A marine systems technology company grabbed the attention of the Dorset Business Angels with a concise and compelling pitch. Several of the Angels are keen sailors themselves and were impressed with the innovation demonstrated and the gap in the market that is being filled and the opportunities that the ambitious brand is building.
The Company’s products are designed to give boat owners real-time load data that will allow them to sail their boats faster. Their system provides a unique wireless load-sensing range of technology for rigging and soft line/ropes.
Investors learnt how the rig loading on the vessel has a strong influence on the shape of the sails and hence the speed of the boat and also the boat’s safety. The capturing of this real time information is severely lagging behind other technology in the sailing market and this innovation fulfils a significant gap in the market and delivers the first ever solution to the mainstream market.
The founder and CEO advised, “Our vision is that every racing yacht will aspire to have one of our products to help measure their racing performance. With power boat, cruiser and charter owners using to enhance their safety.”
The business is currently working with Sir Ben Ainslie to test and develop the products. Sir Ben, who is Olympic yachting’s most decorated sailor, is leading next year’s British challenge for the America’s Cup.
Seeking to raise £200,000 for 11% of the business, putting its valuation for investment at £1.8m. Future ambitions were shared and questions from the floor were answered well. 3 Angel investors expressed interest to carry out the due diligence process.
Remote condition monitoring of hardware devices
Also attracting investment attention was a spin-out company from Cambridge University. Founded in 2015 this Company has developed a successful ’fit and forget’ solution for the ever-increasing need for the ‘remote condition monitoring’ of hardware devices. The benefits include early warning of equipment failure, increased operational efficiency, energy reduction and regulatory compliance. The business is now raising £2M of investment to offer its products and software subscription services to an ever-growing industrial world-wide market.
Corrugated cardboard manufacture
A company aiming to disrupt the corrugated cardboard market, that has seen little innovation over the past 50 years or so, didn’t secure interest from their initial pitch but received interest from an investor who had been unable to attend the virtual pitch event but was impressed by the proposals submitted.
The business explained that current manufacturing methods use large scale ‘corrugators’ that are expensive to purchase and run, and require large amounts of gas, electricity and water to operate.
They have developed a ‘steam-free’ corrugator that requires no process water, uses 78% less energy than the traditional manufacturing process and occupies 88% less space than current equipment of a similar capacity. This will allow individual packaging companies to increase their margins by bringing board manufacture in-house, thus allowing them to produce just enough product to meet their short-term requirements. This avoids the current large investment needed to provide sufficient warehousing capacity for all grades of corrugated board they normally require.
With strong patent-protected IP, they now plan to subcontract the manufacture of their equipment to keep overhead costs low and are seeking investment to run their sales and marketing operation
Dorset Business Angels Chairman, Don McQueen advised, “This was our 2nd Virtual Pitch Event. The 1st event back in April created significant interest from would be investors and partners in what we do and we were pleased to welcome over 30 guests online at our July event. All pitching businesses had submitted their business proposals and financial documents prior to the online event, during which they had just 3 minutes to make their real time presentations. Questions followed by investors and partners, after which the pitching businesses leave the virtual room and investors hold a private conversation to gauge interest. The process has worked well for us and it was encouraging that 2 of the businesses secured immediate interest. Subsequent interest was received for another of the pitching companies following the event.”
DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses. DBA provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI).
Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy Angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario. Angel investment might come from a single investor or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company. Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors.
DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment. To find out more about Dorset Business Angels or to book on to the pitch event on 12th October visit www.dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk