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  • 8 Practical And Eye-opening Tips For Actually Finding Investors | shipshape.vc

    8 Practical And Eye-opening Tips For Actually Finding Investors Guest article by Hatty Fawcett (Focused For Business) Many founders think that finding investors is going to be the hardest thing about fund raising. In reality this isn’t the case. There are lots of tools for helping founders find investors and – on Focused for Business' Funding Accelerator – we even provide founders with a “hit list” of investors who back businesses like theirs that they can reach out too. The hardest thing is generally getting an investor to respond to your social outreach, email, or phone call. They are busy people and will only respond if you entice them with what your investment opportunity offers them. ​ We’ll look at how you engage with investors in the next post in this series. First, we’ve summarised some of the ideas and tips for finding investors that came from our Ideas Swap. ​ Attend industry events​ ​ One of our founders shared that they made first contact with an investor that subsequently invested in their company at an industry event. Investors similar to businesses have to generate deal flow, and if they have an investment thesis or only invest in specific areas e.g. Climate Technologies or Education this means they are likely to attend prominent events in those industries in order to make connections with founders. That’s exactly what happened to one of our Funding Mastermind founders, and it shows how being in the right place and meeting face to face can really help to find investors and build a rapport with them so you have a ‘hit list’ of ‘warm’ investors to approach when you officially launch your funding round. ​ Your close networks ​ Another practical tip shared by one of the founders was to look closer to home, amongst your friends and family. Your own personal network is a great place to start when finding investors, and also to get feedback on your pitch deck and business in general. If there are people in your close networks who have built businesses, raised funding themselves, or are experts in your industry it’s good to start ‘picking their brains’ about different aspects of your business, and asking for feedback on your investor documents e.g. your Executive Summary, pitch deck, or financial forecast. Making people feel connected to your business journey from the start will pay dividends when it comes to opening your funding round. ​ Tap into investor databases ​ There are a number of platforms that can provide data about investments and help identify potential investors; Ship Shape (free), scribe.ai (£ paid), MarktoMarket (£paid) , to name a few. These tools can help you find the names of investors who have invested in companies within your industry recently. One of our founders used these tools to narrow down a list of investors to approach based on their criteria and the minimum average ticket size they generally invested. This resulted in a list of ~400 investors which they then developed a cold outreach strategy to approach. ​ Signup to Newsletters and setup alerts ​ Getting intel on which companies have been funded recently in your sector, who has funded them, and if there are any new funds that have recently closed is a great way of also finding investors. One of our founders shared that they have signed up to as many industry newsletters as possible, and have also set up Google Alerts around ‘funding’ and ‘investment’, to identify potential investors and build out their hit list of people to approach. ​ Utilise LinkedIn Sales Navigator ​ Finding investors can be very time consuming, but LinkedIn is another great resource to find investors that are investing in your industry. It can be used to see the investors associated or following company pages within your industry, and makes it easy to connect with them. One of our founders shared that they have been using LinkedIn Sales Navigator which has made finding investors easier. It allows them to search people and filter by criteria, making it even easier to find investors and build a hit list to contact once they are actively fundraising. ​ Introductions from existing investors ​ A few founders said their first port of call for finding investors for their new funding round was to approach the people that invested in their business in a previous funding round. It’s a logical place to start. Current investors should be approached first to understand if they are willing to provide follow-on funding and exercise their pre-emption rights. As part of that conversation even if they choose not to follow-on, it gives you a good opportunity to ask if they know anyone who may be interested in investing, and if they could facilitate an introduction. ​ Customers and suppliers ​ Engaged users or customers is another place to start finding investors. One of the founders shared how they spoke to some ‘super users’ of their platform, who were so impressed by what they had built that they were interested in backing the company financially. Another founder who operated a Marketplace, also had a similar experience when launching the crowdfunding campaign, they found that both customers and sellers were interested in backing the company financially and participating in the crowdfunding campaign. ​ Startup networking events ​ Last but not least one of our founders said they had success finding investors at startup networking events. Events like these are becoming more and more frequent, and targeted to specific industries or regions. Similar to attending industry events, meeting people face to face is a great way to introduce yourself and your company to investors, and helps to make you more memorable and build rapport with investors which is harder to do via email or on a Zoom call. ​ We hope these tips have sparked some inspiration, and given you some food for thought about how to find investors. ​ Want to understand why a ‘Lead Investor’ is so important, and what value they can give your business aside from just money? Read our recent article: Funding Secrets: Why Having a Lead Investor Makes Fundraising Easier .

