Announcing: Cambridge Office Hours

In partnership with Cambridge Angels and Playfair Capital

We’re committed to playing our part in unlocking the potential of entrepreneurs across the UK, and to this end, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve partnered up with Cambridge Angels and Playfair Capital to bring virtual Office Hours to the Cambridge ecosystem, on September 10th.

Apply Here.

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Why Cambridge?

Cambridge, dubbed “Silicon Fen”, is emerging as one of the top tech hubs in the UK and Europe, thanks to its world-class education, research and innovation. The city has established a reputation for spinning out high-tech startups. According to a report by Tech Nation, digital tech companies in Cambridge had a turnover of £2.1bn and raised £583m in 2018 alone. Further, over half of Cambridge’s population works in tech, indicating that tech talent continues to grow alongside these numbers at pace.

One of our partners, Cambridge Angels, is an organization of 60+ business angel investors with proven experience as successful entrepreneurs across a variety of technology sectors. Cheque sizes range between £50k to £500k, though in addition to providing capital, Cambridge Angels also share their wide range of expertise, contacts and directly relevant experience.

We’re also partnering with London-based pre-seed and seed-stage venture capital firm, Playfair Capital, who invest in founders whose technologies change the way we live and work. With a generalist global lens, Playfair has invested in over 60+ companies to date. Cheque sizes are between £100k and £500k. Having 2 alumni from the University of Cambridge on their team, Playfair brings a unique cross-city investment lens between London and Cambridge.

How it works

Cambridge Office Hours is a regional special of our monthly quick-fire sessions where members of the Forward Partners’ investment team sit down with pre-seed founders to hear their big ideas and provide feedback. In this special edition, we will be joined by members of Playfair Capital and Cambridge Angels’ investment teams. We’ll be looking to provide specific feedback, and if it’s a good fit, investment.

Forward Partners have invested in a number of companies that were discovered through Office Hours, so view the 20-minute meeting as a chance to show us that you’re:

A) a strong founder or founding team with deep domain expertise

B) have an unfair advantage, and

C) are playing in a venture-scale market.

If we’re excited about you and your business, we’ll invite you back for a more in-depth investment meeting. We’ve invested in 6 companies through Office Hours to date - with our most recent being HIGHR - a direct-to-consumer beauty brand on a mission to build the cleanest supply chain in the world. In any case, you will receive concrete feedback collated from the wider team and partner investors after your meeting.

Calling all Cambridge-connected founders

We’re keen to meet any and all pre-seed entrepreneurs with ambitious, venture scale ideas connected to the Cambridge ecosystem. Students, professionals, residents, graduates, alumni, post-docs, professors, and drop-outs are all welcome!

We receive over 100’s of applications every month, so it’s worth investing a bit of time into your submission. Head over to our cheat sheet on how to craft a killer application -it’s well worth a read.

How Do I Apply?

Fill in our application form here, and make sure to select Cambridge Office Hours. They’ll be held on 10th September 2020.

We can’t wait to meet you.

Apply Here.

Cambridge Angels

Cambridge Angels is a leading UK business angel network with international connections actively mentoring and investing in innovative entrepreneurial teams and their ideas, to achieve returns and help realise their full potential. The group has a strong ethos of backing merit and supporting entrepreneurship. Members, most of whom are successful entrepreneurs, invest in a wide range of start-up and scale-up businesses with a particular focus on technology, internet, software, hardware, and tools and technologies supporting healthcare.

Playfair Capital

Founded in 2013, Playfair Capital is an angel-led, pre-seed and seed stage VC investing in entrepreneurs building technology companies that rethink the way we live and work. We write £100k - £500k cheques, investing globally and sector agnostically but with a focus on Deep Tech (software) and B2B in the UK and France. We have an angel-led approach: flexible, hands-on, long-termist. Our key value-add beyond the standard VC sell of network is: scaling experience, sales, marketing, hiring and refining/building financial models.

Forward Partners

Forward Partners is a leading early-stage venture fund meets startup studio, that invests from idea through to Series A. They’ve invested in 55+ companies to-date including Patch, Appear Here, Koru Kids, from their £81m early-stage funds, and focus primarily on Applied AI, Marketplaces and E-Commerce. Operating as pioneers in the ‘applied venture’ space, Forward has an in-house team of accomplished marketers, developers, designers, recruiters and product managers that are dedicated to helping founders practically build and scale their businesses, and accelerate their success. Their portfolio companies are 4x more likely to reach Series A, with a 55% higher valuation, 26% faster and with founder equity 2.3x more valuable than their peers.

Katie is an Investor with Forward Partners. She came from Vanedge Capital, a VC investing in Series A companies globally. Their sector focuses include machine learning & AI, cloud computing, SaaS, digital media and cyber security. At Vanedge, Katie was responsible for deal sourcing, due diligence and portfolio company management.

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