Interview with Dermot Hill, Founder at Equity Fundraising Platform: Stakeholderz

Stakeholderz is a new type of equity funding platform, designed with the realities of starting and scaling an early stage business in mind.

‘Because extraordinary businesses deserve exceptional investors.’

Our value statement is core to Stakeholderz, and it’s the reason it all began just over 3 years ago. As an entrepreneur myself I saw a gap in the market to bring together passionate entrepreneurs, angel investors and those with the right acumen to help start-ups at a critical time in their business.

These three elements ensure that we’re not just another equity funding platform. With us, it’s personal. Personal service, tailored engagement, and a commitment to achieving funding goals as if the business were our own.
 
 
Image result for Stakeholderz
 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
We’re a small team, but we believe in the power of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the conviction of entrepreneurs especially in tech. And as a result of some incredible businesses joining our platform we’ve built up an active community of like-minded angel investors, who want to do more with their cash than just watch it ebb and flow on the stock market. Our investors, yes they have an appetite for risk, but they also are passionate about supporting the start-up ecosystem and it’s that sense of purpose that we find really drives Stakeholderz forward.

We’re very fortunate to be the enablers of entrepreneurs who put their trust in us to support them at a point in their business when they simply need to get on and make it work. And they leave the fundraising part to us.
 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
Of course, 2020 wasn’t quite what the business plan had envisaged. Before the world was spun on its axis we were running live pitch events, networking dinners, angel investing masterclasses, and many other engagement initiatives, but of course everything had to come online.

Far from slow us down though, we found that being able to remotely connect with investors and entrepreneurs played to our advantage and helped us reach a broader audience. Last year alone we hosted 26 webinars with speakers we could have only dreamt of getting in person. Those cruel diaries were suddenly opened up and we seized the opportunity with guests including Jacqueline de Rojas CBE (President of techUK) and philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley CH.

In 2020, our investor register grew by 72%, with around a quarter of those who signed up having attended an event that inspired them to find out more! And with the lure of an attractive pool of investors, in turn we grew our pipeline of promising tech companies looking for funding from single digits to just under 200.

2020 gave us time to get to know our community at a deeper level. And we’ve discovered that whilst it’s always preferable to feel the strength of a handshake, or read the body language of a pitch presenter, investors are still investing. In July of 2020 we ran our inaugural ‘Live for 5’ online pitch event and as a result of that 5 minutes of ‘airtime’ a Medtech entrepreneur received £75,000 investment. Tech is a resilient sector and last year it continued to ride the storm and come out sailing.
 

What can we hope to see from Stakeholderz in the future?

 
Looking ahead, we are now focusing on a few key sectors to ensure that the ventures we’re scrutinising are more closely aligned to our investor preferences. And we’re launching new initiatives including sector roundtables to help assess potential ventures, expanding into US investor pitch events, and in the latter part of the year partnering with universities and accelerators for our Live for 5 programme.

So watch this space! Watch as we capture those incredible ideas, watch as we harness the potential of the businesses we’ve been wowed by, and watch as Stakeholderz embraces entrepreneurial talent and passionate investors to bring you the businesses you can’t do without.