15
Oct

I was at a big trade show last week called NextGen. This is the show for existing and future technologies in the alternative energy arena – everything from hi tec wood burning stoves to waste to energy plants. It attracts companies from all over Europe and was very busy with over 500 exhibitors and a wide range of lectures from the technical to policy. All good stuff and I thought I would find some interesting UK companies to whom we could deploy our bond funds. Well there were a few but compared with the German and Austrian exhibitors they felt small, inexperienced and amateurish.

Why is this I wonder? Is this the consequence of years of neglect of this sector by policy makers or just an accident of history? In Europe this sector has been thriving for the last 20 years. Well as an ex policy wonk my impression was that 20 years ago the alternative energy market was seen as small, hokey and irrelevant. We had oil and gas and what was the point of bothering with alternatives! Now we are scrambling to catch-up. History may now be repeating it self with the Cameron administration – political expediency substituting for long term energy policy . The energy sector has always been seen as” difficult” for governments. Investment decisions have very long lead times so short term costs incurred in one Parliament lead to long term gains that might not show up for two or three Parliaments. So a standard response has been to kick difficult decisions into the long grass and wait for a crises which can then be blamed on previous Governments. Perhaps energy policy is too important for Governments and should be set by an independent body with representatives from all parties – a variation on the Office for Budget responsibility.

By Richard Turner

26
Sep

We have been pondering the current debate on open technology and the relaxing of the rules regarding intellectual property protection. It throws up some issues that appear to present a Catch 22 type problem. The argument is that current IP protection i.e. patents stifles innovation and encourages monopoly power. The issue was thrown into stark relief by the recent Samsung Apple court battle. Apple was awarded initially $1.2 billion for infringements and Apple is now seeking a further $707 million.  Apple is seeking a permanent ban on 26 Samsung smartphones and tablets. Samsung has responded by seeking a new trial. As a report by Reuters has stated, Samsung said in its filing to the U.S. court; “It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.”

On one level it is clearly absurd that Apple should be able to act as a road block further developments of existing technology and be able to patent a simple shape. On the other hand as investors we are seeking IP as a form of competitive advantage.  There can be a clear conflict between IP protection and the wider good. As ever the answer lies in a more sensible application of the law. The key question is:  when is it a matter of standing on the shoulders of innovation and when is it theft? We all use and incorporate  previous technology – if we didn’t then we would still be living in caves.  That is not the same as stealing ideas and directly exploiting them without adding innovation.

By Richard Turner

19
Jun

 

Rockpool creates tax-efficient investments for individuals. As a network of successful entrepreneurs, who invest their own money directly, Rockpool is well aligned with the types of companies that Catalyst works with.

 Rockpool’s main focus is to:
• offer access to high quality UK private companies
• make investing in private equity and other alternative investments easier
• ensure that information on the performance of your investments is always at your fingertips

Funds or direct investing:
Rockpool’s range of tax-efficient funds is designed to offer portfolio diversity and the least possible hassle for investors. Qualified investors – generally those with £500,000 or more to invest – can also invest directly in individual Rockpool opportunities by joining the Rockpool Network.  In this way you can build your own bespoke portfolio of investments.

You can find out more about Rockpool at their website. If you are interested in becoming an investor please get in contact with us.

1
Mar

 

 

 

 

 

A new Accelerator programme launched by entrepreneur and CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw, James Caan, is offering first class business support and access to multi-million pound funding for the UK’s most innovative green entrepreneurs.

The Berti Green Accelerator programme, supported by James Caan’s Hamilton Bradshaw Impact Partners (HBIP), is searching for three successful low carbon businesses to award six months of first-class business support from HBIP and the opportunity to receive funding of up to £1million each from Berti Investments.

Whilst UK economic growth has substantially slowed since 2008, venture capital investment into the UK’s cleantech sector increased in 2011 for the sixth year in a row, to over £350million. With considerable work still to be done to reach 2020 carbon reduction targets, significant opportunities lie ahead for green entrepreneurs.

