The Angels in MedCity (AiMC) programme, a partnership between Angels4LifeSciences, London Business Angels (LBA) and MedCity, was launched at the Wellcome Trust in November 2014 with a first entrepreneur presentation event held in February 2015. The programme which was set up to introduce new and existing business angels to early stage and potentially high growth investment opportunities in the medical and life sciences sectors.
Since February 2015, the programme has supported 35 of the UK’s leading early stage medtech and life sciences companies, helping 13 of these to raise +£8m of equity funding of which +£2.5m has been invested by Angels in MedCity associated investors. Notably, the supported companies have spanned a range of sectors including digital health, genomics, medical devices and diagnostics and have been based across the UK including one in Pembroke Docks in Wales. The programme has also held 5 investor workshops in London attended by over 150 interested participants many of whom have gone on to become Angels in MedCity investor participants. Neither participating companies in this investment readiness and investor showcase programme nor participants attending the investor workshops are charged any front end fees.
Three notable examples of companies who have successfully been through the AiMC programme are described below:
Raised: £1.5m (March 2016)
Jellagen, is exploiting jellyfish to provide the market with a next generation collagen biomaterial that is perceived safer and more technically versatile than current sources of mammalian derived collagen. Collagen is used in the manufacture of biomaterials due to its ability to form strong fibres and used in many forms, including gels, scaffolds, and membranes, for a number of medical applications ranging from wound care and soft tissue repair through to bone grafts as collagen is the chief structural protein of the body. Jellagen’s current range of research grade collagen products are already on the market for cell culture applications and the business is also conducting in-house development of new medical devices for wound and cartilage repair. The company operates out of the Pembrokeshire Science & Technology Park, Pembroke Dock. The lead investor for Jellagen came through the AiMC investor workshop and intends to utilise his skills and contacts gained from a successful career in big-pharma, to help grow this innovative new healthcare company. Other participants in the round included Finance Wales and the LBA EIS Roundtable Syndicate Fund 2016.
Raised: £1.4m (September 2015)
Desktop Genetics is a biotechnology company dedicated to making scientific research and development more productive and cost efficient. The company has created the DeskGen software platform to perform genome editing. The platform designs reproducible and validated experiments from data tailored to the specific needs of users, using laboratory-validated algorithms derived from leading academic research and industry knowhow. This allows every life scientist to rapidly design the best technical approach for any genome editing experiment without ever stepping into a laboratory. The AiMC programme identified the lead angel investor who headed up a new angel syndicate and has now joined the board. Since securing investment through AiMC, Desktop Genetics has gone on to raise strategic investment from Illumina.
Raised: £630k (June 2016)
mOm Incubators was founded by Loughborough University graduate James Roberts to make neonatal care more affordable and accessible around the world. The mOm incubator is the first in a range of products that keep this ethos; it is a patent pending, inexpensive and robust inflatable incubator. mOm was awarded the 2014 global Sir James Dyson award for innovation and is a winner of the 2015 Mass Challenge UK accelerator programme. The investment will be used to manufacture clinical prototypes, initiate the CE marking process and file its patent in multiple regions.
Sarah Haywood, MedCity’s CEO, comments on AiMC, “I’m delighted to see these innovative companies grow and expand thanks to Angels in MedCity, which was created to unlock greater funding for promising, investment-ready companies and give early-stage investors the opportunity to access them. The UK life sciences sector punches well above its weight in science R&D, and ensuring companies like Jellagen, Desktop Genetics and mOm Incubators can source funding to grow is crucial to our economy.”
Anthony Clarke, London Business Angels CEO comments, “it is often a challenge for early stage medical and life sciences companies to raise the equity capital they need in order to grow their businesses. By encouraging sector specific individuals to take an active role in leading angel investment syndicates and helping investee companies to grow post-investment, the AiMC programme has sought to address this challenge. Typically, these experienced lead angels have also stimulated investment from more passive sources of funding such as our own LBA EIS Funds and the London Co-Investment Fund. Through this syndication process early stage companies can often raise +£1m investment rounds.
I am pleased that AiMC participating companies have to date been able to raise £8m of equity and there is a further pipeline of at least four deals in progress. It’s also encouraging that major pharma companies such as Johnson & Johnson, professional service providers such as Kingston Smith, Fieldfisher and Fried Frank and associations such as The Royal Academy of Engineering are taking an active interest in our programme by hosting some of our events. We now look forward to helping the next wave of the UK’s medtech/life sciences companies in the year ahead.”
Our next round of events (investor workshop and pitching event) will be taking place in autumn with a workshop on the 5 October followed by a pitching event on the 10 November.
About Angels in MedCity:
Angels in MedCity is a partnership between MedCity, London Business Angels and Angels4LifeSciences. The programme aims to introduce new and existing business angels to investment opportunities from healthcare and life sciences companies. The programme has been devised and delivered by London Business Angels
For more information on Angels in MedCity, please see angelsinmedcity.org.uk