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Entrepreneurs’ Forum Chairman James Robson is to provide an insight into the benefits of working with angel investors to a group of PHD students at Newcastle University’s Open Lab.

Taking place on 20 March at the university’s Urban Sciences Building at Science Central, the workshop is part of a tailored investor readiness series designed by the Innovation SuperNetwork, as part of its FinanceCamp programme.

The Innovation SuperNetwork is bringing the expertise of its partnership, including angel investors, to over 20 students. The programme explores what it takes to start and grow a business and access finance. It also gives students the chance to ‘buddy’ with the entrepreneurs who are going through FinanceCamp, as well as the opportunity to take part themselves.

James, who has successfully invested and mentored a series of businesses, including Micropore Technologies, a university spinout company which provides specialist particles and emulsion manufacturing services, will highlight the importance of gaining expertise as well as financial backing from future investors.

This event is part of the Forum’s commitment to supporting the region’s entrepreneurial community.  The organisation works closely with the North East business community to provide its more than 300 members with support, guidance and access to key resources including peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing.

James Robson said: “There are a suite of funding opportunities open to new entrepreneurs and it’s important to understand the benefits and opportunities they provide.  Angel investment, particularly when it is coupled with institutional investment, can offer a real springboard for emerging businesses as it gives all important access to experience and expertise.  Having an investor that is also an experienced entrepreneur can be a major asset to aspiring business owners and I hope the students can take a lot out of our session.”

Estelle Blanks Executive Director at the Innovation SuperNetwork, said: “The sole purpose of the Innovation SuperNetwork is to provide a creative space for businesses of all sizes to make connections, explore new opportunities and achieve their growth ambitions. Having a mentor providing guidance through peer-to-peer learning, who also has a stake in the business, is an effective route to building a successful enterprise for new entrepreneurs.  James’ insight will be incredibly valuable as the students learn about access to finance options, which will allow them to make informed decision about developing their future business plans.”

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