Angel network launched for the Northern tech sector

A business angel network has been launched to support the North’s growing tech sector.

Dow Schofield Watts Angels is aiming to replicate similar networks in Scotland and Cambridge which it says have helped grow the burgeoning technology sectors there, and address the funding gap for early stage technology investments.

It will focus on promising early-stage tech businesses particularly those with early revenues but which fall short of the size criteria of most tech venture capital investors.

Initially the network will invest up to £500,000 in each business, with the minimum contribution from each angel set at £10,000.

It has the support of many high-profile Northern entrepreneurs including Peter Mansfield of Leeds-based Callcredit, Bill Ainscough of Wainhomes, Richard Law of GB Group and Anthony Molloy of Daisy Group.

The network has been launched by advisory firm DSW  and will be led by David Smith, (pictured) who heads the firm’s technology team and who formerly managed the North West Fund for Digital & Creative.

David Smith of DSW said: “The North has no equivalent of the successful angel groups in Edinburgh or Cambridge and, with the venture capital industry largely focused on London, there is a funding gap for early-stage tech companies in the North.

“However we do have plenty of successful entrepreneurs, some of whom have been through the entire growth cycle of building and selling a business, and are willing to invest time and money in helping others.

“Dow Schofield Watts Angels will bring together entrepreneurs with fledgling businesses in need of funding and support. We aim to build a strong angel network that will be instrumental in driving the growth of the North’s technology sector.”

Roger Esler, corporate finance director at Dow Schofield Watts in Yorkshire & the North East, added: “This is a cross-Pennine initiative to provide the market with access to expertise in a very specialist sector and to provide capital at what is a very pivotal stage in a business’s development.”

Dow Schofield Watt Angels will be operated by Dow Schofield Watts’ private equity arm, PHD Equity Partners.