From VCs to Super-Angels: The New Rules of Startup Investment

Event Info

Thu 31 Mar, 2011 from 10:00am - 1:00pm
BIS Conference Centre
1 Victoria Street
London, SW1H OET, UK (Map)
Cost: Free: RSVP Needed


Forget what you read last year about fundraising, this is the dawn of a new era!

Start-ups face new challenges in today's fund raising marketplace. VC's are disappearing from the landscape as they struggle to raise further funds, and ‘super angels’ are beginning to fill the gap - but their attitudes are different. This change is both an opportunity and a threat for entrepreneurs: the entrepreneur must re-learn how to approach the search for funding.

UK Trade & Investment

Hosted by UK Trade & Investment. This session will provide valuable insight on how to deal with super angels and a high level of syndication, together with savvy angels and VCs.

Our investment experts will discuss the challenges and opportunities in raising growth capital in the UK for early stage, innovation based businesses. The panellists exchange ideas and share insights and perspectives on the current UK venture capital and angel investment community. Join the interactive discussion, and ask questions to the panellists.

Four high-growth businesses will showcase their proposition and pitch for funds. The panel will provide constructive feedback to help shape the pitch towards fund raising success, followed by a lunch with a chance to network with the panel and fellow delegates.


10:00 – 10:30: Registration and networking over coffee
10:30 – 10:45: Key Note - Raising Finance with Venture Capitalists
10:45 – 11:00: Key Note - Navigate angel fundraising in 2011
11:00 – 11:10: Audience Q&A
11:10 – 11:20: Panel intros
11:20 – 12:00: Four companies present fund raising pitch followed by panel feedback
12:00 – 13:00: Networking over Lunch / Review Showcased Companies / Close

RSVP NowThe event is also being webcast live and will be available to view for a month afterwards so if you are unable to get to London and would like to view on the web then make sure you RSVP to attend in-person or watch via webcast.


Chair: Charlotte Mason, Director

charlotte mason imageCharlotte advises small businesses and has a wide range of experience from a Director at Envestors – an angel investment network raising finance for clients in all sectors of early stage business - to a business mentor of the Astia Entrepreneur Programme and an advisor to the Atlantic Accelerator. Charlotte is a successful business turnaround expert, a member of NXD Services (a Non-Exec group) and an INSEAD Executive MBA graduate that has spent 12-yrs within IT professional consulting roles globally. In her last turnaround role, Charlotte headed a board-level programme for a failing £46m turnover IT consultancy employing 450 people in 6 offices. Under Charlotte’s leadership the company moved EBITDA from 0.7% (£300k) to 6% (£2.4m) within 12-months. Within 18-months the firm was on track to achieve 10% (£4m) EBITDA. Charlotte is an active member of INSEAD Alumni and Co-Chair of the INSEAD UK Alumni Entrepreneur Group, where she guides many businesses about fund raising.

Maria Dramalioti-Taylor, Founding Member/Advisory Board Member at Incito Ventures
maria dramalioti imageA founding member of Incito Ventures and member of the Advisory Board, Maria focuses on female-led start-ups in enterprise applications, mobile, digital advertising, e-commerce, social media and cleantech. She co-founded Protos Capital aiming to raise £30M to invest in corporate spinouts, was the R&D-award winning CEO of CipherGrid, investor in the VC-backed Pervasic (exited) and mentor of start-ups like Improve Digital, & Stingray. A Senior Manager at Andersen and Ernst & Young, where she worked as management consultant, Maria started her career in the UK after winning a CBI scholarship with Thames Water plc where she trained as an engineer. She is an Advisory Board member of the award-winning PoCKeT fund and of Astia, the US pro-female technology venture accelerator, a mentor and Champion of The Prince's Trust Creative Businesses & The Young Enterprise, founder of the Arsakeion Alumni UK Charter and sponsor of a microloan foundation in India. Maria completed the PE & VC exec. course at Harvard, has a MBA from Cranfield, a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London and a Dipl. Ing. from the National Technical University of Athens. In her spare time she fences the foil.

Christina Chen, Associate at DN Capital
christina chen imageChristina is an investor at DN Capital where she covers internet, mobile and software investments in Europe. DN Capital, with offices in London and Palo Alto, is a growth capital and early stage investment fund. Prior to DN Capital, Christina had a career in investment banking at Deutsche Bank and HSBC, where she was involved in M&A and financing transactions for large technology and media companies. Christina was trained as computer scientist in University of Cambridge.

