Each year YCF’s annual conference takes a broad theme that gives a variety of speakers the opportunity to set out their own knowledge or experience in different ways. We had talks by industry professionals –investors, analysts, business advisers – interspersed with presentations by entrepreneurs from early stage high growth companies.
At YCF, tracking this market closely for our monthly publication, we see a rapidly evolving diversity of options open to young companies seeking finance. Each month we see new equity investors – VC firms, corporate venturers, business angels and groups – investing in Scottish companies for the first time. Crowdfunding is starting to make a difference to the market, and although currently focused on London and the South East is increasing rapidly throughout the UK. And joining the public markets, particularly AIM, has again become an option for companies needing significant growth finance.
Dr Stuart Fancey
Assistant Director of Research and Innovation, Scottish Funding Council
Stuart leads SFC’s team focused on supporting Scotland’s world-leading university research and helping universities and business to translate that excellent research into sustainable economic growth.
Head of UK Primary Markets
Head of AIM
London Stock Exchange
Marcus Stuttard has responsibility for Primary Markets in the UK across both AIM and the Main Market, and is responsible for the management and development of AIM, London Stock Exchange’s international growth market for small and medium sized enterprises. He is a regular speaker on growth and business funding issues and sits on a number of industry and policy advisory bodies.
Dr Nicola Broughton
Investment Director, University Technology Transfer, Mercia Technologies
Nicola leads a team that specialises in identifying spinout opportunities from Mercia’s partner universities. Nicola’s background is in IP commercialisation, university spinouts and licensing, primarily within the university and small and medium sized enterprises (“SME”) sectors. Since starting to work in technology transfer in 2000, Nicola has fulfilled a number of commercial roles. Her experience includes sourcing and identifying commercial opportunities, IP protection, strategy and management (managing a patent portfolio to global protection), ’freedom to operate’, licensing, cross licensing, due diligence and raising finance in both the public and private sectors, as well as writing business plans.
Dr Mark Payton
Founder and CEO, Mercia Technologies
Mark oversees the group’s activities, from supporting early stage businesses financed through Mercia Fund Management to scaling emerging stars financed via Mercia’s balance sheet.
Mark has made in excess of 30 venture investments and led the sale of Hybrid Systems (to Myotec), Warwick Effect Polymers (to Polytherics) and was on the board of Abzena plc until its listing on AIM in July 2014. Prior to MFM, Mark was at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, and played leading roles within Isis Innovation. Mark was vice president corporate development at Oxxon Therapeutics Inc, prior to its sale to Oxford BioMedica PLC. Mark led the management buyout which created Mercia Fund Management. Mark gained his PhD jointly between the University of Oxford (Worcester College) and the University of London (King’s College). He also has an MBA from the University of Warwick, has IMC parts I and II, and is FCA accredited.
Co-founder and CTO, SyndicateRoom
Born in Los
Angeles, Tom moved to the UK to play football and after three fairly successful
years realised it was time to focus on his non-sporting career. Before joining SyndicateRoom as a co-founder
Tom worked in product development on a number of software-based projects including
managing the development of the mobile applications for TheTrainline. Tom completed
his MBA at Cambridge where he focused on developing start-ups and has taken a
keen interest in ventures focused on helping other start-ups. Tom leads SyndicateRoom's website development
team though his skills and experience ensure that he does a lot more than just
that. In his spare time Tom volunteers
for Camp Footprints, rock climbs, and still plays the odd five aside game.
We will also have presenters from entrepreneurial companies which have achieved against different criteria: exit, sales, investment, high growth.
CEO and Founder at Mallzee - 'Making it in mobile - from Seed
to Series A'
Cally leads Mallzee’s drive to be the ultimate mobile shopping
experience. The business is on course to employ 30 star by the end of of 2015
whilst helping hundreds of thousands of people shop from their mobile. In 2015
Mallzee has secured a fantastic marketing agreement with Samsung and also
raised £2.5m from a range of investors including Royal Mail Group. Cally is
passionate about marketing for technology firms.
CEO, Ecometrica - ‘The journey from consulting to software as a service’
With 10 years’ worth of sector experience Gary has advised multi-national
companies across many industry sectors, including oil and gas, petrochemicals,
aviation, public transport, finance, and professional services. Gary has also
been involved in the design of industry standards having advised on the
development of the PAS2050 product standard, the Carbon Trust Standard and has
been on UK Government working groups for biofuel greenhouse gas accounting. Gary co-founded Ecometrica in 2008 and, as well as continuing to fulfil a
technical role within the greenhouse gas accounting team, Gary serves as a main
board director and is part of the commercial team behind Ecometrica’s data and
software products. Gary has a first class BSc (Hons) in Geosciences from the University of Edinburgh
and was winner of the Royal Geographical Society’s Alfred Steers prize in 2003.
CEO & Inventor at G-Hold - 'Growth through innovation, export
Alison Grieve is on a mission to change the way the world holds things.
Having successfully developed, manufactured, exported and licensed handholding
technology for the foodservice industry with their award-winning non-toppling
Safetray, founder and inventor Alison Grieve extended the company's ergonomic
expertise to the world of tech by
creating G-Hold - a range of IP protected handholds for tablet computers and
other devices in the IoT space. Less than a year after launching, the G-Holds
are distributed across three continents, selling through multiple channels
spanning both consumers and professional users, such as RBS, CalStateTEACH and
MiTAC. The G-Hold even has a few celebrity users including Suzi Perry on BBC's
Formula One and Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter.
Commercial Director at Cascade Technologies – 'The journey from
pre-funding to exit – a few of the challenges we overcame and what we can
Richard was educated at Strathclyde University where he gained a degree
in Production Engineering and Management and is a Chartered Engineer. During
his career he has had a number of senior operational roles in high quality engineering
and manufacturing companies; Howden Group (General and nuclear engineering;
Rolls Royce (Aero engines) and in volume manufacturing businesses (diesel
engines, Fork lift vehicle assembly and medical devices). Prior to the start of
Cascade, Richard cut his teeth with a number of start-ups in the high tech
field as both an employee and a consultant resolving technical, funding,
financial management, sales and operational challenges. While at Cascade he has
helped to start and grow Cascade. This has involved many aspects of business
from grant funding and property management to selling disruptive laser based
gas analysers and related products into diverse industries such as FMCG and the
petrochemical industries. He has won sales of development programmes and
products to both end users and OEM customers worldwide. He is part of the team
that has created a company with sales on all 5 continents to both SME’s and
large global brands.
Dr Margaret Temple
CEO at Vitrology – ‘The Vitrology Story
- there must be an angel...’
Margaret Temple is a science and business
graduate of Edinburgh University who joined the biotechnology industry in 1995.
Following several commercial roles with Q- One Biotech Limited Margaret was
appointed as a Board Director in 2002. In 2007 Margaret co -founded Vitrology
Limited having secured funding from Archangels, and was appointed CEO in
2009. Vitrology was acquired by the Swiss multinational SGS in 2012, and a two
year period of integration was completed at the end of 2014.
Young Company Showcase 2015
The successful Young Company Showcase was repeated this year, giving a number of early stage companies the opportunity to exhibit their products and services and participate in the conference. YCF were proud to host the following young enterprises:
- Alphabet Babies
- Cascade Water Products
- MIME Technologies
- Plan Bee
- Research Space
Learn more about development of these companies by downloading Young Company Showcase publication (link below).