We want everyone, including you, to know that startups exist and the UK government is providing a large tax break, called SEIS, to encourage investment at the seed stage.
What does this mean? You could invest £100,000 in a startup and it would cost you only £22,000 after the Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax rebates.
Also, if the startup exits for a profit, those capital gains are exempt from CGT.
If you invest, you should know what questions to ask and how much tax you can save (our SEIS Calculator gives you a great indicator).
If you would like to know more, meet potential investee startups or talk to experienced investors, please attend our workshop in Canary Wharf on Thursday 28 June 2012.
Ready to invest?
If you have read this far and are ready to invest, please visit:
Seedrs.com - Online investing in startups (FSA-Authorised) - invest from £10 to £100,000
Seedcamp.com/seis - Europe’s premier seed fund - invest alongside Europe’s largest venture funds
Ascensionventures.com - Specialist media and tech SEIS fund
Lists, like the Fortune 500 or the Sunday Times Fast Track 100, are incredibly powerful marketing tools. They raise awareness, create aspirational feelings; encouraging others to aim for those very same goals.
This is just a thought, but creating a list of the very best, most active, angel investors and celebrating them could provide the impetus for others to find out about the rewards of angel investing. The list would most likely require inordinate amounts of work to provide weight and accuracy. A national media partner would also be a must, to ensure prominence to the hard work that goes into compiling and computing numbers to create the list.
How would we rank angels? Entirely on a mathematical basis, to keep things fair:
1. How many startups have they invested in
2. How many startups in the last 12 months have been invested in
3. Percentage of deals they led on
4. How much they have to invest in the next 1/2/5 years
5. Size of deals that they invest in (i.e. does their presence lead to others investing also)
N.B. VCs, while often valuable, would be excluded from the list unless they take the same risk and invest their own cash.
As a name, The Startup Halo 100 seems appropriate.
Thanks to Ascension Ventures, Seedrs and Seedcamp, we were able to have beautiful flyers and t-shirts made.
However, when 11 of us assembled at 6:30pm in a coffee shop near Bank, we weren’t aware of how truly difficult it is to raise awareness through flyering.
I’ll post some pictures up, but suffice to say, we were disturbing people first thing in the morning and most looked at us that way.
They didn’t know we were doing this for free and that the flyer would guide them to saving incredible amounts from their tax bill, as well as allowing them to help boost the economy. Almost every penny invested in a startup is recycled back into the real economy. Investing in stocks, bonds and funds stays stuck in the ‘financial markets’.
As a result, we increased the number of days of flyering and hope to fill the workshop on Thursday 28th June at One Churchill Place, Canary Wharf.
The startup ‘scene’ offers plenty of events (or meetups) to provide support and information for those undertaking the journey to start their own venture.
Chief amongst the challenges facing startups, raising capital is incredibly difficult. Especially compared to the experience of those founders who head to Silicon Valley. The key missing ingredient, here in London, is common knowledge of how hard it is to get a startup off the ground. As a result, very little capital is employed outside of exchange traded securities.
What does that mean? Private investors, like you and I, do not invest in real businesses. We buy shares, bonds and funds (like ETFs) which recycle cash for those that have already raised money. This behaviour does not contribute to the growth of the economy, and it certainly does not deliver satisfactory returns.
The blog post that kicked this all off is copied in below (original here):
The government has put in the effort to make investing in bonds, stocks and property a normal course of life. Why is it that investing in private start-ups is not bolstered as much?
Well, the government have made a start with their marketing quango, Tech City UK(linked to UKTI), but this is targeted at getting the likes of Google to set up here (foreigners to invest, rather than getting us to invest). So I am going to take up the mantle through a number of initiatives:
The first step is already live and being improved on by Elias Haase, a Computer Science student: Hackful.com is a community of almost 1,300 hackers from around Europe (launched last month, so still growing).
The next step is to get on the road and talk to City and Docklands staff with hefty bonuses to invest. They should ALL be aware of the amazing opportunity that investing in start-ups can be. They should also be aware that the government has tax breaks (called EIS and SEIS) which effectively pay those high earners to invest in start-ups.
If you want to help, we need: flyers, basic website, existing angels (at the outreach events) and start-ups who are looking for cash and want to be showcased.
Support is needed to help keep the above train moving fast and always looking busy. Initially, we just need the time and ‘sponsorship’ of key angel/investor groups to lend credibility.
Funding for flyers would be very much appreciated too.
Monday morning was great in The City. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will be flyering in Green Park and (hopefully) Canary Wharf.
We meet tomorrow, Tuesday, at 7am outside the Piccadilly SOUTH exit of Green Park station and will flyer till 9:30am. Look out for the blue t-shirts with The Queen.
We will buy everyone breakfast as a group after the flyering (likely breakfast location is Pret or Patisserie Valerie on Piccadilly).
The plan is to raise awareness about SEIS and angel investing. Get people curious and hopefully engage them in finding out more.
If you are going to join us for the flyering effort, please email Rayhan with your startup logo, url and a one-liner for the Certified Halo website, please: firstname.lastname@example.org