A NEW angel syndicate led by two of the country’s most prolific private investors is hoping to help kick start a golden period of tech innovation in Scotland.
The team behind Lancaster Capital say they are determined to shatter the myth that innovators and entrepreneurs must face a painful ‘Dragon’s Den’-style ordeal to win investment.
Instead, the new Glasgow-based syndicate aims to be both commercial and approachable and wants to help fund the kind of technology advances that will positively impacts lives.
It is led by investors who already have a wealth of experience and have privately invested more than £3.3million in 25 early-stage Scottish companies in the last two years.
Chair, Hector Cameron, said: “We’re passionate about providing investment to truly innovative Scottish companies developing products that we think will make a difference.
“This might be an innovation in medical science that saves lives or it might be new technology that solves a real problem and saves businesses time and money.
“In the past innovative people have been put off angel investment by a number of false perceptions. The truth is that business angels contribute a significant amount of money to the economy every year and the number of business angels is growing. Many are entrepreneurs themselves who understand the difficulties of starting up a business.
“We are a young, forward-thinking syndicate and we want to help innovative people make their ideas a reality. We want to hear from anyone at the very early stages of concept creation”.
“We would look for a share of the equity in the business in return for our start up investment and we aim to exit within three-five years.”
With several extremely compelling projects already on the go, the team have managed to attract a number of new investors to the syndicate and are confident that its membership will continue to grow.
Lancaster Capital is a not-for-profit organisation and does not charge fees to syndicate members who are made up of high net worth individuals (those with an annual income over £100,000 or assets in excess of £250,000) and sophisticated investors with strong market experience.
Since opening its door to new members in February it has already attracted 35 members and a key part of the restructure involved the appointment to the executive team of prominent lawyer Stewart Whyte, formerly a partner with leading law firm, McClure Naismith.
Mr Whyte, said: “I’ve had a great deal of experience working with young companies and investor syndicates as a lawyer and I’m extremely excited to be part of Lancaster Capital where I can be more involved in the investment process and have more influence on these young businesses.”
As well as looking out for pioneers and innovators in need of funding, Lancaster Capital is also seeking investors to join its team and believes the minimum investment of £1,000 for members will be hugely attractive to many investors disheartened by low interest rates for savings and problems in the pensions market
Mr Whyte added: “The UK government has outlined new business start-ups as a priority and offers some valuable tax incentives to investors which make investing in early stage companies more attractive”.
“We would be delighted to hear from like-minded people who wish to join the syndicate to help support innovative Scottish businesses and bring the economy back to life.”
Note to editors:
Companies in which the founders of Lancaster Capital have invested substantial sums include:
- Sofant Technologies Limited – an Edinburgh University spin-out, which specialises in miniature smart antennae technology for smart phones. Sofant’s smart antennae solutions for mobile devices will mean the end of dropped calls, weak signals, dead zones and slow internet.
- i2Eye Diagnostics Limited – a spin out from Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh BioQuarter, the company has developed a diagnostic visual field eye tracker device to assist clinicians in the diagnosis of disease. The technology was initially intended to assess infants who could not otherwise be tested, but has broader application, including, for example, head trauma patients. i2eye Diagnostics Ltd is a Scottish Enterprise High Growth Support Unit assisted company and is one of 12 companies that won a Scottish Enterprise supported place on the prestigious Entrepreneurship Development Programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.
- Taragenyx Limited – a company which has developed an innovative titanium -based coating for dental and orthopaedic implants. Taragenyx’s coatings offer superior healing characteristics and a platform for the delivery of a range of drug and biologic therapies within the implant coatings themselves,where they can offer most patient benefit. Taragenyx’ new biologic implant coatings will reduce the impact of the implant on patients through lowered pain, inflammation and time to heal, and patient care costs through shorter hospital stays and rehabilitation, ultimately leading to a reduced number of failed implants. Its chair is Professor Ramen Bedi, the former Chief Dental Officer of England.
- Profactor Pharma Limited – a Scottish life science company which is developing more effective manufacturing techniques for human blood recombinant factors, including Factor VIII, essential for the treatment of haemophilia.
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