Investors are set to capitalise on the growing EventTech market – A group of senior event industry executives met to discuss the creation of a specific EventTech investor group. Announcing the ambition to form an investor group which will inject growth capital into some of the UK’s most promising events technology start-ups.
EventTech is a growing market within the UK’s Event sector and digital economy, and whilst we can’t currently spin out the numbers for the tech sector specifically we are seeing large investments into this area such as CVENT, Double Dutch, Eventbrite and other large players; plus a lot of interesting start-ups getting airtime at industry events such as IMEX, IBTM and CONFEX. With the UK events industry valued at $42.3billion, (BVEP), EventTech is a still a significant percentage within the events industry.
Attendees heard from London and Partners Louise Conolly-Smith re the importance of the industry to the economy and the opportunities for EventTech in the wider London strategy. James Morgan from Event Tech Lab talked about the Event Tech landscape in the UK and globally. Kevin Chong Managing Partner of Beacon Capital LLP www.beaconcapital.co.uk an early stage VC fund that specialise in Tech investment in London who shared insights into the London Tech economy and the investment road for start-ups
Kevin Chong Managing Partner of Beacon Capital presented the start-up journey, the importance of seed investors and the role of Venture Capital and the sort of work they are doing.
Two start-ups shared their journey todate ; Chetan Shah Founder and CEO of MICEBOOK.com who is just closing his first round of investment, and Ken Mawbey Founder and CEO of aroundthen.com who is just embarking on his.
The brain child of Richard Waddington. Richard, former Founder and CEO of First Protocol, now spreads his time over a number of activities and said – ‘the idea is to create a pool of industry specific Angle Investors, who are interested in getting on the first rung of the ladder with EventTech start-ups; through advising, mentoring and investing’
It was discussed that industry focused groups bring far more than just cash, they know the industry and market opportunities, they can help start-ups fast track through the initial phase of market verification by exposing them to their business, expertise and clients.
After an initial review selected start-ups will be invited to present their start-up to the group, answer questions and then deal directly with individuals who are interested in investing. ‘A mini Dragons Den’ The idea is that potential investors can spread their exposure and thus reduce risk by investing smaller amounts across a number of business’s than a larger amount in one – ultimately the final decision is that of the individual. The benefit to the business is far greater than the financial investment alone, they will receive questions and input from industry veterans, people who can help position their product in the market, validate, test and evolve it.
RW said – ‘Having been involved with London & Partners and the TravelTech Lab through my investment in MICEBOOK has exposed me to a number of start-ups. There’s some great ideas, passion and enthusiasm, the biggest hurdle is access to seed investment, and industry insight and validation. – I think there’s a massive opportunity for individuals / companies to get more engaged and collaborate more in helping the EventTech sector grow.
Scott Thompson Chief Commercial Officer at London & Partners said: “London has a world class reputation as a host city for major events and conferences. When you combine this with our fast growing technology sector, we are seeing a growing opportunity in the EventsTech space. As the Mayor of London’s official Convention Bureau, we are pleased to support Richard’s initiative and the opportunities to bring together leading investors and experts from across the events and technology industries.”