In partnership with Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f), on March 14th Midven Investment Director Giovanni Finocchio hosted an interactive workshop on venture capital investment and how to best prepare an effective investor pitch for West Midlands entrepreneurs. The workshop was held at the Birmingham Innovation Campus and offered entrepreneurs insights into how successful companies raise early-stage funding.
Gio joined Midven in 2010 and has extensive experience mentoring entrepreneurs and working in collaboration with business angels to build successful companies. Prior to joining Midven, Gio spent nearly four years with Connect Midlands helping early-stage businesses prepare for raising equity investment. He also has extensive sales and marketing experience within the SME environment, having held business development and marketing roles in five early-stage businesses that were VC and business angel funded.
Gio provided entrepreneurs with an understanding of venture capital and what investors like to see in pitch including a strong management team with relevant experience; significant market growth potential; protectable intellectual property (IP): and a recruitment plan. Gio provided guidance on the best business plans and went on to explain the different stages of the investment process. The session ended with an open Q&A.
The presentation also included an introduction to the new £35m West Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) and insights into the different funding options available. Midven has recently been appointed to manage the £35 million equity finance portion of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and is looking to invest these funds into high-growth businesses across the West Midlands over the next five years. Midven has managed over £105m of SME-focused funds having supported more than 200 companies in the West Midlands.
Entrepreneur Samantha Fisher from The Wonder Why Society, a fully moderated, collaborative online learning platform for primary schools where children and teachers can explore an exciting world of wonders of news, views, and discoveries, commented: “The session was very informative. It was refreshing to hear things from an investor’s point of view. The opportunity to be in the same space as an investor to learn from them, rather than pitch to them is of great benefit. A good way to understand whether my business is investment ready.”
Entrepreneur Joe Kibbler from Icarusparts, which enables drivers to purchase and compare car parts online before easily booking in the work with a qualified mechanic they can trust, added: “I attended Gio’s investment workshop as we are planning to raise investment later in the year. I found the session extremely insightful as Gio clearly explained what he looks for when reviewing decks and business plans. By attending this session, it has helped to ensure we create investor-ready documents”.