Berti Investments believes the low carbon sector can drive impactful growth that serves a triple bottom line: profit, people and planet, but green entrepreneurs need access to the right kind of business support and finance in order for this to happen.

The Berti Green Accelerator programme is open to any conceptually good, low carbon UK business with growth potential and a proof of concept. The three successful businesses will have to demonstrate that their business aims to tackle climate change by sustainably reducing carbon emissions.

James Caan, founder and CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw said:
“The Berti Green Accelerator programme has been developed by Berti Investments and HBIP following a shared commitment to making a difference through impact investing. The programme combines my desire to seek out and support potential high growth businesses with my interest in impact investing.

“The impact investing market place is growing, but many entrepreneurs struggle to become investment ready due to lack of experience or knowledge about certain aspects of their business, such as financial or operational know-how. The Berti Green Accelerator programme tackles this by blending bespoke business support with access to capital. It’s what we call intelligent capital.”

Jeremy Leggett, Berti Green Accelerator judge and founder and Chairman of Solarcentury said:
“Renewable and energy efficiency technologies will have to replace fossil fuels far faster than most people currently anticipate. In the UK, we have the potential to source all of our primary energy from renewables, such and solar photovolatics, wind and marine technologies, but to do this we need an explosive growth in all renewable and energy efficient technology markets.

“The UK needs fast-growing domestic renewable energy businesses more than ever, and programmes like the Berti Green Accelerator, that provide investment and support for cleantech businesses, are vital for encouraging growth and stimulating this sector.”

Applications for the fund are now open with a closing date of 17th April 2012. Shortlisted candidates will pitch to a Dragons’ Den style panel of judges including James Caan, Jeremy Leggett (Founder and Chairman of Solarcentury), Michael Liebreich (Founder and Chief Executiveof Bloomberg New Energy Finance) and Jacques Tredoux (Berti Investments).

1
Mar

Richard Turner will be taking part in ALPHA TECH FEST 2012                                                                                                                           

LONDON, 16th March 2012

The Annual Festival for tech ventures looking for funding & growth

The Alpha Tech Fest brings together venture capitalists, angel investors and ground-breaking tech ventures every year to discuss funding options and to build their network in an informal setting.

This year, the fest has the opportunity to host leading VCs; seed, early & mid-stage investors and venture directors who have actively been investing over the last year.

WHY ATTEND?

More and more VCs and investors are following a model of progressing discussions with ventures whom they have met and had an opportunity to learn more about. Having a business plan submitted by email hardly has the same impact as a face-to-face interaction.

At Alpha Tech Fest 2012, all participating ventures have their own allotted interaction space, so investors & visitors can look them up for an initial chat. VCs and angels will also be taking the time to have focussed interactions with each participating venture through scheduled investor tours.

These initial meetings could form the basis of follow-up conversations and meetings – attend ATF2012 to draw attention to your ambitious ventures and network with the best in the field.

 WHAT WILL BE THE FORMAT?

Once you are registered to participate in ATF2012, the organising team will be in touch to discuss on-day logistics and scheduling for the investor tours – both for tech ventures and investors.

Read more at: http://alphaversion.co.uk/atf-2012.html

 

TICKETS

 

13
Dec

OCMlogoSamsungSeoul, Korea / London, United Kingdom, 6th December 2011 – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced the successful development and release of OCM Internationals’ embedded print and cost management software – OCM XCM Business Solutions, which is available for Samsung’s A3 and A4 compatible devices.

OCM International specialises in bespoke end-to-end output cost management business solutions. Using Samsung’s flexible and powerful eXtensible Open Architecture (XOA) platform combined with OCM’s innovative Web Based Device Management software, OCM XCM Business Solutions was developed and launched as an embedded, user-friendly document output and cost management solution.

By having access to OCM XCM’s flagship document auditing suite, users can employ full cost recovery including the ability to bill back all document output printing, copying and scanning which can help an organisation to operate more efficiently, maximise device utilisation while providing additional management control such as ‘follow me’ secure print.

