JENNY TOOTH OBE CHIEF EXECUTIVE UK BUSINESS ANGELS ASSOCIATION
On behalf of UK Business Angels Association, I should like to welcome you to this Winter Investment Forum. I should like to begin by expressing our sincere appreciation to CMS, leading international law firm, for their generous hospitality and for partnering with us for this event today. I should also like to thank NVM Private Equity and Seedrs for their valuable support for the Forum.
We have titled this Winter Investment Forum “Future Forward: Embracing Change and Opportunity”.
Whilst we will be looking back at 2018 to identify and gain insights on some of the key trends and developments in the angel and early-stage investment market, we will, most importantly, be looking forward to the year ahead and where investment opportunities will lie for investors in 2019. We are bringing together over 20 experts from investment and entrepreneurship today who will be sharing their own experience and giving us their perspectives, and I should like to thank them all for their most valuable support. We will be hearing about some of the key emerging technologies and how these are converging with other leading sectors to address some of our major social and market challenges, looking at areas such as AI, IoT, Fintech, and Cybersecurity.
We will also have a valuable update from Catherine Lewis La Torre on the new Regional Angel Investment Programme being put in place by British Business Investments, bringing £100m to address the current regional disparity in the level of angel investing and stimulate new angel investment capacity in the year ahead. By the time you are reading this, the Parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal will have taken place, so our debates today will also be framed in the context of the outcome of this vote and what the next steps might be for our country. So this could not be a more significant time for all of us to come together today to consider the potential impact and what this might mean for investing in early stage and scale-up businesses in 2019. At this Forum we will be considering the implications for building and scaling investee businesses in the year ahead. We will be looking at the key policy and practical considerations and examining what more can be done by the investment community and at regional/ national level to enable us to address uncertainties and take advantage of new opportunities that might emerge in a time of disruption and change.
At UKBAA we will be doing our best to continue to build, grow and connect a vibrant and dynamic angel and early stage finance eco system in 2019. We will be keen to hear from you all today in these debates about what more you think we can do at UKBAA to support your investing in 2019 to enable you to address the uncertainties and make the most of what lies ahead. I should like to thank CMS once again for their generous support and partnership, and also to NVM, Seedrs and our event exhibitors. I hope that you find this conference interesting and stimulating and make valuable new contacts, and we look forward to working with you in the year ahead.