We were at New Start Scotland exhibition at the end of last week in Glasgow’s SECC. We met hundreds of entrepreneurs with fantastic new business ideas with the potential to pitch at our SpeedFunding events and on our crowdfunding platform.
On both days we gave a group of pre-selected nervous entrepreneurs, some of which who came to us via Entrepreneurial Spark, the chance to pitch their business idea in three minutes to a panel of investors willing to put their own cash into new business ventures, followed by a 3 minute Q&A session.
On Thursday Mo’s Cookie Dough, Vicki Fiddes Podiatry, September Street, The Wee House Company and Cappuccino Ads all pitched and on Friday it was the turn of Core 150, K14 Foods, Zapcoder, I Do Licious, EffortlessSites and Pawsitively Natural to impress the panel of investors.
After some fantastic pitches in front of the angels and live audience, our panel of investors had to judge which lucky entrepreneur deserved to win. On Thursday it was neck and neck between two businesses, with Mo’s Cookie Dough, an all-natural cookie dough made from scratch in small batches, quick-wrapped to ensure “fresh from the mixing bowl” flavour, and sold ready to slice and bake, just taking the lead by a couple of points. On Friday there was a 3-way tie and in the end it came down to the investors giving their “gut feel” on which one they would be most likely to invest in, with the winner eventually being announced as Pawsitively Natural, dog biscuits made using fresh, sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients that do not contain any meat and animal derivatives, sensory additives or bulking agents, which are found in most major and supermarket own make brands.
Both Mo’s Cookie Dough and Pawsitively Natural won a free pitch at an Angels Den SpeedFunding event, as well as £500 worth of legal advice from Harper MacLeod Solicitors and a voucher for a strategy session from Gamechangers worth £1,000.
Chris Louttit, Founder and CEO of Pawsitively Natural said “I’d like to thank all at Angels Den for encouragement and support in what is an exciting time for my business. Less than a week after my Angels Den success I won the Interface Innovation of the Year Award for my use of Hebridean seaweed in my dog biscuits, providing essential micronutrients and giving the biscuits a shelf life of 53 weeks; unique for this type of biscuit!”
So who was on the panel of investors I hear you ask! On Thursday we had Bob, a software specialist who probably employs more software engineers in Scotland than anyone else. Plays football and loves Big Data projects; Mike, a former accountant with the Big 6 who likes property and “quirky” investments; Fay, a marketing expert who invests in service businesses rather than one selling goods; Mark who works in financial management and is a very prolific investor with a wide spread of investments; and Lionel who likes leading edge technology that’s difficult to understand.
On Friday we had Rob who likes tech investments but has invested in non-tech if he likes the people behind the business; Alan who owns a company that sells CMS systems to the government – software or physical products tick his boxes; Harry who has just come on board with Angels Den as our Scotland Angel Club Manager; Kenny who likes “supply chain” issues and engineering projects; and Jordan who put up one of the prizes and likes the Angels Den investment process.
We’re looking forward to returning to New Start Scotland again next year.