An Oxford-based SME developing products for regenerative medicine and cell culture has become the third company to secure investment in the first year of Angels in MedCity, launched by MedCity, London Business Angels and Angels4LifeSciences in October 2014 to grow a new community of angel investors for life sciences

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The Electrospinning Company, located at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, has raised £400,000 after attending an investment-readiness course and presenting to investors as part of the Angels in MedCity programme.

The latest funding brings the total investment raised by companies through Angels in MedCity to around £2.5 million, following successful funding rounds by SMEs Desktop Genetics and StepJockey in September.

Dr Eliot Forster, Executive Chair of MedCity, says:

“Our goal in setting up Angels in MedCity was to bring more early-stage investors to life sciences so that companies with big potential can access the funding they need to get to the next stage of growth. A year after the initiative’s launch, I’m delighted to see a steady stream of funding announcements begin to flow. There are huge opportunities for investors in the life sciences sphere – our job is to make sure people who want to invest can access them.”

Established in 2010, Electrospinning designs, develops and manufactures materials for use in regenerative medical devices, and markets a range of 3D cell culture products for regenerative medicine and drug discovery research. The new funding will be used for business development and marketing to drive growth of developed products and services, and on new equipment to increase capacity.

CEO Ann Kramer says:

“I am excited to be able to grow Electrospinning’s business in the regenerative device field supported by this fundraising. The opportunity to work with Angels in MedCity was valuable in placing our proposition in front of a varied group of potential investors who shared an interest in medtech.”

Anthony Clarke, CEO of London Business Angels, says:

“LBA members and our Enterprise Investment Scheme Fund invested into Electrospinning at seed stage in 2011, and have continued to support the company while it developed its IP and products with a good blend of equity and non-dilutive grant finance. The business is now poised for substantial growth in the fast-growing regenerative medicine products market, and is a good example of effective and patient angle capital led by a sector specific lead angel.”

Angels in MedCity is co-funded by MedCity and the European Regional Development Fund as part of its Capital Accelerator Programme (CAP). CAP aims to help emerging innovative businesses in a wide range of sectors to locate new resources available in London and provide practical support that will enable them to raise investment funding and thereby to facilitate further job creation in London. The Angels in MedCity programme is devised and delivered by London Business Angels.

MedCity was launched by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP in April 2014 to promote and lead the growth of the world-leading life sciences cluster of the greater south east. It is a partnership between the Mayor of London’s Office, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the capital’s three Academic Health Science Centres – Imperial College Academic Health Centre, King’s Health Partners, and UCL Partners

Q&A with Electrospinning’s Ann Kramer

What are the ingredients of a successful presentation to potential investors and subsequent engagement with them – what are investors looking for, in your experience?

A successful presentation has to be short and clear. It must be devoid of jargon and include some numbers. The presenter must look confident and portray their relevant experience; in my case a history of deal-making across multinational corporations and SMEs.

How should you prepare in advance of meeting potential investors?

The Angels in MedCity preparation was useful for identifying those questions of interest to Angel investors that might be different from those posed by institutional investors and customers. Its key to show your pitch to a range of people from different backgrounds to make sure it makes sense to them.

How do you manage relationships with a number of angel investors and what are the benefits?

As a result of this round we are increasing our Angel investor base, from AiMC and also Syndicate Room. We will set up a regular electronic newsletter to keep the group informed of progress. Some of our existing Angel investors have been very helpful, for example a small team from Angels 5K acted as an investor focus group for the company strategy earlier this year and asked many probing questions.

Do you have any comments on the investment situation for developing life sciences companies in the UK?

MedCity is doing a great job in bringing life sciences companies and Angels together. They might look at the growing pains for companies wanting to ask for more equity and help with keeping this compatible with the needs of Angel investors.