Investors urged to pour funding into Manchester start-ups
Manchester faces a great challenge to convince wealthy investors to fund local tech businesses and not those overseas.
That was the finding at a BusinessCloud roundtable held to discuss start-ups and scale-ups in the region.
Al Mackin, co-founder of Formisimo – a tech firm which optimises customer completion of online forms for its clients – said his investors were all based in the South of England.
“The challenge Manchester has is partly through education and also the huge funding gap,” he said.
“All of our angels are London-based or Oxford-based.
“The North West has lots of millionaires and potential funders – but usually it’s their first deal.
“It’s quite scary for them to put money into something that could give them a huge return in a few years or go bust.”
Jonathan Burr, CEO of health tech company Intelesant, agreed that convincing people to fund start-ups is the main battle.
“If you’re doing anything in healthcare, you need really deep pockets. Everyone wants evidence and you can’t get that without doing stuff,” he said.
“You’re looking for people with enough vision and guts to take a bit of a risk on a good idea which is not proven – that’s the biggest barrier to innovation in health.”