Looking to meet seed investors in London?
We asked founders who had recently closed funding rounds on SeedLegals for their recommendations. Here are their tops picks of all the best networking events to meet angels and early stage startup investors:
Capital Enterprise is a membership organization of startup experts than operates a number of seed funds and investment programmes including LCIF, AI Seed and Idea London. Their monthly networking drinks are a great way to rub shoulders with some of the most connected startup operators in the capital.
Business Funding Show
Business Funding Show runs a series of workshops and networking sessions, matching startups with investors, in addition to their bi-annual expo-style events which serve as a great introduction to the startup funding landscape for anyone new to the investment scene.
Paradigm Talks host monthly networking events in London for startups, angel investors, VCs and private equity professionals. It’s an informal gathering and pitch event, usually held in WeWork locations, complete with drinks and nibbles.
London Innovators (by invitation)
London Innovators private network of 600 technology entrepreneurs and investors that meet 10 times a year. All new members must be referred by existing members to gain entry. Members include the founders of What3Words, Habito and Shazam.
UK Business Angels Association
UKBAA represents over 100 angel investment networks and early stage VC’s, and promotes members’ events in its event calendar. Whereas the majority of the events are open to the investment community exclusively, it’s worth checking back to identify the ones that are open to entrepreneurs too. The UKBAA’s own bi-annual industry conferences and dinners are also a great way to connect with investors.
Startupbootcamp Demo Days
Startupbootcamp take their demo days very seriously, and some have likened their vibe to mini rock concerts. According to founders on SeedLegals, SBC draws a great crowd making the quality of networking exceptionally high. Each programme runs its own events so you have to check in with them separately: Startupbootcamp InsurTech / Startupbootcamp IoT
The British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association hosts an extensive calendar of events catering to the private equity and venture capital industry.
Runway East VC Office Hours
Runway East is a startup-focused workspace that runs VC office hours for its 100+ founders, offering them the chance to connect with investors on a monthly basis in pre-scheduled office hours where they can pitch their startups one on one. Funds like Index, Hoxton Ventures, 500 Startups, ADV, Seedcamp and Balderton have run office hours at Runway East.
TechHub Investor Coffee Mornings
TechHub runs 45 investor coffee mornings per year for their 400+ tech startups based in London, to help founders make informed decisions about the right funding route for them, and start their round with their best foot forward. TechHub regularly invites London's most established VCs including Balderton Capital, Index Ventures, Accel Partners, and BGF for 1:1 sessions with the later stage startups, as well as the newly founded seed funds like Kindred, First Minute Capital and Local Globe, crowdfunding sites such as Seedrs, and Angel Networks such as AngelsDen and AIN.
Startup Grind Europe
Startup Grind host their annual European conference every summer, with over 2,500 founders and investors attending, and over 100 startups exhibiting. It’s a smorgasbord of keynotes, educational workshops, and intimate VC Q+As, and is a fantastic venue to rub shoulders with Europes’ investment ecosystem.
TableCrowd organises themed dinners (tables) which you can browse and sign up as a guest. Their fundraising series is a great way to meet with leading VCs and angel investors in a more relaxed setting.
Meeting the right investor(s) is a marathon, not a sprint. Always be vigilant that potential investors you meet are who they claim to be. Some startup advisors do give the rest a bad name, and unfortunately at SeedLegals, we hear stories (albeit rare) of startup networkers claiming to be angel investors or tech journalists in a bid to secure a chunk of free equity as a funding advisor.
If you do decide to bring a funding advisor on board, take care to create an advisor agreement, which lays out specific milestones they would need to hit in order to be compensated, especially if that compensation is in the form of share options.
Also note that the average amount of equity given to an early advisor is around 1%.
Your industry knows best
If you are still in the concept stage, your investors are most likely to be people you know and people who know the problem you are trying to solve!
Attending niche events for the industry you’re operating is far more likely to yield a match with someone you ‘shares your vision’ - which at the concept stage - is all you have. Established investors are far more likely to require proof with your pitch (traction, pre-orders, track-record etc.).
The warm intro is dead, long live the warm intro!
While it’s certainly true that the majority of early stage investors on SeedLegals are connected to their investee companies via a ‘warm intro’ - warm intros are not created equally. Most serial investors will tell you that it’s founders they’ve invested in that will introduce them to their next investment opportunity.
So perhaps instead of networking to meet investors - you could try networking to meet great founders instead.
Happy hunting ✌