Angels and Urchins – Report

Posted on: Friday 04 July 2014 4:53pm by Katie Simmons

Katie Simmons listened to leading experts in investment talk about what they’re looking for, where they’ve seen success and what to avoid.


  • Investors are interested in teams and companies – perhaps more than products or ideas.
  • Make sure you can demonstrate how you will meet your business projections.
  • Kids content is going to be valuable to investors.

Session Details

Angels UrchinsThis is an at times impenetrable subject, but there are investors out there with money. Get advice from people who know what they’re doing and you could convince them you and your IP is worth it!

Genevieve Dexter, from Serious Lunch is an expert in IP exploitation. She talked through some of her experiences in raising money for IPs which had a broadcaster attached; ‘Olly the Little White Van’ and ‘Okido’.

She met Squint Opera and ‘Okido’ at the CMC a couple of years ago when they had CBeebies on board, but were faced with finding £3.5 million to make it. After raising the finance from other broadcast partners etc., they still had a gap of £1.5 million to fill with Venture Capital funding.

The EIS Funding (Enterprise Investment Scheme) is a scheme whereby investors get a 30% tax break and have other benefits to them. Genevieve prepared an enormous document and presented it to Venture Capitalists at a big roadshow, convincing them they should invest in ‘Okido’ rather than the voice recognition software or new coffee machine concept the next guy was selling. This enormous roadshow only added another £150k to their pot.

Conversely, when she tried this route with ‘Olly the Little White Van’ it worked a treat. Genevieve sees the key to getting them to open their wallets is to de-risk the property. You need to clearly demonstrate how you are going to achieve these projections with a clear route to market; Olly had a deal with Hornby in the bag.

Investors are often more interested in a company than a property or an idea. They invest in teams and companies.

This is where Jan from Emerge Venture Lab can help. He introduced what he believes to be amazing learning companies from around the world to investors. He made the point that these individuals may be brilliant at what they do, but may need help and training from experts in how to present themselves to investors.

Another route for investors is SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme). Jean de Fougerolles from Ascension Ventures explained the figures and motivation for these investors and the restrictions to those they may invest in. This type of investor is less like the EIS angel in as much as they’re not as concerned about meeting their entrepreneurs.

Our opening Keynote speaker, Dylan spoke very candidly about his work in investment and rolled out figures and facts and experiences. He believes that the value of kids’ content can’t be overstated enough and the second wave of big kids brands after Angry Birds and Minecraft are going to be even bigger – and they are going to come from content. He advised content makers to go to the big digital players such as Zeptolab with your content. They can do what you can’t do, but you can go to them to solve their content problems.

As ever, the discussion could have continued, but it was hugely interesting, if at times challenging, to begin to penetrate this often impenetrable side to our business.

For full details of the speakers check the Session Guide.

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Katie Simmons, Writer and Development Producer – Freelance

About the author

Katie Simmons

Freelance, Writer and Development Producer

Katie has been involved in the creation and development of many well-loved brands including 'Show Me Show Me', 'Mr Bloom’s Nursery' and 'Numtums'. She has also been the creative lead on projects that are developed for the commercial, worldwide audience. Katie is also an experienced children’s scriptwriter and her credits… Read more