Alliott Cole, Principal at Octopus Ventures
alliott closeAlliott is a principal at Octopus Ventures that is one of the most active investors in early stage businesses in the United Kingdom, (completing 14x Series A investments, 17x follow-on investments in 2010). Alliott sits on the Board of several Octopus portfolio companies, including Mi-Pay which is one of the leading processor of mobile payments in Europe and the Middle East. He also sits on the Board of the British Business Angel Association and is actively involved in the wider entrepreneurial community through his involvement in Spring Board, Seed Summit and Oxford Entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Octopus, Alliott worked within the private
equity and venture capital team of Ashurst.

Dermot Berkery, Partner at Delta Partners
dermot berkery imageDermot Berkery joined Delta Partners in 1999 as a General Partner. He serves on the board of Seewhy Software, Luzern Solutions, Clavis Technology and Sensl. He was also previously on the board of Farran Technology (sold in 2005 to Smiths Industries for $30m) and Similarity Systems (sold in 2006 to Informatica Inc. for $55m). Before joining Delta, he was a Senior Manager with McKinsey & Co. Prior to McKinsey, he was in the Corporate Financial Services Division of Arthur Andersen in Dublin and London, where he specialised in financial restructurings. A graduate of University College Dublin in Commerce, he holds an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School and is qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He is the author of 'Raising Venture Capital for the Serious Entrepreneur' published by McGraw Hill in the US (2007).

John O’Sullivan, Director of ACT Venture Capital
john o’sullivan imageJohn is a Director of ACT Venture Capital and has been active in operating & business development roles and venture capital investing for over 20 years. His investment focus is on ICT, healthcare and technology enabled businesses. John is currently on the boards of Adeptra, AGI Therapeutics plc (ISE/AIM), S3 Group, Firecomms, Frontier Silicon & Novate Medical. Previously, he was on the board of Kymata (acquired by Alcatel) and Intense Photonics and was closely involved with a number of other ACT investments. Prior to joining ACT, John spent 3 years working with a range of start-up companies through the state indigenous development agency, Enterprise Ireland. Previously, John spent 6 years in a number of business development and operational roles with Kindle Banking Systems, a division of Misys plc and KAO Infosystems. He graduated from University College Cork (UCC) with a degree in Commerce and also holds an ACCA Certified Diploma in Financial Management. John is a visiting lecturer on the UCC MBA programme.

Companies Pitching

Ether Books

esterbooks logo bigEther Books is a disruptor in the Publishing sector and is to reading what iTunes is to music. From newspapers to magazines and books to columns – Internet enabled touch screen devices (like the iPad) have created a paradigm shift in consumer reading. Ether disrupts the publishing landscape by directly connecting writers to readers and cutting out inefficiencies in traditional publishing. Writers work directly with Ether thereby reducing publishing time to market >1 year to <2 weeks. Consumers download content to their devices; writers retain a higher % of profits. Publication costs are low, allowing margins to increase with each sale. Ether launched in less than 6 months. Ether already has early revenues from writers including Sir Paul McCartney and Hillary Mantel. Featured on CNN, Radio 4, The Guardian, The Times, and Wall Street Journal, Ether is already a well-known new entrant in the UK publishing sector. The founders have a track record of developing high growth “download” businesses in music and mobile. EBITDA is projected to be £2m by 2014 when a trade sale is anticipated.

Slick Flick

slickflicks logoSlick Flick is a photo story platform in the form of a mobile/tablet app. Photo stories are a mezzanine level situated between basic mediums such as book, script and photography and more complex ones like film, TV, video games. They can be as simple as a storyboard or slide show and as complex as a graphic novel. The simple format of photography and text has maximum flexibility in creation and distribution, while retaining the key elements of more complex content forms, such as visual representation, story line and information content. Slick Flick aims to create a seamless system that will make creation and distribution of photo stories effortless for authors and viewing a pleasure for consumers, in a market like environment that fosters creativity and helps generate high quality content contributions.


WeCanDo.Biz is an online new business network for sales leads and referrals. Using social networking methods to broker valuable new business relationships, it provides simple tools to members that help generate sales leads, leverage customer referrals and win new business. The two founders have over 50 years in the software industry behind them, including successful startups and exits, andhave been involved in social networking since 2003. Version 2 of the web-based service, which already has 16,500 registered members, launches in early April 2011 at


matesrates logoMatesRates is an online private membership club where second home-owners can rent out their properties to recommended, trusted individuals at preferential rates within a closed, invitation only environment. In this way they are able to unlock income that they may previously have been reluctant to exploit. The home-owners determine the membership as they invite their friends or trusted contacts. The longer-term objective is to create an exclusive community of affluent individuals who will leverage their relationships to provide and access a range of services at a “MatesRate”. This takes the networking aspects of Linked In and other social networks to the next level by introducing a direct commercial trading aspect. The founders each have over 18 years experience of founding, growing and exiting start up businesses in Europe. The team is also able to call upon extensive experience within larger corporate environments at an operational and strategic level running large web services, marketing, customer operations and business integration.


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