In today’s compelled ‘technology road map’, maintaining control of resource usage and costs is a constant challenge. By utilising OCM XCM Business Solutions Samsung’s end users will regain control and transparency against assigned values for all document workflow; printing, copying, faxing and scanning.

“As a leading software development company OCM International understands the importance of keeping ahead of the IT technology curve. OCM is committed to bringing to Samsung  innovative software solutions and applications that provide a convenient interface to third party applications, offering Samsung users a complete turnkey solution” said Peter O’ Farrelly, Chief Executive Officer of OCM International.

OCM XCM Business Solutions helps users to recognise the full cost management returns, operating seamlessly within the powerful Samsung XOA MFD’s. The OCM XCM management solution transforms the Samsung’s A4 and A3 XOA multi-function product range into a hub of an adaptive infrastructure; accurate cost management, secure print with mobile secure print release and broad-based fleet management throughout an entire organisation whether it is in SME, enterprise or public sector.

OCM is committed to bringing to market innovative, top-quality software products, solutions and applications (apps) which meet current and future customer demand, by integrating OCM’s web based central device server and working with members of the OCM partner program, Samsung can easily provide a complete end-to-end MFD / Workflow solution to their customers.

“We are totally committed to our research & development and bringing added value to our clients” said Mr. Sangjae Eom, Vice President of the B2B Marketing Group, IT Solutions Business, Samsung Electronics. “The integration of OCM’s XCM cost management solution into our MultiXpress product range will enable our sales channel to deliver a comprehensive end-to-end cost effective business solution”.

-Ends-

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2010 consolidated sales of US$135.8 billion. Employing approximately 190,500 people in 206 offices across 68 countries, the company consists of nine independently operated business units: Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, Digital Imaging, Memory, System LSI and LCD. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, semiconductor chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.

About OCM International

OCM International Limited, founded in London, United Kingdom, is an information technology company who specialise in developing and delivering document output management, cost recovery and secure print solutions. OCM’s technology allows clients to control who prints what, when and where. OCM’s focus is on its clients and creating partnerships, ensuring every effort is made to provide client service excellence. It is this blend of expertise and motivation that is the driving force of our success.

For more information on OCM’s applications for XOA, please visit www.ocmplc.com/samsung-strategic.html or email samsung@ocmplc.com.

 

1
Dec

Richard Turner is taking part in a briefing on the latest in public and private sector funding of business. Richard will be talking about the routes to funding; the funding journey from start up to Initial Public Offering,  investment readiness and the  Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Other speakers will cover:

Research and Development Grants and Proof of Concept Funds

Formerly administered by the Regional Development Agencies, Research and Development Grants are now part of the portfolio of funding offered by Finance South East. This also includes the European Commissions’ Framework Programme 7 (FP7) that promotes innovative new product development, the PoCKeT proof of concept fund, the proof of market fund, the prototype development fund, early commercialisation loans, mezzanine debt funding support and seed equity funding.Finance South East

Research and Development Tax Credits

Are you claiming everything you could from this scheme to encourage British industry to innovate technologically? Do you know what does and does not qualify as R&D expenditure? John McKeown, R&D Tax Credit Unit,  Bradshaw Grice

The Role of the Bank in Financing High Growth Technology Businesses

Amid all the controversy about bank lending, here is a view from within the industry. This session will also cover the Enterprise  Finance Guarantee Scheme that has replaced the previous Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme.

Designing for Demand

Designing Demand is the Design Council’s mentoring Services for B2B or B2C manufacturing SMEs with ambition to grow but who recognise the need for some external, objective advice and support to help achive that goal. Each year over 150 companies benefit from the scheme, an independent evaluation of which has shown that the average return on investment for every £1 invested in design was over £25. Pamela Frazer, The Design Council and Raft Consultancy LLP

Funding Exports

A company’s  financial exporting strategy should include selecting appropriate  terms on which to do business, carrying out credit checks, debt insurance etc. Richard Smith, Financial Services Specialist, UK Trade and Investment

Venue: Easthampstead Park Conference Centre, Wokingham, RG40 3DF

Tuesday 6th December 2011

To attend please contact Lars-Olav Nicolls at ablesol@aol.com

 

22
Nov

Innovative software solutions company joins Catalyst Venture Partners’ Growth Programme to accelerate expansion opportunities within the print tracking and management market.

