To maintain flexibility, we do not to apply rigid and constrictive criteria against the ventures we work with as we want to support great businesses across the spectrum, and importantly, not miss out on exciting opportunities. However, broadly all our venture clients will meet the following conditions:
- Scalable business model and market opportunity – we look for uncapped potential which could mean working with businesses that can build operations and increase sales on a global scale (when the time is right!).
- Disruptive product or service provision or technological innovation to existing market – although not exclusively, we focus on ventures which can use technology to make improvements to, and gain an edge in an existing market.
- ‘Sticky’ product or service when customers/clients are acquired – winning new business is not easy so being able to retain customers is important; products or services which are harder to stop using once adopted are therefore attractive.
- Strong management team who can deliver against agreed objectives – people run businesses and we need to know that every business we work with is led by individuals who are not just good at running the business it is today, but have the capabilities to build it into something stronger tomorrow.
- Demonstrable competitive advantage/USP – are we looking for a bulletproof IP patent that creates a virtual monopoly? No, but we do need to understand why a customer is going to choose you and how you can retain and grow this base.
- Clear path to exit within 3-5 years for early investors (SEIS/EIS) – an investor is looking for a financial return which is created from an exit not growth and therefore understanding the paths available is a primary factor when evaluating a proposition.
- We must be excited by the venture – we are a hands-on venture developer so need to be highly motivated by every deal and have a desire to get deep in the mud with every venture team.
- We must work well together as a team – the close relationship we have with every venture means we all need to get on, if we wouldn’t want to share a beer together at the end of a hard days’ graft then we’re probably not the partner for your business!