Our initial review of a business will focus on dialogue rather than documentation.
We don’t require you to have a complete business plan to engage in a discussion with us. We do expect you to have thought about the size of the opportunity and the principal challenges and risks. We are happy to work with you in shaping the plan as we work towards an investment.
We may seek several meetings, and, if the opportunity looks promising, will then seek to speak to current or prospective customers or partners, and to meet the broader team. We will also start to brainstorm around key issues such as strategy and operations, and the potential recruitment needs of the business and who might fill those roles. Finally, there will be a formal presentation to the partnership.
This process is an opportunity for both parties to explore whether the partnership will be successful.
Once we have made an investment decision and broad terms have been agreed, we will proceed with deeper due diligence into the company. This may include additional reference calls with partners and customers, personal reference calls, legal and accounting audit (if relevant), and the drafting of final legal documentation.
We do not seek to control a company through ownership. Our objective is to back founders and managers who wish to control their own destinies.
While we generally sit on the boards of the companies we invest in, most of our contribution comes between board meetings. Typically we are involved in recruiting key talent, assisting in specific business development missions, shaping communications strategies and defining and refining the strategy and course of financings. We also do everything we can to assist our portfolio companies to work together. Naturally, the extent to which we are involved depends on the stage of the company we invest in.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
Sometimes we invite entrepreneurs to work on our premises and collaborate with us in developing a business plan. As a result, some of our portfolio companies such as Addex Pharmaceuticals, ParAllele Bioscience and PanGenetics were literally started in our offices.