Download press release

Press Release: 22 November 2011

OCM is an international company specialising in the tracking of printer usage. By offering an innovative approach to document workflow and output software solutions, OCM allows clients to control who prints what, when and where.For some companies this can mean a saving of up to 10%  of its print costs.

According to analyst sources, the cost of supplies used to print a single black-and-white page averages five cents per page. In a company that prints 250,000 pages per day, the costs of supplies alone can total €3.2 million per year.

In addition, output equipment fleets (copiers, printers, facsimiles, scanners and associated supplies) continue to be one of the most under managed and costly assets within many companies, resulting in lost profit of approximately one per cent to three per cent per year.

OCM Director Mr Peter O’Farrelly comments; “In today’s business climate the need to optimise the usage of key applications and hardware within all types of business – is critical whether they are a  large global enterprise or a small/medium local business. Organisations are now looking at ways of improving processes and how they can make the most of their resources. Increasing scrutiny within document intensive processes, security access and cost has led us to develop complete integrated solutions rather than single point products.”

O’Farrelly continues; “Our focus is on our clients, ensuring every effort is made to provide client service excellence. It is this blend of expertise and motivation that is the driving force of our success”

Since its inception as a softwere company in 2006, OCM has grown year on year to become one of the leading global solutions providers in this market space with annual revenues of £275K. Both manufacturers and resellers are looking for increased productivity of their billing departments through reduced manual data collection, improved cash flow and competitive advantage. OCM already has a number of strategic partnerships in place that include industry leader Sharp Electronics, as well as a deal pending with Samsung.

Richard Turner, CEO of Catalyst Venture Partners comments; “OCM are able to offer a unique proposition to the marketplace. With an innovative software offering, partnerships with industry leaders and an addressable market of $500 million, OCM are in an excellent position to accelerate their growth. The team are hugely experienced and are offering an innovative approach. We are extremely pleased that OCM have joined our Growth Programme and are looking forward to working with them.”

 

For further information contact Rosie Bennett at Catalyst Venture Partners on 01225 331498 or email rb@catvp.com

About OCM: http://ocmplc.com/

OCM is an International Company founded in London, United Kingdom; OCM is a company of dedicated professionals who provide a complete range of software solutions and professional services. Our company employs an experienced team of highly qualified and motivated individuals who strive to provide a high level of service. OCM keeps abreast of new trends, policies and procedures.. Since its conception, and in association with its partners, OCM has grown to become a global solutions provider with locations throughout Europe, Australia and America providing tailored solutions and cost savings across all market sectors.

About Catalyst Venture Partners: http://catvp.com

Catalyst Venture Partners are a corporate finance and fast growth advisory firm specialising in the health, environmental, media and telecoms sectors. Catalyst works with ambitious and entrepreneurial led companies who are at the early and expansion stage of their development.   Whether you are a growing company, seeking development funding or advice, looking for a loan or planning to buy your company, Catalyst can help you turn ambition into reality. We do this by: providing an independent assessment of strategic and commercial focus, assessing the competitive advantage of the proposition, introducing commercial partners, creating a sound financial structure, identifying and negotiating with providers of finance and helping strengthen the management team by recruiting key staff and investor directors.

 

 

10
Nov

Richard Turner will be taking part in a panel at the iNets SW event on 13th December. This interactive morning specifically designed for CEO/MD’s of manufacturing & engineering companies, will explore why you might want to make the transition from “business as usual”, to a new growth phase.  It will also explore how to strategically manage your financial assets & legal structures to encourage innovation & growth.

