment scheme. 

     
4
  VCT investment will top £500m and EIS investment will start to recover. 
A wall of money will hit VCTs and EIS funds before the end of the tax year as the implications of the 50% income tax rate and low interest rates are felt

VCT investment grew marginally but did not hit £500m.  But EIS investment has recovered (see the leading article in the next edition of www.makinglifericher.co.uk due out in just over 2 weeks time)

     
5
  Someone will start to research EIS Funds comprehensively, thanks to sponsorship from leading investors in the Venture Capital industry. Setting up an EIS Fund is still too much of a black art. This is restricting the opportunities presented by the EIS Scheme.

Not yet – please get in touch if you are interested in getting involved in such research.

     
6
  There will be a revolution dealing with the risks around intellectual property
Details to be announced soon!

As we predicted, MunichRe launched its IP defence insurance.  See http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/dc2b8eef#/dc2b8eef/1
     
7
  Turnaround investing will be the flavour of the day for cash rich/risk hungry investors looking for superior returns

As HMRC tightens the noose around SMEs who are behind with their taxes more and more otherwise healthy companies will be forced to pre-pack or go bust. Either way there will be bargains to be had so made your friendly Administrator your new best friend.

With a stuttering economy, the big crash in SMEs did not happen although the word on the street in the turnaround market is that it is quietly very busy indeed.
     
8
  The new rage in investing will be anything that addresses the "we are now really skint" theme Pound shops, VAT free consumer businesses e.g. fresh food & childrens' clothing businesses, internet TV that avoids the Licence Fee, duty free fuel solutions and more.

The debate definitely began about the I need vs the I want society.  We also saw the emergence of a new trend where it is perfectly acceptable to buy (some) of your groceries in Lidl before popping into Chanel for a new dress.
     
9
  The UK angel industry will change significantly

Online and offline networks will consolidate. There will be mergers of networks and the larger more aggressive players will enter new geographic regions. Others will give up or re-form themselves into different entities. A seminal piece of litigation, where a disgruntled investor sues someone who pitched a deal to them, will start the process of sorting out the confused regulatory situation. In 2 years time the market will be operating much more effectively as a result.

There was not as much change as we predicted.  Instead of consolidating with one another, networks married themselves to other quality players in the market e.g. SWAIN's partnership with Set Squared.  As far as we know there has not been any litigation but investors are going public about their dissatisfaction with the levels of (especially post investment) services they are being offered.  Networks have scurried to improve their offerings accordingly.
     
10
  The Government's Angel Co-investment Fund will be put into the long grass as George Osborne demands a further round of spending cuts. 

The weak UK economy and the realisation by HM Treasury that BIS is still spending on unnecessary projects in the enterprise sector will lead to further budget cuts and delay in funding for the Angel Co-Investment Fund.

I was wrong - the Angel Co-investment fund launched November 2011.  See http://www.angelcofund.co.uk/index.htm.  But it will be interesting to see if the fund is open to all or only some.
     
11
  A new source of entrepreneurs will emerge in the 18-24 age group 
More and more school leavers decide to delay tertiary education until they can afford to fund themselves.

With over 1m unemployed under 24, we are seeing more and more youth enterprise.  Hurray!  And well done to firms such as enternships http://www.enternships.com/ for encouraging young people to take internships in entrepreneurial businsesses.
     
12
  The Cleantech will fragment into very specific subsectors – only some of which will attract investment

As the green atom becomes the norm, cleantech investing will be submerged into traditional sectors such as energy, materials and waste. As such businesses will stand shoulder to shoulder with their old economy counterparts.

HM Government's withdrawal of the right of VCTs and EIS to invest in some cleantech sectors threw the spotlight onto the manifold businesses which shelter under the  clean tech umbrells.  Clean tech has not yet subsumed into "traditional" business sector desciptors, but it is now only a matter of time.
     
