Dorset Business Angels (DBA) meet several times a year and invite businesses to pitch for investment in a Dragons’ Den style scenario. In the run up to their biennial DBA Investors’ Conference in Bournemouth on 27th October the Angels are reflecting on the diverse mix of recent investments made.
Examples of businesses invested in and supported include Boscombe based AUTOi, a digital car appraisal company which launched a new trading platform called Wizzle, which brings dealers and consumers together in a bid to disrupt the cash-for-car market. Wizzle is a web service and smartphone application enabling consumers to easily create accurate and transparent vehicle appraisals with a view to selling their cars direct to interested dealers, at the best price possible.
The vehicle upload and listing service is free to consumers, with no subscription cost for dealers, who instead pay a transaction fee on a completed purchase, notably less than a typical auction house commission. www.wizzle.co.uk
Wriggle was supported by DBA and subsequently secured a SMART Grant of £156,000 from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. Wriggle is a technology platform which enables restaurants and cafes to turn unused last-moment capacity, such as empty tables or surplus stock, into cut-price opportunities for local customers.
Interest came from approximately 7 investors at the pitch event and they were keen to find out more. It was decided that the Angels immediate support should come in the form of mentoring and opening further doors, opportunities and contacts to the business and providing pertinent advice and guidance. DBA wanted to help Wriggle to raise funds from organisations that they are connected to and hence the introduction was made to the Government sponsored company, Innovate. Wriggle founder Rob Hall was closely supported throughout the funding process. www.getawriggleon.com
The MacGuffin Project
The MacGuffin Project grabbed the interest and support of the Angels in November 2016 and has subsequently launched a UK chain of immersive play attractions whose mission is to change the way groups of people socialise. Their first venue opened in Bournemouth town centre in the summer of 2017 and there is an extensive roll-out planned over the next few years. A group of 5 Dorset Business Angels invested in The MacGuffin Project after an impressive and successful pitch by co-founder, Claire Timbrell. The Angels continue to work extremely closely with The MacGuffin Project Team with several investors on the company’s Board. www.themacguffinproject.com
DBA Chairman Don McQueen advised, “Every pitch event brings new talent and fresh ideas to the Angels. Our reputation is expanding rapidly and pitches are now coming in from all across the UK. Our investments to date have been extremely diverse and it will be interesting to watch how our supported businesses grow and develop in time.”
DBA Investor Conference
Don continued, “We are urging existing Angel investors, potential investors and introducers to come along to the DBA Investor Conference on Friday 27th and learn more about what we do and be inspired by the exciting investor opportunities available.”
The Conference, which was a great success two years ago, will host a programme of invited, eminent speakers who include, among others; Jenny Tooth, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, experienced investor Justin Levine, Business Angel and DBA Chairman Don McQueen, UKBAA former Angel Investor of the Year, Peter Cowley and Member of Parliament for Bournemouth West, Conor Burns.
Anyone wishing to attend the Conference is urged to secure their tickets on Event Bright https://dorsetbusinessangels2017conference.eventbrite.co.uk In order to find out more about the event visit http://dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk/About.aspx E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The DBA conference is being sponsored by Saffery Champness Chartered Accountants, Investec, Bright Blue Day and Bournemouth Borough Council.
DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim of being a catalyst in Dorset to bring together entrepreneurs and investors to help accelerate the growth of start-up businesses. Their vision is to turn Dorset into one of the UK’s best regions for setting up high growth and start-up businesses by providing quality private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth and sophisticated investors.