After attending VentureFest Tees Valley for the first time, Graeme Coyle, Director of Gateshead-based business Koala Home Shopping Ltd, tells us how the connections he made led to a significant investment in his business.
“I took part in FinanceCamp at VentureFest Tees Valley, where I had three meetings with investors. Prior to this I had little experience in pitching to investors, but earlier in the day I met with someone exhibiting at the event who gave me advice on how to pitch a business in five minutes, which proved to be invaluable ahead of my meetings with investors at FinanceCamp.
“The three meetings I had with investors gave me some much-needed experience in how to pitch my business, as well as gaining some useful contacts.
“We even had a follow up meeting with one of the investors, Maven Capital. For this, I put together a business plan and a financial report. The feedback that we got from this meeting has proved invaluable to us and has gave us the tools we needed to pitch to other investors.
“Following on from the experience I gained pitching to investors at FinanceCamp, I have since had significant investment into the business from an angel investor. This has allowed me to employ more staff and increase our product range, which has really helped our business grow.
“VentureFest Tees Valley was also an incredible networking opportunity for us as well. We were able to talk to a range of people outside our sector who we never would have had the chance to meet outside of the event. I was also able to talk to Bill Morrow, who was one of the keynote speakers of the day and founder of Angels’ Den. My conversation with him was really helped me learn more about what investors look for in business and the types of investment that’s out there. I was able to make so many new connections and have even continued the conversations on LinkedIn as well.
“Without VentureFest Tees Valley I wouldn’t have gained so many useful contacts, and I don’t think I would have obtained the investment in my business without the experience I gained at FinanceCamp. I wouldn’t have the experience and confidence of pitching to investors, and the meetings I’ve had since have meant that I now have a strong business plan and financial report for future meetings”.