13
  iHumanity

With MBA students flocking on to business ethics courses, the sustainable world theme and the new reality of the post Credit Crunch economy we think that business people will be taking a much more human approach to how they do business. This will display itself in a more caring sharing way of doing business both internally and externally.

The fabulous Big Venture Challenge put Social Impact firmly on the map in 2011.  It became clear that companies can perform better from a financial perspective if they have social impact objectives than if they don't.  It may not be called iHumanity but it is called Social Impact and everyone beginning to do it.
     
14
  Human ingenuity will focus on innovation and enterprise in real world materials, engineering and the opportunities in extending the Final Frontier

We will see a refocusing of inventiveness away from the internet towards specialist engineering and materials, particularly in the context of aerospace.

The shocking decline of manufacturing as a percentage of UK GDP put the issue of investing in "real" world hi tech businesses top of the agenda, but TMT including social media was still the coolest of the cool.
     
15
  Sustainable is the new cool

Many more entrepreneurs will seek to grow sustainable businesses that can survive for generations as independent, large entities, generating sufficient cash that investors are gagging to invest in them rather than the other way around. It will be the beginning of the end for the rapid cycle business model of create, build, sell and watch your baby go bust in the hands of new owners. Oh yes and these businesses will be green, good to their staff and everything else that goes along with the sustainable theme.

Whilst not being named as such sustainable did become the new cool as it became publicly recognised that the typical angel and VC exit does not come after a couple of frantic  years, but is much more likely to take 7-10 years.  Therefore it is a necessity that truly self sustaining businesses really do need to be created for investors to make money.  Meanwhile greater exposure of the social impact investment world revealed that companies with a social conscience really do make more profits and can grow quicker than their more self serving "commercial counterparts."
And some dreams!
     
16
  HMRC will recognise that over-taxing the lower middle income group of businesses is unfair and will do something about it. Here's hoping that the squashed class of SME businesses paying business rates and Corporation Tax will be given some respite by the Government

Not yet, but to be fair HMRC is being understanding about Time to Pay.  In practice they are being pragmatic with, we suspect, 10,000 of SMEs being behind in their VAT and HMRC payments to the tune of £10,000-£30,000.  It's junk debt in companies with few physical assets – better to let them pay off slowly and gradually catch up and keep trading and employing people than risk turning the UK into Gritaly.

     
17
  The first silver billionaire will be created

We will see the a first time over 60 billionaire who started a business post retirement and saw it go global in just a couple of years.

I did not meet one, sadly.  Keep trying all of you.
     
18
  The Government will add to the national curriculum a very simple sentence which is taught to all 6 year olds upwards

"Help generate 3 times your salary in sales and you will never lose your job!"
Or maybe just make all schools and businesses form links so that children see adults working in everyday life rather than being something that they only find out about at 16 or later.

Worryingly HM Government has withdrawn work experience schemes from secondary schools.  Let's hope this will be resisted and instead reformatted into something more effective. I will send the above quote direct to Michael Gove this week to try and stimulate debate as he is getting the rest of education back on track so that our youngsters will be able to complete (as our employees and entrepreneurs) on the world stage in the future.
     
19
  10,000 more people become business angels in the UK

And someone finds a way to identify them easily!

Interest in angels is growing and there is also significant interest in senior business people in becoming value add angels as evidenced by the stellar growth of www.pitching4management.com in 2011 and its plans to triple in 2012.  Meanwhile several dozen angels more angels were investing at the top rungs of EIS investment putting £400,000 or more to work.
     
20
  Everyone starts to look at the internet in the context of http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html.

Media, governments and citizens get more and more vocal about their concerns and as the first truly intelligent computers around the world go live, Governments around the world seek to legislate to ensure that humans stay on top of them.

Not yet – but soon!
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It May Surprise You

Academic study reveals flaws in business angel networks: and other interesting facts

Did you know that angel investing is one of the oldest human commercial activities and investing agreements were recorded in the Babylonian law code of Hammurabi dating back to 1780 BC?  With that history behind it, no wonder we were keen to assist Anca Erica of Imperial College in undertaking a research project into the value and benefits of business angel networks today!  So last autumn we sent a selection of you a survey to find out what you thought about business angel networks.  Anca also undertook a review of existing research into business angel networks and undertook some telephone surveys, with the result that she created a very impressive study into the subject just before Christmas.

