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The EIS Navigator Podcast

Our fortnightly podcast following the UK venture capital industry. Dr Brian Moretta explores small growth companies, as well as the funds and people who invest in them.

For those interested in the UK venture capital industry, particularly the areas that are supported by government schemes. These include the Enterprise Investment Scheme, EIS, Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, or SEIS, and Venture Capital Trusts. This means we are looking at small, growth companies – often at the startup stage.

We interview leading people in the industry, whether fund managers, company founders or experts from other service providers. The aim is to dig deeply into topics, getting away from the promotional material that predominates elsewhere. Venture capital investing is a long-term endeavour and we will focus on topics that are relevant at any time.

Your host, Brian Moretta, is Head of Tax Enhanced Services at Hardman & Co. He is an actuary turned fund manager, who then moved into equity research, and has examined many EIS funds and companies. He also has some academic chops, being an Honorary Fellow at Heriot-Watt University where he does some occasional teaching. He has always had a strong interest in getting underneath companies and understanding how they really work, and he finds this space fascinating. Some of this is because transparency is hard, some because the industry is not well understood. This podcast is an attempt to get beyond the superficial and shine a bit more light on what is going on.


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The EIS Navigator Episodes

If you want to contact us or give feedback, whether about the podcast or anything else, please email us at enquiries@hardmananco.com. We want this to be helpful for listeners so any constructive feedback is welcome. We really hope you enjoy the podcast! New episodes will be released every second Tuesday at 7am.

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Podcast Tax Enhanced

16: Marketing for startups | Rajeev Saxena of Velocity Capital Advisors

Marketing is a make or break area for almost all startups. Having started his career in advertising, Rajeev is an expert, and we probe his knowledge to get insight for both investors and startups.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

15: An all-star panel look back on 2020 and look forward to 2021

2020 has been a challenging year for many and the EIS industry is no exception. The EIS Navigator team have got together an all-star panel to discuss what happened.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

14: Measuring sustainability and ESG | Max Middleton & Jake Wombwell-Povey of Vala Capital

Measuring sustainability is not a trivial challenge. Max and Jake talk us through the options for startups and small companies.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

13: Transforming companies and lessons for EIS investing | Ian Warwick of Deepbridge

Ian Warwick worked in various executive roles in the US before founding Deepbridge. We focus on Aftersoft, a software company that Ian turned round and put on course for a successful exit.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

12: Building a family company into a £70m exit | Scott Weavers-Wright of Haatch

Scott Weavers-Wright achieved two very successful exits before he founded Haatch, first taking Kiddicare from high street to online, then selling to Morrisons.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

11: How much to invest in venture capital | Sanjeev Gordhan of Newable

Brian and Sanjeev discuss how investors should decide how much money to put into venture capital and unquoted investments.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

Bonus episode: Reform, reform, reform | Andy Davidson of Nova

As a relative newcomer to the EIS industry, Andy Davidson of We Are Nova sees it a little differently to many of us.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

10: The 5 reasons startups fail | Andy Davidson of Nova

Brian and Andy focus on the five reasons that startups fail, discussing what these are, why they are a problem and how Nova works to avoid them.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

9: Hardware investing | Ilian Iliev of EMV Capital

Hardware investing is a relatively niche area within EIS investing, but still has many attractions. Dr Ilian Iliev of EMV Capital talks about how the capital intensity has improved and why the ecosystem is attractive.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

8: Film investing | Andreas Roald of Sovereign Media

Film investing through EIS has changed radically since the patient capital review. Andeas Roald is CEO of Sovereign Media, whose background is in making films rather than simply financing them, talks about the return to more traditional structures.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

7: Equity crowdfunding | Rob Murray Brown of ECF.Buzz

While equity crowdfunding hasn’t taken off the way that many hoped, it is an important influence on startups and the EIS industry. Rob Murray Brown is one of the few crowdfunding experts outside the platforms, with strong opinions on what is and isn’t working for investors.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

6: Supporting companies after investment | Andy Round of Praetura Ventures

As investors, it is easy to focus on the process of making investments and forget that the real work happens afterwards. Dr Andy Round discusses supporting companies after an investment is made. We cover getting the right board in place and different sources of support, including various government schemes.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

5: Climate investing | Pippa Gawley of Zero Carbon Capital

For the fifth episode of The EIS Navigator, Brian is joined by Pippa Gawley, Founder and Director of Zero Carbon Capital. They talk about Pippa’s belief that the climate crisis is the most important issue an investor can look to help solve, and discuss the challenges of small companies making meaningful contributions on a global scale.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

4: Thematic EIS investing | Matthew O’Kane of Nexus Ventures

For the fourth episode of The EIS Navigator, Brian is joined by Matthew O’Kane, MD of NIVL at Nexus Ventures. They discuss how to find and invest in good themes, with a couple of examples.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

Bonus episode: Introducing EIS for companies looking to raise money | Simon Thorn

For this bonus episode of The EIS Navigator, Brian interviews Simon Thorn, Managing Partner of Acceleris. They discuss some of the options available to companies and what considerations they should think about when choosing an investor.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

3: Accelerators and social impact investing | Paul Miller of Bethnal Green Ventures

For the third episode of The EIS Navigator, Brian interviews Paul Miller, Managing Partner and CEO at Bethnal Green Ventures. They talk about running an accelerator, social impact investing and how companies can move from ideas to having a measurable impact.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

Bonus episode: Introducing EIS for investors and advisors | Mark Brownridge

For this bonus episode of The EIS Navigator, Brian interviews Mark Brownridge, Director General of the EIS Association. They talk about the Enterprise Investment Scheme, the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts from the perspective of investors and advisors.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

2: Creating an investment process | Reuben Wilcock of Blackfinch

For the second episode of The EIS Navigator, Brian interviews Dr Reuben Wilcock, Ventures Director at Blackfinch Ventures. They talk about the challenges of creating an investment process from scratch, including creating effective decision making.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

1: Investing with angels | Andrew Castell of Par Equity

For the first episode of The EIS Navigator, Brian interviews Andrew Castell from Par Equity in Edinburgh. They talk about angel investing, running an angel syndicate and the merits of being an angel versus a passive investor.

Podcast Tax Enhanced

0: Introducing The EIS Navigator Podcast | Trailer

Coming on Tuesday 16th June, The EIS Navigator Podcast focuses on the UK venture capital industry, particularly areas supported by various government schemes including the Enterprise Investment scheme (EIS), the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Venture Capital Trusts.