Bill Morrow (3 September 2014)
It was one of the best experiences of the BSc Business Enterprise programme to have Angels Den Founder and CEO Bill Morrow talk about enterprise and venture funding. The open way in which he communicated and expressed his views gave some interesting insights on life and business, as well as lots of laughs for the people in attendance.
Bill graduated with a Business Studies degree and moved on to work for the Virgin Group for 7 years in the 1980s as an accountant. He then decided to move into investment banking. After a while, Bill set up up his own business that he sold at the age of 38 years to a Wall Street banker and retired.
While trying to help a golf business to raise venture funding, Bill came to realise the difficulties in connecting people looking for start-up capital or money to grow their businesses and high-net-worth individuals with the capital to invest in potentially successful ventures. It is from this opportunity that Bill founded Angels Den, a network of wealthy investors that provides funding and mentorship to start-ups and other small businesses. It is currently Europe’s largest Angel Network fund with operations in the UK, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Germany, Mexico and Asia.
Bill’s theme for the talk to the students at Buckingham was “What to do if you do not want to get funding for your business.” While humorous in its structure and delivery, the talk was very relevant to Business Enterprise students who have to pitch to the Buckingham Angels for funding as part of their degree programme. Some of the key advice that Bill gave during the talk was to avoid employing a professional to write a business plan for your company, and to be able to explain the purpose of your business in a way that an 8-year-old would understand. Don’t underestimate social skills and the effect they have on people’s perceptions, and be sure to start a business that has some sort of competitive advantage in the industry in which you want to enter.
Based on an article by Paula Henriette Mugisa