Meet some of the industry experts who work with Sapphire. Individuals with transformative ideas and a passion for identifying and investing in the companies of tomorrow. They make the future exciting.
John BailyeSideBySide EIS Venture Fund
John knows how to grow companies from startup to success. He co-founded a start-up that grew to a $1 billion market cap on Nasdaq. Today he leads the SideBySide EIS Venture Fund with the sole focus of identifying, investing in and mentoring the high-growth companies of tomorrow.
This Fund will invest in high-growth but more established technology-enabled EIS companies, led by driven teams who dream big. SidebySide help investees enhance the value of the investment by applying our decades of experience building private, public and international businesses. The approach is modelled on past successes in this space where there is a need to have a high-touch engagement of up to two days a month mentoring and directly working with each management team on day-to-day issues.
Consequently, SidebySide intend to have a relatively small (up to ten) number of companies in the Fund, at any one time, to ensure each company has access to SidebySide for the advice they need to reach their potential. The investments will usually be held for a period longer than five years, to allow companies to complete their journey into their mainstream markets.
Damon BonserBritish Design Funds
Damon is a serial entrepreneur with many years of experience in building, running and selling businesses within the creative sector. He now uses his expertise to help the British Design Fund to identify the most ambitious and scalable opportunities in the design sector today.
The Fund will seek to identify the most ambitious and scalable opportunities in the design sector today. If the Fund has the right investment approach and access to quality deals, it has the potential to deliver exceptional returns. The Fund will assist the Investee Companies to build products that people want and need. In doing this, the Fund will invest in some of the UK’s potentially most exciting design companies, helping them grow and taking them to the next level of their development.
Dr Nicola BroughtonMEDCAN Fund
Armed with an MBA, a PhD and a Diploma in Law, combined with many years of experience in venture capital and expertise in intellectual property, Nicola is well placed to lead the MEDCAN fund to invest in startups that exploit the therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system for use in global markets.
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
London & Paris
The Fund will invest in start ups across the entire value chain (from molecule to patient). It will not invest in growing or producing cannabis, nor will the Fund be involved in businesses or activities related to recreational cannabis.
Dr Glenn CrockerPioneer Life Sciences EIS Knowledge Intensive Fund
Glenn is the Director of Ventures & Investment. He has a DPhil in Immunology and qualified as a Chartered Accountant, with EY. At EY he was UK Head of Biotechnology and worked in Palo Alto, CA and Cambridge, UK before becoming founder CEO of BioCity Group.
Nottingham — United Kingdom
By doing this we will help to create and grow some exciting, innovative and potentially life changing companies. The businesses the Fund will invest in may have an impact on their local economy, providing highly skilled jobs and further increasing the overall strength of the UK life sciences sector.
Investment selection process
A team of venture builders and WAPG’s network of science infrastructure across the UK provide privileged access to a stream of validated investment opportunities. Our sites and venture development activity act as funnels, drawing in the best opportunities in the area.
WAPG will be working with opportunities from various sources including ICURe, Oxford and East Midlands AHSN Accelerators, Scottish University Accelerator, Scottish Universities Accelerator, Scottish High Growth Programme, Pharma Partners, WAPG's own network.
Andy DavidsonNova Cofoundery SEIS & EIS Fund
Learning the tech business from the ground up, Andy started as a software engineer and over the last 20 years, he has co-founded more than 100 tech companies - including Lucid Games & Sentric Music. Today he focuses on identifying the companies of tomorrow for the Nova Cofoundery SEIS & EIS Fund.
The Fund is an opportunity to invest alongside an experienced partner in Nova Cofoundery Limited ("Nova") in their portfolio of early-stage companies.
Lachlan Gowrie-SmithGameTech Ventures Fund
A lifelong gamer, Lachlan has developed a passion for building technology start ups, with a focus on gaming and esports. Today, Lachlan helps the GameTech Ventures Fund to discover early stage companies that are pioneering the future of our digital lives through gaming technology and the gaming audience.
The Fund will seek to invest in early-stage companies that are pioneering the future of our digital lives through gaming technology and the gaming audience. Primarily the Fund is looking for great founders who are building something of genuine value to people and businesses. Companies that make interactive experiences more efficient to build or use, more engaging to participate in, more economically valuable and those that open up new audiences. The Fund looks for founders who have vision and sense, with a strong preference for those that are authentically endemic to modern gaming culture, personally and professionally. The Fund prefers companies that are building proprietary technologies but will engage with those using cutting-edge technologies in novel ways.
Dr Ilian IlievEMVC Evergreen EIS Fund
With a passion for building companies from the ground up, Ilian is an expert in industrial high-tech, energy, the circular economy, smart cities and transportation. As the CEO of NetScientfic plc and the MD of EMV Capital - Ilian helps the EMVC Evergreen EIS Fund identify, invest in and mentor the companies of tomorrow.
EMVC has a strong infrastructure for sourcing, evaluating, investing in and supporting companies with this profile, leveraging its network of private and institutional investors, corporate partners, and industry experts. Now, through the EMVC Evergreen EIS Fund, qualifying investors may benefit from the EMVC team's expertise and ecosystem.
Dominic KeenBritish Robotics Funds
Dominic lives and breathes robotics. As a successful entrepreneur - having previously floated the Mporium Group plc - Dominic now helps the British Robotics Funds to invest in and mentor promising robotics ventures to maximise their growth potential.
Britbots seeks to back high-growth robotics, artificial intelligence and automations companies delivering large scale productivity improvements through autonomous technologies at the intersection of the digital and physical world.
