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Capital is as important as the idea

Dr Victor Christou follows on from part one of his podcast to us about his story beyond Opsys and discusses his philosophy behind investments made today. Victor spent time at Oxford Capital Partners and later at Wellington Partners before embarking on his future at Cambridge Innovation Capital. CIC is Cambridge University’s preferred investor for it’s spin-out businesses and also the wider Cambridge technology and healthcare cluster. He gives us his insight into which investments he tends to...


A lesson in being dogmatic towards your beliefs and embracing chance opportunity

Victor Christou is the CEO of Cambridge Innovation Capital, he relates his story from career academic to entrepreneur and why his future switched from one to the other. His career began at Oxford when creating innovative materials in the laboratory, this led him to recognise the business potential of developing technologies. In this podcast Victor talks us through his venture, from the creation of Opsys in 1997, a pioneer in mobile OLED display technology, up to his exit, 5 years on. He...


Being bold enough to stand on the shoulders of giants

Pilgrim Beart shares his journey from Silicon Valley to his Cambridge homeland and gives us his insight into the similarities between the two. He discusses how start-ups can adopt the valley’s culture in order to be diverse, both in forming partnerships and buying into other peoples expertise. This is to ride the scaling wave and not get left behind. He discusses his journey from R&D engineer, his experiences climbing the ladder and how he gained his bigger picture with AlertMe, which was...


A social entrepreneur, steering the next generation of impactful businesses

Belinda Bell sets out her mission to protect Social Enterprise from being hijacked by corporations as a marketing tool and clearly defines what a Social Enterprise is. In this podcast we find out about her life and the journey that brought her to The Judge Business School in Cambridge. Belinda is a social entrepreneur having set up multiple businesses with a social vision and has been supporting entrepreneurs who share her purpose. Belinda is a social entrepreneur with experience in...


My journey to failure, learning to choose expertise over money

Carlos Diniz is a fantastic example of an entrepreneur learning from their ups and downs. This podcast tells the story of O Meu Dentista, which was the largest dentist franchise in Portugal. The company grew fast, with upwards of €11 million in sales at its peak, however a number of deciding factors led to its closure. Carlos has learnt a incredibly large amount about hiring the right people, Invested Investors and growing pains of a successful start-up. This story is a hugely useful tool...


Scaling Africa, through entrepreneurship, then government innovation

Tamara Giltsoff never expected to end up in a Government role. She was always interested in new technologies and how they could create innovative business models. This led her to Product Health a connected hardware start-up, which also introduced her to commercial Africa. When it was time to move on, Tamara found her calling as Head of Innovation at the Department for International Development. In this podcast, Tamara gives us insight on how her entrepreneurial spirit could be applied to the...


Pioneering founder who is unlocking the full potential of the multi-billion pound digital jewellery industry

Dominic Hill was on a six-figure salary and the director of a multi-million pound jewellery wholesaler. However, he left this coveted position because his learning had slowed and saw that the future of the industry was digital. Dominic joined an ambitious start-up but soon realised it wasn't a good fit, so started his own business, Atelier Technology. It was a very hard beginning, with angry investors and a shoestring budget, but he has persevered and the business is now the talking point of...


War stories, failures and fascinating lessons learnt from our launch event

It is fantastic to be able to say that this week’s podcast comes from our launch event. Filled with interesting anecdotes from a number of leading entrepreneurs and investors from across the country. We hear how Jeanette Walker set up a blind company, based on the hope for 8 months of Mediterranean weather in the UK a year, Modwenna Rees-Mogg’s intriguing story about almost going into business with an ill-advised co-founder, Tony Quested explaining how he helped blow the whistle on a...


Space Tech, wine club, and an array of investing

Nathan Hill has been on the board of UK Business Angels Association and is an serial entrepreneur. He started his career at Oxford becoming a physicist, which incidentally he was “rubbish at”. However, this set back did identify his gift as salesman. The start of Nathan’s entrepreneurial career saw him launch Qi3\. It was heavily involved in everything space, but he saw that smaller businesses were unable to afford his services. Nathan offered it to them for equity and so launched his Angel...


Learning from failure and coming back stronger

Jelena Aleksic came to Cambridge to do a PhD in genetics but soon realised she had an entrepreneurial spirit. She started two businesses on the side during her study, but it wasn’t until she obtained funding for Gene Adviser did she work full time on a startup. Jelena was successfully funded 350K from investors, including Peter Cowley. Unfortunately, the business failed, but Jelena learnt some vital lessons which she shares in this podcast. Geneticist turned entrepreneur. Jelena is...


