March Investors’ Dinner Review

TV crime drama series set in Bournemouth and a real-time social listening platform are just a couple of ideas to woo investors

Dorset Business Angels (DBA) held their quarterly pitch event on Monday 12th March at the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth and were treated to an incredibly diverse mix of pitches for the angel investors to consider and contemplate for investment.

TV crime drama to be pitched to Netflix

First to take to the floor was a team presenting a new 6- episode TV crime drama TV series to be set in Bournemouth. Created by a leading local film director, the proposed new series already has a high profile list of actors confirmed to play lead roles. The team are raising seed finance to make a top-quality Pilot episode whilst at the same time pitching the concept to major US and European TV networks. DBA investors viewed a brief trailer of the crime drama in which a father and former detective is pushed to the brink after finding out about the murder of his daughter.

Real-time social listening platform

A presentation from a team which has a social media data analysis platform and counts ITV, Twitter and the Premier League amongst its clients was eagerly anticipated by the angel investors.  The business analyses online conversation to help its clients understand who their audience are, how they feel, what they are saying and why. They do this by using their own custom-built Natural Language Processing solution that reads and understands emotions within text, as well as attempting to profile the individual behind the post.  This allows its clients to understand whether a message is resonating with a specific target demographic, who’s engaging with competitor and why, what public opinion looks like and most importantly gives them data-led actionable insights needed to make important business decisions that drive customer acquisition and loyalty. Case studies were presented including the referendum results for Twitter and the Queen’s 90th birthday. In 2017 the business partnered with Gartner, a global research & consultancy firm, to further unlock opportunities within the large enterprise space. The business has had significant investment to date and was looking for further funding to enable expansion of the staff team, recruit sales staff with the aim of breaking in to the US market and establishing a New York office.  The angels were intrigued by this opportunity and expressions of interest were shown.

Artificial intelligence app in the wellness sector

The third presentation came from a business which has developed an artificial intelligence (A.I) app in the wellness sector which helps employees to take control of their physical and mental health whilst at work. They were seeking £250,000 in equity investment, to complete product development and fund their ‘go-to-market’ activities.  The team came with the bold claim that “We are sitting ourselves to death!” They stated that sick days cost UK business £29 billion each year with scientific research showing that a sedentary, computer-bound work life is bad for our health and is a contributor to this absenteeism.  Their product is a desktop application with an accompanying mobile app which delivers personalised wellness prompts (called nudges) to an individual throughout their working day, to motivate and nudge them to make positive wellbeing choices. The A.I from the app learns from the users’ actions, is context aware and is constantly evolving.  Users will subscribe to the app which is expected to cost each user £5.50 per month. Interest was shown from investors which will be followed up with the business

Health-conscious millennials targeted by organic produce store

A new organic produce store in the healthcare sector with a mission to reinvent the coffee shop scene sought to impress the angel investors. They informed their audience that the UK organic market is worth £2.09 billion. Total sales of organic food & beverages increased by 7.1% in 2016 while non-organic sales continued to decline.  The business currently has 2 stores in Fulham and Canary Wharf and prides itself on its products which they advised ‘join juice and coffee together!’  Producing organic products such as juices, vegetable juices, boosters and bombs, dried fruit snacks and organic artisan coffee, the business has ambitious plans to open new stores in Soho and the Marylebone area.  Their target audience is the health-conscious millennials who represent 21% in the UK and will represent 75% of the workforce by 2015.   There were no expressions of interest on the night, but DBA will share with other members. The presenter found the investor feedback session helpful and is getting further ideas from a DBA board member for his business presentation pitching.

Wearable payment products

A new payment portal platform, which has gained approval from Mastercard, captured investors imagination as the presenting team passed around the wearable products which allow users to make contactless payments.  The world’s first contactless payments rings intrigued.  The business advised that they wanted to develop desirable products that were not too noticeable but allowed ease of payments for their users.  A particular target market for the portable payment products was identified as the fitness sector. Income for the business would come through subscriptions to its products for which the production technique had been patented.  Predicted revenues for years 1 -3 were shared. The presenting team were seeking ½ million for a 12 % share of the company.  DBA shared ideas with the presenter on the business model, to make the business plan more robust long term.

Don enthused, “It was an incredibly interesting evening.  We were delighted to welcome a couple of new investors to the room, who had read about the opportunities within the Dorset Business Angels network.  We would always encourage anyone interested in finding out more about us to register to come along to one of our events, they would always be welcome!”

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.

The next DBA Pitch Event takes place on 11th June at the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth.

To book a place visit our Eventbrite page.

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