Manchester is the 'next gold seam'
Investors are starting to move up North to take advantage of the region’s untapped assets says AllBright director of the North Lou Cordwell.
AllBright is a new funding platform for female entrepreneurs, and also offers support and education for female-led businesses.
Cordwell, who will be speaking at BusinessCloud’s ‘Secrets of tech funding’ event in November, is also the founder and CEO of Manchester-based digital design agency magneticNorth.
“I recently spoke to an investor who’s moving to Manchester for a better quality of life,” she told BusinessCloud.
“He wants to do some good and invest in some entrepreneurs that inspire him as people.
“There’s definitely a sense of female entrepreneurs being an untapped asset class and the sense is that the next gold seam is up here and that London is saturated.
“There’s an opportunity here that’s growing. All the signs are here.”
To continue to encourage the growth the region needs to first focus on outputting investable products and businesses.
“It depends who you talk to and what kind of money you’re looking to raise,” said Cordwell.
“The old adage is that it’s as easy to raise £5m as it is to raise £200,000 but the thing to focus on is creating things to invest in.
“Once we have those there’s enough of us up here that can parade suitable investors around and who would want to.
“Then they’ll start to say ‘why don’t I open an office here?’ But they’ll only be persuaded by deal flow and that’s what going to get the ecosystem right along with skills, culture, self-belief and role models saying ‘I came from your postcode and you can do it too’.
“Once you’ve got all of that you begin to reap rewards.”
Technology will be a key part of creating these new products going forward, says Cordwell.
“There’s an acknowledgement that across the city to achieve success tech is a key accelerator – it’s a conversation we’ve been having for a long time, and it’s starting to sink in.”
Cordwell will be speaking at BusinessCloud’s ‘Secrets of how to get tech funding’ event on Thursday 23rd November in Manchester.
The breakfast event, which will be shining a spotlight on the whole issue of funding for tech, will run from 7.30am to 9.30am and take place at the UKFast Campus in south Manchester.
It will be hosted by editor and award-winning journalist Chris Maguire, who will be hearing directly from companies and funders about their experiences.
BusinessCloud will also be examining and discussing the pros and cons of a variety of funding options, including bank loans, private equity funding, angel investment and crowdfunding.