We thought you might be interested in the key facts it revealed.  I wonder if you agree with what she found out?

Overall conclusions of the research

The results of the study reveal that users of business angel networks are largely unsatisfied with the service offerings provided and there is an acute need for innovation. The main conclusion of this paper is that business angel networks should improve their value proposition by using key innovation drivers. The general recommendations include: 1) increasing the quality of business propositions received and entrepreneurs presenting; 2) improving the quality of their member angels through careful selection and increase their willingness to invest; and 3) better co-ordination of post-presentation activities to increase the ratio of successful investments.


Other information she drew from her research includes:

  1. It is well recognised in the angel market landscape that BANs are not profitable organisations.  This is an issue for more than just angel network managers especially these days when public subsidy is much harder to obtain.  If angels and, indeed entrepreneurs, remain unwilling to pay fees and commissions at a level which makes a network independently profitable, they will suffer from a decline in either or both of the number of networks from which they can source deals and the quality of the services which such networks provide.
  2. Is this really an issue though as the study revealed that only 23% of business angels investment opportunities are sourced through traditional business angel networks with a further 14% are sourced through online angel networks?  With all sorts of people (including bank managers) sending deals to angels, what is the value overall of any one network to either business angels or entrepreneurs?
  3. With 82% of business angels belonging to 2 or more networks and 59% of entrepreneurs having approached 2 or more networks to raise funding, this suggests that there may be over supply of networks in the UK, but it also suggests that angels like to have a choice of sources for deals – see 2 above!
  4. It appears that online networks are as popular as traditional angel networks for angels and for entrepreneurs and that crowdfunding is going to become a meaningful part of the deal sourcing mix, especially for angels who just want to invest cash and not offer their expertise.  Maybe we will see segmentation of the business angel market into value add angels and plain old private business investors?
  5. Light is beginning to be shone on the knotty issue of fees. Despite their moans, entrepreneurs accept that fees have to be paid to get access to investors, but angels would prefer to pay fees, in whatever way, over and above entrepreneurs being charged presentation fees.  So this argues that bold angel networks should look at their service offering and then price it in a more market driven fashion.
  6. Lastly, there are lots of ways business angel networks could improve but some are more important than others.  See the charts below to understand what I mean.  But the FSA and HM Government should take note as the market is demanding the sorts of services be offered that are currently generally precluded  because of the restrictions of regulatory legislation


You can read the full report by clicking here

Do let us know whether you agree with the findings! 
Email research@angelnews.co.uk with your findings.

BBAA Winter Investment Workshop

09.30 – 17.00 NESTA, EC4A 1DE

The workshop programme will include insights into new policy and finance initiatives being implemented by government to support early stage investing including: the new Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to support seed stage investments; the operation of the new £50m angel co-investment fund, as well as latest developments and trends in key areas of the finance and investment market.

We are delighted to announce our three key note speakers for the Winter Investment Workshop.  Angela Knight, Chief Executive of the British Bankers Association, will provide an insight into the Banks' relationship with the Angel market. We would like to welcome Stephen Welton, Chief Executive of Business Growth Fund, who will talk about how the BGF is progressing and will provide case studies of investments and how the BGF will interface with the Angel Market. Mark Florman, Chief Executive of BVCA, will talk about BVCA's strategy for PE & VC and how this will impact on the angel market.

We are excited to announce a number of interactive panel sessions, including a look at the rising growth of new investment accelerator models, interfacing with University spin-outs and entrepreneur case studies - from vision to investment. Further details of the speakers on our web-site: HERE

Pricing & Discounts

BBAA Members will be able to benefit from special discounts to attend these events and all delegates will be able to access group discounts.

