29/04/2007

Conference to focus on global challenges facing early start investors

Wales’ ‘connected environment’ is ensuring early stage companies grow and achieve their share of the global market, a UK national conference to be held in Cardiff this summer will be told.


The British Business Angel Association’s (BBAA) annual conference is to be staged in Wales for the first time on the 4th July, attracting more than 300 investors, business angel networks, Venture Capitalists, Fund Managers, and professionals involved in Early Stage Funding from throughout the UK and Europe. Organised in conjunction with Finance Wales and xénos – The Wales Business Angel Network, the event will examine the impact of globalisation on the early stage investment market with keynote speakers exploring both the challenges and opportunities it presents for entrepreneurs and investors.

A specific conference focus will be the investment market in Wales and how the Welsh economy has developed in recent years, providing a primed environment for investors in early stage companies.

“Wales is providing structured support for early stage companies with Finance Wales and xénos playing an important part in this alongside other private sector investors,” said Steve Smith, Development Funding Director, Finance Wales. Early stage companies will increasingly be important to the growth of the Welsh economy and are an important part of Finance Wales’ strategy. We already engage with - and invest in - early stage businesses with strong IP and robust prototypes, but what we have to ensure is that they demonstrate profitable growth potential and commercial viability together with relevant management expertise in order to secure effective returns in the long-term.”

The BBAA’s annual conference, to be held at the Holland House Hotel, will focus attention on how investors are looking more and more towards early stage companies and entrepreneurs with global growth potential in order to ensure effective returns on their investment. At the same time, it will look at how early stage businesses in the UK looking to accelerate growth must increasingly go global earlier in their life cycles, taking advantage of the global market place for customers, technologies, supply of talent and risk capital. Part of the event will examine the early stage environment in Wales with an expert panel involved in the market.

Leanna Davies, Network Manager of xénos, said: “Syndicated deals and collaborations are an important way in which investors can share the risk of investing early stage companies. xénos is already facilitating syndicated deals amongst our investors and venture capital funds such as those offered by Finance Wales. The conference will enable us to examine collaborative opportunities for angel investors and venture capitalists on regional, national and international levels ensuring that welsh companies can compete in the global market.”

Key speakers already lined up for the event include David Smith, Economics Editor at The Sunday Times and Peter Linthwaite, CEO of the British Venture Capital Association. There will also be a range of international expert speakers, interactive panels and audience debates.

On the evening before the event the BBAA will host its annual awards dinner at the Millennium Stadium.