Pitching businesses share ambitions with Dorset Business Angels

Dorset Business Angels (DBA) hosted their quarterly pitch event at the Carlton Hotel in Bournemouth. Whilst attendance was slightly down due to covid, the Angels were delighted to welcome along 3 new members to their first ever DBA event.

There were 5 pitching businesses seeking investment and a hybrid of in-person and online pitches. Businesses had ten minutes to make a compelling case for investment, followed by ten minutes of questions from the floor. Each pitch fuelled a lively discussion with many questions posed to the entrepreneurs presenting. Two of the businesses were unsuccessful in their pitch, failing to gain any investor interest.

Healthcare digital staff passports

An award-winning Healthcare Digital Staff Passports company that was founded in 2015 by 2 NHS doctors presented their secure, portable digital passport for a modern healthcare ecosystem. The business provides a digital staff passport system for employees working in the medical services sector. It aims to modernise the way medical services verify staff identities, qualifications, and certifications and where necessary, introduce suitable training portfolios. The digital passport also allows employees to control their own credentials and share information on demand, thereby reducing organisation costs and wasted clinical time. It also enables them to spend more time caring for their patients.

The Angels learnt how the technology platform addresses a global £3.5m market and is an approved supplier on the NHS Digital Staff Passport framework. The problem of repetitive doctor identity checks was discussed: There are 300,000 registered Doctors in the UK and 60,000 Doctors in training, rotating approximately every 6 months and needing some 16 identity checks throughout training. Every time a Doctor moves hospital, a day off work is needed, someone needs to be found to cover missed shifts and patients suffer as a result. More than 100,000 days a year are lost every year on Doctor identity and pre-employment checks.

The talented team behind the business was introduced and the business model identified as an annual renewable pass and subscription service for Doctors and healthcare organisations. The business was seeking to raise £1.5m to allow them to scale up, create a tech platform and secure sales. 2 expressions of interest were received.

‘World’s best respiratory protection’

A captivating online pitch from an entrepreneur who is seeking to create ‘the world’s best respiratory protection’, informed the investors how the idea and innovation had been born out of the team’s mutual love of cycling. As cyclists in London they know just how bad the air pollution can be. The advised that air pollution was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation and is responsible for 8.8 million global deaths per annum.

Back in 2019 the team was struggling to find masks that suited their needs. Research has shown that masks are only effective if they have an air-tight seal, however the research shows that nearly all masks available have a poor fit. They also became acutely aware of the huge detrimental environmental effect of disposable masks on the planet.

They realised the opportunity to create a revolutionary mask with an air type fit. They have worked in partnership with Brunel University, on a government funded scheme, to develop what they believe are the foundations of ‘an industry changing mask’ with 3 unique features which are not available elsewhere on the market, with a view to dominate the market. The business has a UK patent, granted in January 2022, and a US trademark is pending. They have validated the market with over £465k of pre-sales and 30k of revenue since launch. They have a large and growing community of customers and are ready to scale.

The mask is already stocked in a number of small independent stores in London, and is proud to be in Selfridges too. The potential market was identified as $22.3 bn by 2027, with key drivers having been mask normalisation, growing awareness of pollution and increased consumer health expenditure.

The business is under NDA, late-stage negotiations with a global leader in respiratory protection, for them to provide technical support and funding for the business’ PPE certification. A third of the revenue comes from income from replacement filters.

Seeking £650,000 to rapidly scale and establish market share, the business gave a pre-money valuation of £3m. Funds raised would be used for product development to strengthen the product suit, a marketing spend to maximise sales and market penetration and team hire to boost growth and international expansion. 3 investors expressed interest.

Shift work marketplace

A ‘shift working’ marketplace for hospitality staff introduced their platform, designed to help employers and staff work flexibly together and matches empty hospitality shifts with rated people who want to work them – employers post shifts, staff apply, and the company takes care of payment, payroll, and paperwork.
The pitch company has developed a platform that is tech-led and ratings-driven and has proved to be more reliable than using the normal agency approach.
The founders advised that their long-term vision is not just limited to the hospitality sector, with the ambition to be ‘the home for all sectors with flexible working.’
In revenue and seeing a 3 x growth on pre-pandemic levels, they are now being trialled by several national organisations. Having recently launched in London they have achieved revenues in one month that it took 14 months to achieve in their first ‘launch’ city of Bristol.

Seeking to raise £400,000 to enable the business to scale to more cities and sectors. The team behind the business were introduced and described as ‘tenacious and ready to scale and having the right team, the right product and the right time.’ 3 expressions of interest were shown.

At the pitch event, Dorset Business Angels also welcomed Mark Kilby from DBA partners Chartered Accountants Saffery Champness, who gave a brief presentation on the importance of EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) and SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme); an overview and update on the tax benefits and how EIS/SEIS works.

Angel Investor Max Wright, who hosted the event advised, “The evening was a great success with lots of positive interaction from attendees. The event was videoed too in order that we can continue to engage effectively with our wider membership who are based across the UK.

“Pitch videos and pitch decks are hosted on our website Pitch Portal and will be available for members and those booking onto the event to view. It was good to welcome 3 new members and see our membership continuing to thrive and grow.”

DBA was formed in 2013 and provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI).

Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan.Investments are made across all sectors.

Angel investment might come from a single investor, or it could be two or three angels pooling funds together to support a company as a syndicate.

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment.

To book a ticket for the in-person pitch event on 20th June please visit www.dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk/events


Our Pitch Events

There are four pitch events per year, in 2024 they will be held in February, May, September and November. Hosted at a Bournemouth hotel or virtually via Zoom.

At each pitch event, there will be 5 business presentation pitches of 10-15 minutes, to suit all investor appetites. These will be selected by the Dorset Business Angels directors nearer to the event. Short summaries will be posted to our Events page and distributed via our newsletter ahead of the event. Each pitch includes a Q&A session and is followed by an investor debate, held privately.

These pitches and our other social events are ideal opportunities for networking and learning about what is new and trending in a variety of industries. If you would like to be involved you can find out more on our Investors Membership page.

Our Next Pitch Event

Takes place on February 5th 2024 and is open to Members and High Net Worth/Sophisticated Investors from our wider community. 

Registration is open now - click here.

2024 Pitch Events

February 5th
May 20th
September 30th
November 25th