Networking Dinner:

 
Member   £80.00 + VAT (£96.00 incl. VAT)
Non-Member   £120.00 + VAT (£144.00 incl. VAT)

Winter Investment Workshop:

 
Member    £55.00 + VAT (£66.00 incl. VAT)
Non-Member   £100.00 + VAT (£120.00 incl. VAT)

Package Offer:

 
Member    £120.00 + VAT (£144.00 incl. VAT)
Non-Member  £210.00 + VAT (£252.00 incl. VAT)

For further details of these events and how to register and how to benefit from special packages and discounts, visit: www.bbaa.org.uk/events or call 0207 321 5669.

20 Predictions for 2012...
 
1
  The new Seed EIS scheme won't particularly help traditional business angel networks to do more business, but it will have a gang buster effect on crowd funding and hundreds if not thousands of private business fundings. The only challenge will be how the latter are identified and recorded in a way that means we truly get to understand the impact of the scheme with any degree of rapidity.
     
2
  The increase in investment limits around EIS and VCTs will mean we see hopefully the first successful £10m EIS investment round.
     
3
  VCTs will benefit enormously from the relaxation of the rules around what size of business they can invest in. The rule changes will also be a filip to the AIM market. Expect VCT investment to rocket once again as investors realise they can get income tax breaks and tax free dividend yields of eye watering proportions in a genuinely less risky and low volatility asset class
     
4
  There will be a small handful of new high quality VC and financial services entrants to the VCT market. More VCT fund managers will start to raise EIS funds. Meanwhile the weaker players in the market will "be consolidated."
     
5
  By the end of the year all businesses will be as worried about their social impact as their profitability. It will become unacceptable not to have a well thought through social impact policy, but the policies will be as varied and subtly different as a set of Dulux paint charts
     
6
  Crowdfunded investment will grow to £100m+ in 12 months – the first signs of the post investment challenges of crowd funded shareholder bases will begin to emerge towards the end of the year as some companies fail to report properly to investors over the long term and as crowdfunded entrepreneurs now after serious VC/angel money find themselves being turned away at the door because their shareholder bases/agreements are just plain too complicated for VCs and serious angels to be bothered with.
     
7
  Angels will begin to panic as they see their traditional sources of deals struggle to keep going; alternative business angel network models and sources of deals will emerge starting with angelslist becoming mainstream
     
8
  Everyone, and I mean everyone will have an accelerator programme in their back pocket
     
9
  Investors' eyes will turn firmly towards businesses with an Indo Chinese expansion strategy rather than a Euro American one
     
10
  As the economy ranges from hubris to nemesis as one off rays of excitement such as the Olympics endeavour to break through the deep dark clouds of the mainstream economy
     
11
  Alternative funding models such as www.marketinvoice.com will really take hold in the minds of entrepreneurs and investors – especially the latter who will be able to help enterprise and make themselves annualised returns of 12% or more. The certainty of great returns will outweigh the lack of tax breaks on offer to investors.
     
12
  Entrepreneurs will become stronger and better even if they don't recognise it, thanks to the replacement of the "Entrepreneurs have a right to help, regardless" society with the establishment of "Entrepreneurs, regardless of the Establishment, have a right to change the world and go on so to do.
     
13
  The traditional employer/employee contract will start to die replaced by more fluid and equal relationships between the two – legal agreements will stuggle to catch up. One bright law firm will see the opportunity and do for job contracts what the iPad has done to the laptop.
     
14
  Both 1st and 2nd career opportunity individuals will demand freelance type contractual relationships with many more people maintaining a continuous and fluid portfolio of roles over years rather than pursuing full time sequential postions. Bankers and investors will struggle with the lack of certainty this new world order will bring.
     
