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Investors unite to fund event tech start-ups

EventTech investor group will offer seed funding and an introduction to the industry for fledgling tech companies
19/02/2016

Pictured: Richard Waddington leads the new investor group

A new investment group plans to inject capital into the UK’s ‘most promising’ event technology start-ups.

The EventTech investor group is led by former First Protocol CEO and current Event marketing Association chair Richard Waddington, and will back start-ups based on a Dragon’s Den-style format of reviews and presentations.

At the group’s inaugural meeting this week, Louise Conolly-Smith of London’s convention bureau, London & Partners, was among those to highlight the increasing significance of event technology, and the opportunities it affords wider strategy in the capital. Event Tech Lab’s James Morgan and Kevin Chong managing partner of venture capital fund Beacon Capital LLP also shared their insight and explained the role of seed investors.

Two start-ups also shared their experiences, Chetan Shah founder and CEO of MICEBOOK.com who is closing his first round of investment, and Ken Mawbey founder and CEO of aroundthen.com, who is embarking on his.

It was agreed the group would help expose start-ups to the market in addition to a cash injection.

Waddington said: “The idea is to create a pool of industry specific angle investors, who are interested in getting on the first rung of the ladder with EventTech start-ups; through advising, mentoring and investing.

“Having been involved with London & Partners and the TravelTech Lab through my investment in MICEBOOK, I have been exposed to a number of start-ups. There are some great ideas, passion and enthusiasm, the biggest hurdle is access to seed investment, and industry insight and validation. I think there’s a massive opportunity for individuals and companies to get more engaged and collaborate more in helping the EventTech sector grow.”

After an initial review, selected start-ups will be invited to present their idea to the group, answer questions and then deal directly with individuals who are interested in investing. Potential investors in turn can spread their exposure and reduce rick by investing small amounts in a number of businesses.

Scott Thompson, chief commercial officer at London & Partners, added: “London has a world class reputation as a host city for major events and conferences. When you combine this with our fast growing technology sector, we are seeing a growing opportunity in the event tech space. As the Mayor of London’s official Convention Bureau, we are pleased to support Richard’s initiative and the opportunities to bring together leading investors and experts from across the events and technology industries.”  


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