Alan is the sort of investor TMT founders want on their board. A successful entrepreneur, he’s currently investing in many businesses, has helped found three and has steered one through to a successful flotation as a substantial PLC.
He looks for businesses that have a great team of founders who have created a valuable proposition which meets a real need within a market and that is ready to be grown significantly.
Alan offers his technology investor help tips:
“Some people paint, some people play music, but for me it is helping businesses.I get my excitement from adding value and getting involved.It is a huge privilege to work with these bright and enthusiastic people.
The people are absolutely key. They must have vision and passion.Good people could make an average proposition fly, whereas the wrong people would certainly wreck a great idea.
But you don’t want to back a person, you want to back a team.A minimum is two people, but ideally three or four who strongly share the same vision.I like to see complimentary skills and everyone having a broadly equal “skin in the game”.My dream team would include a “tech head”, a commercial or marketing person and someone who will actually execute the plan.
For me, keeping the founders involved and motivated is essential.Many fail in the early stages because the founder becomes disillusioned or diluted out, essentially becoming nothing more than a poorly paid employee.
As TMT businesses grow they need more process, more definition around scale, and they need more people bringing relevant management skills.For me, organisations like CBW can play a hugely important role for businesses in this area.
CBW can connect early stage businesses with investors with the money, skills, experience and industry contacts to help make things happen quickly.They have a lot of credibility and I treat all their introductions to me a lot more seriously than if someone cold calls me.
Their size is important too – big enough to have the resources, but small enough for smaller firms to fit comfortably.Growing TMT businesses that use very large accountancy firms risk paying gold-plated rates without receiving the advice they need. “