Multi-billion pound funding for innovation and what the UK Government is looking to invest in

Nigel Walker is Head of Innovation Lending at Innovate UK, and is constantly helping new and creative ideas flourish. Nigel is responsible for Access to Finance, where he continuously comes across cutting edge businesses in a variety of sectors. Because of this, he has played a role in many businesses that have been featured on Invested Investor, and guided them and many more to success. In this podcast Nigel talks about how he helps businesses of all scales, how to obtain funding, and the...


Innovating new value chains, coaching global corporates, and the five P’s

Andrew Gaule has a reputation for innovating within corporates. In this podcast we hear how it started during the dotcom boom when he was studying at Henley Business School and saw the potential for selling online. He wrote an MBA paper on the topic, which rewarded him with his worst mark. Andrew wasn’t shaken however and using his entrepreneurial spirit started Henley Incubator in 2000, and the rest is history. Since then Andrew has gone onto help corporates by introducing them to open...


Disappearing, angel investing, Frog Capital, and what Shirin has learnt along the way

Shirin Dehghan is a hugely successful entrepreneur, having built Arieso and sold it to JDSU. In part 2 of her podcast, we hear how she decided to take a year out before getting bored and subsequently gravitating back to the start-up ecosystem. She has made a number of angel investments, including a lesson in letting her guard down as she invested in a team she knew well. Shirin is now a senior partner at Frog Capital, where she sits on four start-up boards. A tip to entrepreneurs, “Don’t...


Tough lessons, planning for your exit, and blowing up San Francisco's IT

Shirin Dehghan has a fascinating story about resilience, understanding when to make tough decisions and planning for her company’s sale. Shirin is a successful entrepreneur, having founded and sold Arieso. She is a seasoned angel investor and is a Senior Partner at Frog Capital. In Part 1 of her podcast you will hear how she learnt so much from the pitfall of a lost contract, and how much time and effort she spent to ensure the company was ready for a potential buy-out. This is a truly...


An exit to Amazon, some amazing investments and just going big

Dr Simon Murdoch follows his instincts. He set up Bookpages in the mid-90's because he saw an opportunity to emulate Amazon in the UK. He has invested in some the most iconic UK start-ups of the last twenty years. He has become a figurehead for invested investors in London. He loves what he does, particularly learning something new everyday. In this podcast Simon describes why he set up a competitor to Amazon, what it's like to work for Jeff Bezos and how he transitioned into investing....


A serial entrepreneur's journey, from contactless to crowdfunding

Neil Garner's background in technology led him from consulting to building contactless products. On his rocky eight-year journey he zig-zagged between running a company solo to NFC deals with Guinness and Nokia. In this episode, Neil revisits the decisions that took him on this odyssey. When the sector was disrupted by Apple he stepped down, and is now a serial entrepreneur. While he prefers face-to-face investment, he is currently crowdfunding his most recent venture; here he explains why...


Integrity in founders, not taking everything on faith and the dog life of a start-up

Ramona Liberoff is an experienced invested investor with decades of business experience. During her time running teams around the world for tech startups, such as Aqueduct and Movirtu, she built the vast organisational experience that she later used in her role in Innogy Innovation Hub's quest for a free energy network. In this podcast, Ramona discusses the real value of integrity in entrepreneurial teams. She has learnt lessons from both failures and successes, and here describes the...


Indeed founder on successful monetisation and making a business strategy

Paul Forster is best known as one of the founders of Indeed, the largest job site in the world. He also has a substantial background as an Angel Investor, with successful involvement in a couple dozen projects across multiple technology sectors. In this episode, Paul takes us through the process of founding and funding Indeed. He defines his key features required to be a good investor, and how entrepreneurs should best create a strategy for their businesses before seeking investors. Mr. Paul...


The right kind of help, demystifying investors, and five minimum requirements

Jessica Dick spends most of her time helping early-stage entrepreneurs navigating the fundraising process. As co-founder of consultancy Five Years Time, she ushers entrepreneurs from technical backgrounds into the world of business. As investment manager at Synergy Growth, she has worked with around thirty different start-ups. What better guest could there be for the Invested Investor? In this episode, Jessica breaks down the issues with the ways many novice entrepreneurs ask for help, and...


Changing the world, through a premium food brand and an AI platform for education

Priya Lakhani is an entrepreneurial adrenaline junkie. She has founded two successful companies, won numerous business awards, and acted as an advisor to the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills. Oh, and is an OBE. Her life's aim is to change the world for the better, and to that end she has funded meals in India, vaccinations in Africa, and her current project improves education for thousands of UK children. Remarkably, she has achieved all this despite a constant barrage of...