Once again KPMG returned as lead sponsor of the SiliconIOM Entrepreneur Event series and, alongside fellow sponsors IQE and Continent 8 Technologies, hosted a fourth private supper at the Claremont Hotel on Wednesday 18th November.
The evening offers businesses, largely from outside the Isle of Man, a chance to seek support from local investors, with the added bonus of attracting growing, entrepreneurial business to the Isle of Man. Some of the companies pitching on the night were already discussing the advantages that the Island offers to growing companies.
Minister John Shimmin opened the evening with words of support for the series, stating the Isle of Man Government is “enthusiastic about the future for the Isle of Man with enterprise and innovation at the very forefront”. The government’s future plans, particularly with regard to the Enterprise Development Scheme, involve increasing their investment in flourishing businesses and attracting more entrepreneurs, and their companies, to the island.
Following the usual format, presenters had six minutes to pitch their business ideas to local businessmen and high net worth residents, then a further two minutes to open to the floor for a Q&A. Afterwards the evening followed a networking format whereby entrepreneurs had the opportunity to discuss their ideas with guests in greater detail.
The first of the five presenters was Edward Upton, founder of LittleData, an online conversion marketing company specialising in the SME market. Their product draws on data from the likes of Google Analytics and uses algorithms to spot trends and benchmark against competitors. Their “plug and play” software means that SMEs can analyse data without the need for specialist staff.
Next, the audience heard from Linn Waite and Kate Byers, the BAFTA Award film makers behind Early Day Films, who were looking for a million pound investment for their new film “Flowtide”. The film has some well-known names in the industry attached to it such as Nick Moore (known for his work in films Notting Hill, Love Actually, About a Boy and Nanny McPhee), and rising star Billy Howle. Music is a big part of the production and they explained that the film will produce additional revenue streams from the album released alongside and other musical opportunities.
The performing arts theme continued with Jennie Allard from BeHive International, an education based platform to embed and oversee micro-companies within schools, guiding and assisting the students in launching their own company specific to a certain business sector. Trials are already underway in a school in Kent for children to run their own independent recording companies and they hope to roll this out to schools across the UK and overseas.
Charles and Patricia Lester were next up to present their high end fashion business which recently marked its fiftieth anniversary with a visit from some very special customers, Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Over fifty years, Charles and Patricia have had many famous customers and been highly publicised in the fashion press but are now looking for investment and expertise to take the business into the digital age.
Last up was Gareth Taylor from Evince Technology. Founded in 2008, Evince has patented an approach to electronic devices utilising synthetic diamond. Gareth spoke about how synthetic diamond is the ultimate semiconductor material and is a hundred times faster, more powerful and efficient than Silicon. Evince is looking for half a million pounds of investment in exchange for twenty percent of its intellectual property business in order to develop its designs further.
Kristan King, Associate Director of KPMG said: “Following the government’s announcement of the Enterprise Development Scheme providing loan and equity investment to start-up firms and businesses relocating to the Isle of Man and local regulatory framework recently updated to include provisions for crowdfunding, entrepreneurship and innovation will play a very important part in the growth of the island for the future. Here at KPMG we’re very proud to be a part of it and support events such as these”.
SiliconIOM co-founder, Charlotte Mason closed by saying: “We are delighted to host another successful entrepreneur supper in the Isle of Man, and are truly appreciative of the support from Minister Shimmin, KPMG, IQE and Continent 8 Technologies. We look forward to returning on the 9th December in association with the annual Manx BioMed conference, where we’ll hear about cutting edge BioMed propositions from innovative businesses in the industry."
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