The last decade has seen global productivity fall, natural resources be depleted and skilled labour pools contract in the developed world, despite rising labour costs and consumption levels. Against this backdrop, Britbots believe that autonomous technologies will provide the principle avenue for companies to improve their productivity and profitability.
Marcus LoveLove Ventures Funds
Marcus has a highly experienced equities background and is a successful angel investor. Previously, he backed the UK’s most valuable private company, Revolut, which now has a market value of circa $33 billion. Today, Marcus helps the Love Ventures Funds in identifying the FinTech, PropTech and ConsumerTech companies of tomorrow.
The Love Ventures Funds will invest in early-stage companies which are leveraging technology in a post-Covid world to accelerate their growth. We’re looking to partner with exceptional founders in the FinTech, PropTech and ConsumerTech sectors.
The Fund offers a unique opportunity to gain access to these fast-growing companies. The team is laser-focused on finding these opportunities, often off-market, and uncovering the next gems of tomorrow. The team have a strong background in identifying visionary founders and helping bring them from Seed stage up to Series A. This is an identified funding gap in the UK market where we can add value and assist companies with their growth up to Series A and beyond.
Brian McCaulQUBIS Innovation Fund
Having led the #1 University Spin-out in Entrepreneurial Impact Ranking for the last two years, Brian is the visionary CEO behind QUBIS. He uses his many years of experience in aerospace and innovative software to help the QUBIS Innovation Fund identify the most exciting and scalable early-stage companies.
The Fund presents the opportunity for alumni and qualifying investors to make an impact investment in spin-out companies formed to commercialise scientific and technological advances made at Queen’s University Belfast ("Queens"). To support the Fund’s pipeline, consideration will also be given to Queen’s Student ventures and spin-outs from partner Universities participating in the Queen’s administered NxNW ICURe Programme. The NxNW consortium encompasses Ulster University, University of Edinburgh, University of Liverpool, University of Sheffield, University of Manchester, and the University of Leeds.
Mehjabeen PatrickCreative England Fund
Mehjabeen is an ambitious, committed leader with an MBA and over 25 years of experience in investing. Previously, she worked as a Director of Finance for United Nations Association. Now Mehjabeen is responsible for the implementation and running of all operating functions in Creative UK.
Creative England was launched in October 2011 as a government initiative and is now an independent company that invests in creative talent and businesses. Via the Fund, Creative England seeks to assist Sapphire Capital Partners LLP to unlock the power of the creative economy by investing in early-stage creative and digital businesses. It will also help the businesses grow by providing mentoring and support.
Mark PearsonFuel Ventures Funds
Mark is a serial entrepreneur, having founded and invested in numerous technology and software companies that result in some high-profile exits. Mark is the founder of the Fuel Ventures funds which are identifying, developing and scaling exciting SaaS, online marketplaces and eCommerce businesses.
As the early-stage investors in some of the UK’s fastest-growing technology businesses, the team at Fuel Ventures are able to benefit from high volume deal flow and identify the companies that have the potential to be the next UK high-growth companies.
Daniel RodwellGrowthInvest Portfolio Service
Daniel has been a successful angel investor for over ten years. Currently, he mentors scalable businesses and founded an equity derivatives boutique. He now uses his expertise and knowledge in managing the GrowthInvest platform and is passionate about increasing efficiency in the alternative investment sector.
GrowthInvest works closely with entrepreneurs, assisting with investment readiness, structuring of investment rounds and HMRC compliance. We aim to build strong relationships with the platform businesses, supporting them throughout their journey in order to generate the best possible outcome for the GrowthInvest investors. The platform technology provides the investors on our platform with full transparency on the underlying investments alongside efficient regular reporting at company level.
From our experience at GrowthInvest, the Fund has been designed to consist of three sub-funds, each with a separate investment policy. The first will target Investee Companies that qualify for SEIS Reliefs only. The second will target Investee Companies that qualify for EIS Reliefs only and the third will be a mixed investment policy which will target Investee Companies that qualify for SEIS Reliefs and/or EIS Reliefs. You will be able to choose how much of your subscription to allocate to each of these three sub-funds. The Fund is aiming to exit investments after three to seven years.
Raj SaxenaVelocity Capital Funds
Raj worked as Red Bull Energy Drinks, UK & Ireland’s marketing director and has completed an MBA at the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne. Raj is currently the CEO of Velocity Capital Advisors who have extensive experience in marketing and business development.
Velocity Capital Advisors Limited was set up as a vehicle to facilitate participation in exciting, young companies, which have technology at the core of their offering. We look to work with companies that are innovative, can scale quickly and provide a product or service that is genuinely useful to their customers, whether B2C or B2B.
The Investment Consultant believes that the UK Consumer Technology Market currently offers attractive EIS investment opportunities and it will source opportunities to allow the Funds to invest in companies that, in the Investment Consultant’s opinion, meet the following criteria:
Have a consumer technology focus
High growth, capital appreciation potential
Have obtained advanced assurance of qualification for EIS tax relief.
Jasper SmithVala Capital Funds
Jasper, a passionate environmentalist and successful entrepreneur, has founded and invested in many companies in the technology sector. He co-founded PlayJam, one of the largest tv and mobile games networks. Currently, Jasper helps Vala Capital to identify innovative startups, transforming them into profitable, sustainable companies.
The Vala EIS Portfolio builds on the expertise of a group of serial entrepreneurs, who over many years have given blood, sweat and tears to create, build and sell businesses across various industries. We have invested more than £30m of our own money into early-stage businesses and raised more than £75m from other investors for those companies.