Founders rarely have access to unbiased and honest investment advice. To help, Tech Nation is offering one-to-one virtual consultations aimed at helping digital tech founders succeed in raising investment. Because Tech Nation is backed by the Treasury, the service is available free of charge.
Gary Davidson, Investment Lead for Entrepreneur Engagement at Tech Nation, is providing the support. “There aren’t many organisations that have no skin in the game that can offer completely free investment advice,” says Gary. “Think of me as a not-for-profit connector of dots who can give tech founders refreshingly honest and blunt advice on making their next steps.”
Gary can help tech founders based anywhere in the UK by looking at pitch decks, reviewing projects and being a sounding board for the investment journey – from deciding when to raise pre-seed money all the way up to Series A. He can also connect founders with VC investment funds in the UK and US when the time is right and help them use Data Commons, Tech Nation’s database for founders, investors and policymakers.
Gary developed a passion for helping tech founders access venture capital while undertaking his main role as Tech Nation’s Entrepreneur Engagement Manager for Northern Ireland, which he has held since 2019.
“Northern Ireland has a very early-stage ecosystem where capital is readily available for startups, but at later growth stages it is not,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to do something about that in terms of helping tech founders across the country get access to more funds in the UK and US.”
Alongside starting a new role as Investment Lead, Gary recently became an ambassador for Landscape VC, which describes itself as ‘Glassdoor for VC’. The platform lets founders leave anonymous investor reviews to help others seeking funding make informed decisions, and Gary is one of several new recruits.
“The ambassador programme, which is relatively new, is seeking key individuals involved in ecosystems who are passionate about helping founders reach the right funds,” says Gary. “Because the platform is new and growing, the data and reviews on it will be so important in helping founders when they reach out to funds.”
Landscape’s founder Joe Perkins launched the platform when, after attempting to raise investment for his company, he realised that he knew little about the investors his team were pitching to.
“I realised that we never really knew who we were pitching to, what they were like, how they operated and how they treat the founders they invest in,” Joe says. “It seemed crazy that I would have to manually search for founders the investors had previously backed and do individual reference checks for each one.
“Founders looking for investment should be more diligent with who they go into business with, as often an investor will over-promise and under-deliver – but ultimately you only really find out when it is too late.”
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