15
  We will remain in the stultifying grip of the "need to" society; "want to" in the West will be uncool so "want to" products and services entrepreneurs will head off to the BRICs as fast as their legs (or Easyjet) can carry them
     
16
  There will be a new genre of business TV and radio programmes appearing on commercial media platforms - building on the great work already undertaken by the great UK media broadcasters such as the BBC.
And some dreams
     
17
  In the autumn statement the Chancellor will create a SME personal tax allowance which will give relief to SMEs in the areas of PAYE, VAT and Corporation Tax
     
18
  Someone will publish a book which translates "I need investment" and more into 22 different languages so entrepreneurs can more readily raise money from overseas investors
     
19
  The ratio of men to women in business angel networks will reach 50:50. Meanwhile, surrounded by controversy, a "gangels" investment network will emerge to take advantage of the pink pound.
     
20
  And last but not least Pitching for Management will take the US by storm!

Brokers Tips

AngelNews works alongside Daniel Stewart to publish their morning reports on the state of the stock market and to give you up to the minute research on stocks and shares covered by Daniel Stewart's team of analysts.

We have been publishing these morning reports for two years now, and here is an idea of how some of the shares have performed over December since Daniel Stewart tipped them:

The five best tips in December:

Date of Tip

Company

Share Price at time of Tip

Target Price

Advice

Price at 06.01.12

02.12.11

Quindell QPP

2.7p

6.3Pp

BUY

6.38p

14.12.11

Paddy Power PAP

€40

€48

BUY

€44.35

16.12.11

BWIN Party Digital BPTY

130p

256p

BUY

172.70p

16.12.11

Playtech PTEC

228p

462p

BUY

293p

20.12.11

888 Holdings

37p

80p

BUY

42.25p

We also have Daniel Stewart's 'BROKERS TIPS' as a general sector page on our website where you can view a full list of Daniel Stewart's tips.

Don't Miss Out

Here are some upcoming industry events that we think you might be interested in:

 

1. Chairman's Network Lunch event

 
     
 

Tuesday 7th February, 12.00 – 15.00 Claridge's Hotel, London

A business networking club for Chairmen/CEOs/NXDs presents their first networking lunch event of 2012 on 7 February at Claridge's, London with guest speaker Lara Morgan, Founder & ex CEO of Pacific Direct Group Ltd. Lara is also Founder of Company Shortcuts - a source of practical advice and frameworks to enable business leaders to achieve accelerated growth. Lara will talk about 'Values leadership to ensure engagement and innovation". 3 course lunch with wine and networking opportunities, non-Members welcome.

For more information and payment details, visit http://www.chairmansnetwork.com/event/view/52

 

 

2. Interimwomen - Roundtable Lunch

 
     
 

9 February 2012, 12.30- 2.30pm AXA Insurance, 5 Old Broad Street, EC2 N1AD

Speakers: Amanda Blanc, Chief Executive, AXA Commercial and Charles Russam, Chairman, Russam GMS

Diane Morris, Director, Interimwomen, (www. interimwomen.com) the business network for women in Interim Management, set up by Russam GMS, invites you to attend a roundtable lunch on 9th February at AXA Insurance, 5 Old Broad Street, London, EC2 N1AD from 12.30-2.30pm to discuss our latest research ‘Women in Interim Management, the opportunities and challenges' and to learn about the market opportunities for interims in 2012.

Tickets cost £22.00 + VAT = £26.40 and includes a light lunch.
To book, click here:  http://interimwomen.eventbrite.co.uk/?ref=ebtn

 

 

3. ANGELNEWS- Pitching for Management in association with Intramezzo & UKBI

 
     
 

Monday 6th February – Birmingham
Monday 13th February - Norwich
Wednesday 15th February - Guildford
Thursday 16th February - Cambridge
Tuesday 21st February - Exeter
Wednesday 22nd February - Bristol

Connecting local businesses with top-level senior talent Pitching for Management enables diverse fast-growing companies to pitch for top-level executives to join their teams for salary, sweat equity, commission and/or bonus schemes. So if you are a company looking to build/expand your management team or an executive looking for a new career challenge, Pitching for Management is the perfect event for you.

