On June 19th, the UKBAA's flagship Global Angel Investment Summit took centre stage at the International Business Festival in Liverpool, followed by the annual UK Angel Investment Awards at the stunning Liverpool Cathedral. The day was an exploration of emerging technologies and a dazzling celebration of the UK’s investment high growth success stories.
Cocoon Networks and its founder and CEO John Zai once again were thrilled to witness the great talent and the angel investment stars 'behind the scenes' enabling the fantastic growth of new enteprises in the UK.
UKBAA under the wonderful leadership of Jenny Tooth OBE had once again outdone itself in a sparkling celebration of the UK angel investment community's brightest stars.
John Zai, our founder and CEO, was delighted to speak on China-UK trade at the UKBAA Global Investment Summit and present the award for “Best International Growth Business” to “Plato Media-Hopster”.
UKBAA Global Investment Summit
This year's summit was held as part of the wider International Business Festival, taking place from 12-28 June in Liverpool. This large scale festival includes 55 major events, 30,000 professionals, 200 world-class speakers, all across 9 inspiring days, and is a vibrant affair!
Reflecting on the festival’s spirit of international connectivity, the Global Investment Summit showcased the latest trends and opportunities in the UK and global markets. Providing leadership on creating a connected finance ecosystem for scale-up and growth, the summit was a central investment focal point at the IBF.
As part of the first panel discussion of the day, "Exploiting our global angel investing connections in a post-Brexit world", John Zai held a keynote presentation on the great potential of scaling east and the rich resources UK businesses can access when considering the China market. He also praised the wealth of talent and the fantastic angel community in the UK.
"The UK remains a top destination for foreign investment, as well as a centre of innovation and creation. The UK startup ecosystem has a fantastic wealth of talent and ambitious individuals.
Furthermore, startup advisors are being replaced by data-driven networking platforms, and we are seeing deal terms getting more founder friendly in the UK. There’s also a new concept, which one of the startups in our co-working space, WWG is developing. The idea is to solve problem in impact investing and use blockchain tech to make investments more transparent. All of these trends point towards more transparency and greater trust in global connections" (John Zai, founder & CEO of Cocoon Networks)
The panel discussion was moderated by Jenny Tooth OBE and joined by Tomi Davies, President African Business Angels and Lagos Angels; Suse Reynolds, Executive Director, Angel Association of New Zealand; Yuri Navarro, CEO, Executive Director, National Angel Association of Canada and Mannie Liu Mahong, Chair China National VC Research Committee.
In the discussion the panelists emphasised the importance of building strong global ties, both with the EU and beyond, and collaboration and the exchange knowledge, resources, talent, especially with other tech powerhouses was highly encouraged.
John Zai further elaborated on the fantastic potential of a stronger China-UK connection.
"China’s rapid growth & positioning as dominant tech hub presents great opportunities for UK entrepreneurs. Through collaborations UK & China can be a trail blazer to pave way for other countries to follow suit. Founders and investors can have access to new business prospects and opportunities to scale. There’s never been a better time for UK businesses to grow in China. Earlier this year, Theresa May brought a delegation of 50 UK business leaders to China to strengthen the partnership between the two countries"
UK Angel Investment Awards Gala
The UK Angel Investment Awards Gala that followed took place at the stunning Liverpool Cathedral. Now in its 14th year, the annual UKBAA Angel Investment Awards celebrate high growth and success in the angel and early-stage investment market – recognising the fastest growing brands and acknowledging the founders, angels, crowd funders and early-stage venture capital investors behind them. These Awards seek to recognise the year’s most disruptive new market entrants and provide a definitive list of the most exciting ‘ones to watch’ in the angel and early-stage investment space.
Over 400 leading players from across the early-stage investment community came together to join in celebrating the winners.
John Zai was proud to present the award for“Best International Growth Business” to “Plato Media-Hopster”. The mention for 'one to watch' went to Quiqup.
Hopster offers a subscription media platform offering children access to TV and educational games in a safe environment . The business has successfully used angel and VC investment to access Europe, Middles East, Indian and Australian markets and is now in 55 countries.
The one to watch, Quiqup, is a company focused on logistics as a service, operating at the interface between last minute , tech and retail, creating bespoke delivery solutions for customers and businesses, and has raised Angel and VC funding to support its international expansion to the Middle East.
We would of course like to congratulate the other thirty 2018 winners and 'ones to watch' and look forward to following their fantastic achievements over the next few years!
A big thank you to Jenny Tooth and the UKBAA!
Further highlights below.