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2012 - Early stage investment: where are we now?
05 April 2012
Speakers' slides from YCF's 10th annual conference on 13 September are now available for download at the foot of this article.

The conference discussed recent trends in the early stage investment environment, how they affect young companies and the way in which they access suitable forms of finance.

There were four sessions - a general session followed by three sessions focusing on particular market sectors.

General Session

Ian Ritchie, serial entrepreneur,founded Office Workstations Limited (OWL) in Edinburgh in 1984 and built the business before selling to Panasonic of Japan in December 1989. He is currently chairman of iomart plc, Computer Application Services Ltd, the Interactive Design Institute, Blipfoto, and RedFox Media.

Carlos Silva, President and COO of Seedrs, an equity based crowdfunding website, the first in the UK to win FSA approval. 

Tim Lafferty, managing director of Global Corporate Venturing, previously with Dow Jones Private Equity News.

Nelson Gray, angel investor in Scotland and with Ohio TechAngels, investment adviser at England’s Angel CoFund, and special projects director at LINC Scotland providing advice on the establishment and structuring of early stage investment funds in Scotland and overseas. 


Kelvin King, IP Valuation Consultant, Marks & Clerk Consulting LLP, on the valuation of intangible assets


Hugh Griffith, founder of Bioenvision, sold in 2007 to Genzyme Corp, and now CEO of angel group Alida Capital International and of NuCana BioMed, a young oncology focused biopharmaceutical company.  
Glenn Crocker, CEO of BioCity Nottingham and author of the UK LIfe Science Start-up Report


Irene Maffini, New Ventures Analyst in the Innovation team at Carbon Trust
David Campbell, investor chairman of Airborne Energy and Sentient Medical, CFO at AlbaTERN.


Andrin Bachmann, founder of Swedish telecom company Glocalnet which floated and was then acquired by Telenor, then set up a European office for US VC M/C Venture Partners before starting his own specialist VC in London, Piton Capital, which focuses on companies which have “a product or service that gets better the more people use it”.

Shane Corstorphine, previously Director of Performance for Barclays Corporate, joined Europe’s leading travel search site Skyscanner as Chief Financial Officer earlier this year.

Niall Brown, responsible for the IBM relationship with Consultants and Systems Integrators in Scotland


Conference sponsors:

With transactions completed to date in excess of £155m, DC Consulting ( ) are specialists in fund raising, delivering investable solutions to meet both clients’ and investors’ expectations.

Marks & Clerk ( ) is the UK’s largest firm of patent and trade mark attorneys and advises companies on their intellectual property across a full range of sectors worldwide.
At Santander Corporate Banking (, we believe in building long-term relationships by placing the customer at the heart of all we do.  Our Breakthrough programme includes funding, business support, events and consultancy which will help high-performing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) leap to the next level of sustainable growth.
If you want to find out more about the Breakthrough programme, take a look at our dedicated website or register for our special ‘Breakthrough Live’ event that will be take place on October 18th in Edinburgh (contact: Steve Hand from Santander on 07771 506701 or
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