Manchester-based PortfolioExec held its first real-life Dragon’s Den-style event recently in Manchester city centre – the Portfolio Investment Presentation.
Organised by PortfolioExec and hosted by Glaisyers Solicitors, the event saw four entrepreneurs put their ideas out to an audience of 18 potential investors from amongst their membership.
With ideas ranging from innovative fire suppression systems to mobile marketing software, the presenters had spent years developing their product. Some were pre-patent stage and required funding to make that leap, whilst others were already in the public domain but needed further investment to take their product to market. At a time when bank lending is notoriously stringent, there are some exciting opportunities for those looking to invest in pioneering new concepts.
PortfolioExec Director Nigel Harrap commented: “The ethos of PortfolioExec is to maximise the potential for networking within business and we are constantly putting our members in touch with business opportunities. The idea behind a Portfolio Investment Presentation is that one person can have several meetings with potential investors where they’re repeating the same presentation. We decided to put the SME presenter and our interested members together in one room and make it easier and quicker for all parties.
“We’re delighted with the success of the first event, with great presentations from all speakers and excellent attendance. Some of these projects had already received initial funding, but it’s not just about money, it’s about contacts and finding people who have the business skills and experience necessary to help take a project to the next level.”
PortfolioExec member, Richard Harvey, an accountant, has already invested in one of the businesses and said: “I was impressed by the range of presentations. It was useful as well to get a sense of the different questions coming from the audience – particularly for someone like me who has already invested in one of the projects, Smartkem, which is developing organic electronics.”
Philip Place, one of the four presenters, found the experience very valuable. Philip said: “I was speaking to a diverse group of people but there was no pressure as it wasn’t a win or lose situation. I could see support from some areas of the audience whilst also facing some robust questioning – but that’s a good thing.”
Led by Nigel Harrap and Ian Theobold, PortfolioExec Ltd is a network which helps members gain access to part-time executive opportunities in the SME marketplace. It is currently focused within the Manchester area. Members come from a wide range of business sectors and all have Director/Senior Management expertise. As a network, PortfolioExec has a clear aim – to provide affordable, available business expertise to SMEs as opportunities for its growing membership – and to date it has been extremely successful in delivering.
Further Portfolio Investment Presentations are now being planned with the next event anticipated to take place in April 2010.