Tuesday saw the second in a series of events under the banner of Angel Academe, the network I launched last September. AA is a community of professional women interested in supporting tech entrepreneurs – as mentors, non-execs or angel investors. Tuesday’s event was very generously hosted by UBS and it was a packed evening. It was a packed room too, whose make up achieved something I was aiming for – a reversal of the usual gender balance at most tech and startup events.

I briefly introduced the network and the evening, before handing over to our 2 inspirational angel investors.

Marianne Abib-Pech is the Founder of Sylar ltd, a boutique advising and fund raising firm and sits on the board of several VC funds. She gave a wonderful presentation, talking (without slides or notes) about her personal experiences and adventures, moving as she has from the corporate boardroom to the role of angel investor, writer and entrepreneur. “Start a business in what you know and understand,” was one of her choicest pieces of advice. She also noted that “there is a special place in Hell for women that don’t help other women”. (I think Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, was the source of this quote.)

Maria Dramalioti-Taylor is a Managing Partner at Geneva-based x.Million Capital Ventures, focusing on digital media, and founder of Angellab in London. She gave a detailed presentation on the “10 non-textbook rules for entrepreneurs and angels,” (see slides below) written from the point of view of a VC who’s seen it from the other side. Among her rules which resonated for me were, “Only sell shares when you need SPEED” and “know your place in the funding spectrum”. She also left us with the observation that the Internet of Things presents a fantastic investment opportunity.


Marianne and Maria went on to take questions together and were quite a double act!

double act

We then had 3 pitches from 3 very different business.

Amber Brown introduced Upfront Analytics, which gathers very detailed awareness, sentiment and behaviour data as consumers play on their highly engaging mobile games.

Gerlinde Gniewosz talked about  KO-SU, an innovative mobile learning platform for anyone who wants to teach and learn via mobile devices. Ko Su are one of 6 companies in the first BBC Worldwide Labs programme.

And Hatty Fawcett talked us through Seek & Adore, an online marketplace for designer makers, curated by a highly experienced craft and retail team.

Finally, we had a shout out from Sophie Muir of Thin Cats London Sponsors, providing debt solutions to small and medium businesses and good investment opportunities for investors also.

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Each of the speakers took a lot of genuinely engaged and insightful questions from the audience, giving the whole event an informal, conversational tone which continued pretty late over drinks!

I’d like to thank all of our speakers for their input, UBS for their support and of course everyone who turned up and made it such a successful evening. I’ll be running another event soon so keep an eye out for news on that.