The event is free however delegates must book a place.

Venue:  The Lord Mayor’s Reception Room, The Council House, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR

13th December (08:30 – 10:00)

 

The iNets have been created to help more businesses to innovate and to introduce new techniques, technologies, products and to find new markets.

The iNets encourage innovation by providing bespoke support, access to specialist information and research and bringing together businesses, universities and others to share knowledge, expertise and best practice.

More information is available at the iNets website.

 

11
Oct

IPL joins forces with Catalyst Venture Partners to provide a leg up to early stage IT companies

Catalyst IPL Partner ProgrammeNew partnership between corporate finance advisors and IT services company provides young software companies with combined investment and research & development assistance to boost business growth.
Download press release

Press Release 11 October 2011: IPL, an IT services company specialising in business intelligence and information management, has partnered with corporate finance advisers Catalyst Venture Partners to provide businesses with a combined investment and software development proposition that is specifically designed to help small technology businesses enter new markets and accelerate their growth.

Catalyst Venture Partners provides early stage technology businesses with development funding, commercial expertise and consultancy in order to help grow the businesses into highly successful operations. The partnership with IPL will mean that once an organisation is identified that has a strong proposition and concept, the IT services company, with extensive software development expertise, can be brought in to help define, drive and deliver the development of the software product or portfolio.

Richard Turner, CEO at Catalyst Venture Partners, comments, “There are plenty of businesses in the UK SME technology market that have excellent propositions and the potential to radically change their respective markets, but simply investing in them is not enough to help them realise that potential. Often, technical guidance is required on the best ways to develop the software and the practical requirements of bringing the product to market. We therefore needed to partner with an organisation that could offer reliable direction and assistance, no matter what the technology or industry sector.”

Turner continues, “We chose to partner with IPL because of their broad experience and success in multiple vertical markets and in high-profile and demanding projects, including for the public sector, defence & aerospace and telecoms. We had to be certain that if we were going to invest time and money into these organisations, we could be confident that the IT services partner who we entrusted with guiding the software development would be able to deliver success. IPL’s highly impressive track record with so many varied projects meant that trust became thoroughly implicit.”

Shaun Davey, CEO at IPL, comments, “IPL as a business has an enviable reputation of success in high profile projects and in the development of new products to enhance our clients’ portfolios. However, it was important to us to show that we are not solely focused on blue chip companies or large public sector departments, but are equally interested in and equipped to help smaller organisations with their software and product development. Joining forces with corporate finance advisors such as Catalyst Venture Partners, especially considering their history of working with technology companies in their early stages, allows us to approach SMEs that have ambitious ideas for their own organisations and their markets and use our broad expertise to help them achieve those goals.”

The new partnership is open to UK B2B or B2C entrepreneurial technology start-ups, or companies with proven propositions, in any sector. Following successful application for funding, IPL and Catalyst will work together with the partner organisation to develop the software prototype, test the final product and ensure its market feasibility so that the new products can be profitably launched to the target market.

Turner concludes, “Securing investment from third parties has been notoriously difficult in the current economic climate, meaning that we have had to create inventive ways to make investments more secure and less risky. Technology companies in the UK that aspire to lead their markets but lack the expertise with which to develop – both from a technical and commercial stance – are now able to take advantage of a funding package that brings with it proven exceptional practical benefits.”
ENDS
About IPL: www.ipl.com

IPL – Information Processing Limited – is a software development and consultancy company, established in 1979, based in Bath and has 260 employees.

IPL prides itself on its professional and reliable approach to software development, delivering ‘right first time’ solutions which significantly reduce Total Cost of Ownership.

IPL’s quality, environmental and information security management systems are certificated to ISO 9001/TickIT, 14001 and 27001.

IPL provides enterprise level solutions for major industry sectors including aerospace and defence, banking and finance, emergency services, government, telecoms and media.  IPL’s clients include Nationwide, BT, ITV, Thales and Sony.

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