Book now: http://angelnewsevents.eventbrite.com/?s=3240613 or call 01761 452248

 

 

4. Science Capital – Advanced Materials Meeting

 
     
 

Wednesday 14 March, 17:30 - onwards Maple House, Corporation St., Birmingham

Science Capital is holding its annual Advanced Materials Meeting entitled Smart, Safe and Sustainable: driving into the future at Maple House on Corporation St in Birmingham on Wednesday 14 March 2012 during the National Science and Engineering Week.
Aimed at academic and business leaders, this evening event in central Birmingham will explore the latest technologies, designs and thinking for advanced materials and technologies for the transport industry, and is designed to stimulate new research, investment and partnerships across the sector.

For more information visit: www.sciencecapital.co.uk.

 

Granted - your key to unlock funding

In this monthly column Grant Aid intends to bring you news of lesser known grants that will enable you to grow bigger, better, and faster! The grant details may be obtained from the official grant websites listed but additional insight is on its website at www.grantaid.com. There too you can obtain news covering the full spectrum of business grants and subscribe to its newsletter.

Extended Regional Growth Fund

The government through BIS has unexpectedly announced an extension to the Regional Growth Fund which originally had £1.4 billion to offer as grants for restructuring the English economy away from the public sector and towards private enterprise. The essence was to support private enterprise and allow them to grow in particular by creating jobs in areas which were highly dependent upon the public sector. The first round was desperately competitive with only 1 in 10 applicants succeeding, the second round was somewhat better with 1 in 5 being successful.

In rounds 1 and 2 the minimum amount that might be applied for was £1m and we would expect this to continue in the new round 3.

The range of projects supported in rounds 1 and 2 were incredibly diverse from large multinationals forming new production lines to infrastructure projects for airports and transport and research and development projects leading to the creation of centres of excellence for biotechnology, nanotechnology etc.

We were successful in obtaining just short of £3m for one of our clients and are very well versed in this highly complex and very competitive grant scheme.

Projects based in the South East or London are unlikely to succeed, mainly because their low dependence upon the public sector whereas the North West, the North East and the Midlands are all prime areas for RGF funding.

If you have a project that requires over £1m grant support and where substantial private sector money will be co-invested  then we would be delighted to hear from you and can help you evaluate your eligibility and  chances of success, and above all else guide you through the very complex application procedure.

Full details are not yet available but good background and results from rounds 1 and 2 are at
http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/economic-development/regional-growth-fund

ICT PSP 2012 Work Programme available

The 2012 Work Programme for  ICT Policy Support Programme, part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme has been published in draft form. ICTPSP is not an R&D support grant but is there to assist the uptake of critical ICT measures in the key EU areas of  health, energy efficiency, culture preservation and learning so that new technologies developed within the EU may become widely accepted and applied. ICTPSP covers technological and non-technological innovation which has moved beyond the final research demonstration phase.

The competition opens February 1st and closes in the middle of May and is highly competitive. On the other hand grants of up to 50% of eligible costs are available for projects that cover typically three to six EU countries and are collaborative in nature.

If therefore you have an ICT application that might be applied in the key areas mentioned above or have a component of an ICT application and would wish to collaborate in a market penetration exercise then ICTPSP could be for you.

The contact point is http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/ict_psp/index_en.htm
where the new work programme may be downloaded, alternatively contact us directly with an outline of your product, service and area of application and we will happily discuss eligibility and the potential for success.

Intelligent Energy Europe 2012 call is open

The Intelligent Energy Europe Scheme has opened the 2012 to call. IEEE pioneers new ideas and promotes best practices in buildings, industry, infrastructure and transport from an energy efficiency and renewable energy standpoint.

The IEE is part of CIP mentioned above and it’s primary role is to promote a range of technologies and methodologies that improve energy efficiency and in particular make renewables a viable source of supply and help reduce GHG emissions. It is recognised, however, that current market conditions often operate against the introduction of such beneficial technologies and IEE has funding available to support market entry.