  • Our Team | Ship Shape

    Our Team Daniel Sawko - Co-founder & CEO Linkedin profile Lived the problem we're solving! 10+ years in start-ups & Financial Services Former CCO of one of the UK's fastest-growing Regtechs Oxford University Fintech Programme Alistair Baillie - Co-founder & CIO/ COO Linkedin profile Lived the problem we're solving! 20+ years in Major Banks & Financial Services Institutions, 2 successful exits Former COO of one of the UK’s fastest-growing Regtechs MA Physics, Oxford University Gareth Williams Chief Data Scientist Carrie Skye Senior Data Engineer Marion Dowell General Manager Ekaterina Shushkanova Full Stack Developer - Team Lead Ruslan Suprun DevOps Engineer Kateryna Kovalenko Senior Data Engineer Some of our Supporters Eva Dobrzanska Investment & Dealflow Manager @ Block Dojo | Venture Capital Funding Advisory Sam Marchant Early-stage Investor at Hambro Perks Jonathan Hollis Accelerating Emerging VCs | Partnering with founders raising capital at Mountside Ventures Want to join the team? Find a role that suits you

  • EU Project Funding | Ship Shape

    We have been assisted by the EU-funded body SMART Cymru in a project to further our business. Project number: 2021/ED/153 Project Description: "A project to assist SMEs and their Advisors in the identification of private sources of capital, utilising Artificial Intelligence to deduce likelihood of funding sources, building in parameters such as sector, stage, geography."

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Blog Posts (90)

  • Inward Investment Insight #1

    Issue Date: 13 August 2023 UK Rising: 22% of Non-UK Tech Firms Eye Expansion Our latest figures show promise for the UK's inward investment position. We surveyed ~400 high-tech businesses planning to expand, who are planning to invest over £1.5bn. They shared their growth plans with us: 22% of non-UK tech businesses plan to expand operations to the UK The UK is a very popular destination for tech businesses from certain markets; specifically tech firms from the US, India, Australia and a number of Asian countries (if you would like precise statistics on this, there's information on how to get in touch at the end of this issue). It's evident that the British Isles are a hub for technological innovation and growth. This not only highlights the attractiveness of the UK market, but it also emphasizes the broader global trend towards tech-driven business expansion. Why is this? Global Tech has a Proactive Approach to International Expansion Traditionally, businesses would consolidate their domestic position before setting their sights overseas. Today's tech landscape, however, paints a different picture. More and more, tech enterprises – from startups to established players – seem to be looking at international expansion early in their life cycles. This global outlook enables these companies to tap into new markets, harness international talent, and diversify their operations, positioning them for sustained growth in an increasingly interconnected world. The UK's VC Landscape: A deeper pool Perhaps a big reason for this, is that the UK is the third largest Venture Capital market in the world. This is after powerhouses USA and China (though the Chinese VC market is largely insular). The deep VC ecosystem (approaching 800 early stage funds), is complemented by supportive regulatory frameworks and recent moves such as the Mansion House Compact. This makes the UK an attractive market to not just raise capital but also to innovate, collaborate, and expand. Closing Remarks: The UK’s unique blend of a deep VC ecosystem, ease of doing business, tax incentives and a forward-looking regulatory frameworks offer it a significant opportunity on the global tech scene. As these results suggest, now may be the most opportune time for inward investment professionals to capitalize on the UK's burgeoning tech marketplace. Stay tuned for our next issue where we dive into other trends and interview those in the Inward Investment Community. Inward Investment Insight is a newsletter, bringing the latest news, insights, and trends from the world of inward investments to professionals like you. This one is very UK focused, we'll be bringing different geographic perspectives in future. Get involved: 2 minute survey We'd love to hear about what you look for in early stage tech-businesses, we have a 2 minute survey that asks what criteria you look for when assessing businesses. For feedback and inquiries: please write to us at info@shipshape.vc, or book a call to discuss more on our research here.

