We had a tremendous time at last night’s startup dinner. We brought together a great group of entrepreneurs and startups for a delicious meal at The Green in Clerkenwell. The evening’s topic was based around investment and we enjoyed after-dinner talk and Q&A from Danny Meaney.
Danny is a serial entrepreneur and tech investor and he spoke very honestly about his experiences as an investor and the process he goes through when assessing an investment opportunity. Amongst other things, he talked about the people, the product, market and how the funds will be used. Just taking the first of these, he talked about the mutual trust that should be in place between the business and the investor and that he still relied on his “gut” and instinct when meeting founders. He recognises that it would be rare for a team to be perfect and that honestly in identifying gaps in skills is a good thing, so the gap can be plugged. He likes the founders to have some “skin in the game” (i.e. have put some hard cash in themselves) and is interested in the reason why they are doing what they are doing; it can’t be solely for the end game of a payout. Danny considers pre revenue businesses, but generally looks for there to be some sales, or proven appetite for the product or service, rather than the company being at the ideas stage. Although the earlier he gets involved, the bigger slice he will be aiming to take for his investment!
Some of the companies (too many to mention!) that we met at the dinner:
Rachel Cheal of The Growth Lab, which provides startups and SME’s with experienced CFO services on a consultancy basis.
Nidhima Kohli, founder of MyBeautyCompare, the world’s 1st price comparison & personalized product matches site for beauty where you can discover & compare products for your skin type, hair age & lifestyle habits. We’re excited to have partnered with MyBeautyCompare for a beauty tech dinner in April.
Jonathan Lea, founder of the Jonathan Lea Network, an international business content platform and community.
Dave Thomas and Simon Fellowes of Go Local Deals, which helps you find all the “good times” located nearby.
Makoto Inoue, founder of StepUp.io, which is Pinterest for online learning videos. It lets learners and facilitators curate videos, segment into meaningful chunks and loops each chunk automatically until they get it.
Tim Underhill, founder of Sport on Spec, which brings you the best news of ticket availability priced at no more than face value.
Faith Forster, Pinipa, a social business change startup.
Robert Fenton, who is working on many many things ranging from a model agency, to supplying Bollywood extras, to email marketing software to a large and successful meetup group!
Here are some photos for you to enjoy.
Why not book onto an upcoming dinner? We have dinners for food startups, sharing economy startups and dinner with Tom Maddocks as after-dinner speaker, on the topic of how to get journalists interested in your startup (you’ll know Tom from his previous role as reporter on BBC2’s ‘The Money Programme’.)