On the Startups website, there’s a nice interview with Mark Prisk outside 10 Downing Street talking about startups – and it sounds like the Enterprise Investment Scheme may well have some changes coming to it soon. Of course, the chances are high that it won’t be anything half as practical as allowing convertible notes to qualify, but it will be interesting to see what they have in mind, all the same.
Also on the Startups website, news just in from academe is that (shock horror) many angels need assistance to make investments. “Our study makes it clear that angels are on a steep learning curve, gaining knowledge from their very first investment, and learning from every subsequent one“, says Professor Richard Harrison of Queen’s University Management School in Belfast. Of course, incumbent angel networks would say that they already offer ‘training’ via focused seminars, so they don’t see the point of the kind of ‘angel academies’ the report writers suggest. Actually, from an entrepreneur’s point of view, the main point of angel academies would be help reduce the angel networks’ choke-hold on access to finance for startups, by empowering individual angels to make their own clear-headed investment decisions outside of the canape-filled confines of network meetings.
Really, in a world of ever-increasing disintermediation, how on earth anyone can whole-heartedly justify UK angel networks’ pay-to-be-coached, pay-to-pitch, & pay-to-succeed business models I don’t know. If ever there was a group of middlemen that just about everyone wanted rid of, it would be UK angel networks, surely?