  • Building relationships in Cardiff

    How have we benefitted from choosing Tramshed Tech in Cardiff? Ranging from community or networking events to helping other startups search for funding, the relationship between shipshape.vc and Tramshed Tech has been reciprocal for both. Company Intro shipshape.vc was started in the middle of the pandemic in Swansea. It’s a free to use investor search engine - enabling founders to search investors by topics. We ended up putting our head office in Tramshed Tech, Cardiff after an Accelerator Programme based there. Tramshed Tech sits at the heart of the tech start-up community in Wales. We access collaborative working spaces, recording studios, a meeting/event space that has brilliant convening power (the First Minister, Ambassadors, VCs, Stock Exchanges, Private Equity firms etc. all visit!) as well as a range of business support programmes. So if you’re a startup, you can quickly build a great network that helps you navigate. And that’s mainly because Tramshed Tech have established a unique community that allows founders to connect with valuable individuals such as investors and advisors who can make a difference. Problem and Goal It’s hard for startups to find relevant investors. We make part of that easier by giving a free, powerful search engine to founders. Instead of trawling through investor lists, we enable founders to have targeted outreach. This enables founders to build relationships with the investors that can actually help them on their journey. Solution As a start-up, support is key to growing and more importantly learning. Being part of the Tramshed Tech ecosystem enables us to obtain user feedback. This in turn helps us improve our search engine and find other common problems founders experience. As a start-up that needs feedback to provide direction, being in and amongst our user base means we benefit directly. And it means we also get exposed to some of the tech breakthroughs that startups at Tramshed tech are making. Tramshed Tech have been brilliant at facilitating win-win introductions and relationships within their broad reach as ecosystem enablers with significant convening power. Results and Benefits We’ve made brilliant connections with the likes of Barclays Eagle Labs, the Cardiff Capital Region, the Welsh Government - including Minister for Economy Vaughan Gething, meeting Mubadala (UAE Sovereign Wealth Fund), Deloitte, University of South Wales, Angel Investors (a number of whom have since invested), meeting with the Badem-Wurttemberg Trade Mission, being involved with the Tech Export Cluster, and dozens more start-ups and ecosystem members. Tramshed Tech has continued its mission to support start-ups of which below are some of the ways that Tramshed Tech has directly helped shipshape.vc. Access to shared working space and collaborative working environment. Access to technical tools and podcasting studio that make our operations more efficient Exposure of shipshape.vc to the greater Welsh ecosystem, Welsh Government and international partners. Ability to work with large established companies that in themselves have created opportunities that otherwise would not be possible Support from key individuals internal and external to Tramshed Tech that has provided insight and learning from previous experience Mature advice from those who have ‘been there and done that’ on the direction and future of shipshape.vc. Future vision and aims shipshape.vc continues to improve, with newly implemented features such as viewing portfolio and investment entities, including the addition of U.S investor data. In July 2023, shipshape.vc will be three years old and to celebrate this anniversary and recognition; we’ll have expanded the coverage to include new geographies, so that founders have more relevant investors to reach out to in a targeted way. Summary In summary, the relationship between shipshape.vc and Tramshed Tech has been beneficial for both parties. It’s fair to say that start-ups benefit substantially in a number of areas by being involved with Tramshed Tech - it is a brilliant location for the tech industry across South Wales. We’ve benefitted from being part of this valuable community, and bringing others to it too! Being involved and becoming part of the Welsh start-up ecosystem has given us a great network and ability to navigate to where we need to be, quickly. It’s great to see Tramshed Tech expand across South Wales and to other locations. It’s been great working with Cai, Sophie, Sara, Gwenno, Eulalee, Mark and Louise and plenty of other members of the Tramshed Tech Team, who have really been friends to us from the very early days - we’re looking forward to where the future takes us! Notes to editor Ship Shape was founded by Daniel Sawko and Alistair Baillie and is currently based in Cardiff, Wales. To discover Ship Shape please visit: https://www.shipshape.vc/ Co-founder and CEO, Daniel Sawko: daniel@shipshape.vc Co-founder and COO, Alistair Baillie: alistair@shipshape.vc For more information about this press release please contact: info@shipshape.vc. This release was published by Bradley Evans Ship Shape is the search engine for VC. Tramshed Tech was founded in 2016 and currently operates in Newport, Barry with the main co-working and headquarters based in Grangetowm, Cardiff. To discover Tramshed Tech, please visit: https://www.tramshedtech.co.uk/ Tramshed Tech supports local start-ups through co-working space, creative studios, meeting rooms and community events. Become a member today: https://www.tramshedtech.co.uk/community/

  • Why SPVs are important for founders

    An article from Sydecar Guest Author: Sam Loui As we enter the summer in a market downturn, the thought of finding capital may be daunting. However, there are great capital opportunities for founders who look beyond raising exclusively from VC funds. Founders who have built a loyal community, customers, or network can expand their pool of capital through SPVs. As a founder, fundraising from your community of customers and community is a great source of capital and further aligns your network with your business and its mission. However, when taking all of these checks from angel investors, it can very easily become an administrative headache and even a deterrent for investors in your future funding rounds. Too many lines on your captable can leave your startup dealing with agonizing, slow processes when speed matters most. This is where Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) come in - they help keep your cap table clean and streamline coordination with your investors for the life of your business. An SPV is a company that is formed specifically for the purpose of pooling money from a group of investors to then invest in a single company (such as your startup). By creating an SPV or working with a syndicate lead, you can accept investments from investors with smaller check sizes, which helps you reach a wider audience of potential investors who may not have been able to participate otherwise. Additionally, using an SPV will help keep your cap table clean, which will save you time and money and stay appealing to future investors. Sydecar's SPV enables you to easily spin up an SPV and save thousands of dollars and hours of back and forth with lawyers and accountants. The platform allows you to create a deal page that shows off what makes your company unique, invite investors via easy-to-use invitation links, and manage funding options through ACH or wire. With Sydecar's SPV, there are no upfront fees, and your investors only pay when you close the SPV. Link to Sydecar: https://bit.ly/3PSE3DB Notes: shipshape.vc was founded by Daniel Sawko and Alistair Baillie and is based in Cardiff, Wales. To discover more visit: https://www.shipshape.vc/ This article features a guest writer hosted on shipshape.vc Sydecar is a frictionless deal execution platform for venture investors. The CEO of Sydecar is Nik Talreja. Sam Loui from Sydecar wrote this article. Sydecar's Website: https://www.sydecar.io/ Sydecar's Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sydecario/

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