IEE in this call has a budget of £67m and will fund up to 75% of total eligible costs. The work is always collaborative and projects must consist of teams from at least three independent legal entities in three different eligible EU countries. The key areas covered are: -

  • SAVE improving energy efficiency particularly in buildings and industry;
  • ALTENER promoting new and renewable energy sources;
  • STEER promoting energy efficiency and the use of new and renewable energies in transport;
  • and ,finally ,various integrating initiatives combining the above key areas that fulfil EU policy initiatives.

The call is currently open and closes 8th May and it is expected that some 60 projects will be supported however typically there are some 300+ applications so the scheme is highly competitive. Further details below or in the alternative contact us with a brief outline of your interest in IEE, your project or product and we will happily discuss eligibility, chances of success and assist where appropriate with applications.

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/intelligent/

That's neat, that's neat...

Business Angel Network

Crowdcube raises £300k business finance using own crowdfunding platform

Investors show support for British Crowdfunding Start-Up as Crowdcube raises £300k in 10 days.

Crowdcube , the company behind an innovative funding solution for start-ups and growing businesses, has used its own unique crowdfunding website to secure £300,000 investment from 162 investors to fuel its next phase of growth.

Environmental

Enerkem raises C$15 million in project equity financing for its commercial waste-to-biofuels facility in Edmonton, Alberta

Enerkem announced that Waste Management and EB Investments are investing C$15 million for a minority equity interest in Enerkem Alberta Biofuels L.P., which is currently building a full-scale commercial facility in Edmonton, using Enerkem's proprietary technology.
Total financing raised by Enerkem in 2011, both at the corporate and project subsidiary levels, now amounts to C$103 million.

Technology

CertiVox acquires crypto tools developer Shamus Software Limited

CertiVox, an information security company, has announced that it has acquired Shamus Software Limited, creator of the renowned MIRACL cryptographic library.

Property

Lettings market 'needs greater regulation'

Greater regulation is required in the rental market to ensure that all letting agents are professional, according to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).

Malcolm Harrison, spokesman for the TDS, said the majority of people in the lettings industry believe this, as it will ensure reputable agents are recognised for the high standards of professionalism they stick to.

Making Life Richer

Company Profiles

New companies signed up this month:

Business Services

six sigma strategies

Liverpool Science Park

Send Money Online – 1st Contact Forex

Proxicap Ltd

DocriteUk Ltd

The Chairman’s Network

SRG Business Solutions

Computer Software

KnowHow Solutions Ltd

MendMy Ltd

Danyuki Software Ltd

Border Black Ltd

Construction

Asset Strategies Ltd

Consumer – Gaming

Play and Think Ltd

Energy

Green Running Ltd

Films

Open Cinema

Financial Services

futureEurope.com

Gimple Associates

Kantox

Media & Communications

#Hub Ltd

Geo Strategies Ltd

Tigatag Ltd

Medical Instruments

Intelligent Fingerprinting

Advance Imaging Solutions Ltd

Accufluidics Ltd

Medical Pharma

GeneAction

Property

Conserro plc

Social Enterprise

MyKindaCrowd

Social Networking

Rightpeg Ltd

Tweetsport Ltd

Technology

Shi_blanknaii Ltd

Tantallon Systems Ltd

 

Something to make you smile

Buy machine factory

An American manufacturer is showing his machine factory to a potential customer from Albania. At noon, when the lunch whistle blows, two thousand men and women immediately stop work and leave the building.

"Your workers, they're escaping!" cries the visitor. "You've got to stop them."

"Don't worry, they'll be back," says the American. And indeed, at exactly one o'clock the whistle blows again, and all the workers return from their break.

When the tour is over, the manufacturer turns to his guest and says, "Well, now, which of these machines would you like to order?"

"Forget the machines," says the visitor. "How much do you want for that whistle?"

Alan Sugar said
"I've written books on advertising – cheque books"

But Lucifer says
"I've written books on investing – cheque books"

Musing


A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

 

 

 

 

 

Pera DCB Ventures P&G Futureworks