Mike Lebus Interview – “Tech leads, but stunning rise in interest for sustainable businesses”

● Angel Investment Network reveals report based on findings from more than
100,000 UK startups and 30,000 investors
● Stunning rise in interest in sustainable businesses but technology, property
and robotics top keywords for investors.
● Property number one sector for pitch ideas
● London retains dominance but entrepreneurial hotspots developing in West
Midlands and East Anglia

Angel Investment Network (AIN), the UK’s largest online angel investment platform, has revealed its
latest ‘State of the Angel Investment Nation’ findings. It is based on the data of more than 100,000 UK
registered businesses looking for funding and 30,000 investors.

‘Technology’ was the top search term used in 2019, based on investor keyword searches. This was
followed by ‘property’ with ‘mobile’ the third most popular. ‘Robotics’ climbed six places year on year
to now be the fourth most requested search term. Meanwhile ‘electronics’ is up by nine places on the
list to number six.

With climate change centre stage in Davos last week, there also has been a stunning rise in interest for
sustainable businesses. Searches for ‘Renewables’ have rocketed by 34 places to be the 14th most
searched for term. Meanwhile ‘greentech’, unheard of even a couple of years ago, is now the 19th most
popular keyword, up from 47th last year. Environmental leapt 56 places up the rankings to be the 25th
most searched for term.




For entrepreneurs, property is the most popular sector for pitch ideas. Entertainment and leisure is the
second, followed by technology. Overall there were 10% more pitches over the past 12 months from
startups looking to attract investors.

According to AIN co-founder Mike Lebus: “Startups are the lifeblood of the UK economy and despite a
turbulent year politically, there has been no slowdown in activity. Investor interest remains focused on
technology and the cutting edge applications that are possible through it, including mobile and robotics.
However property, one of mankind’s oldest profit generators, continues to drive the interest of
investors and is now our top sector for pitches.”

He continued: “The growth in interest in impact related terms is remarkable and we are witnessing a
seachange in investor attitudes as it has so quickly shot to the top of the news and business agenda. It is
the reason we launched our spin off SeedTribe to help support entrepreneurs who put sustainability at
the heart of their business model.”

The report also reveals some discrepancy between startup ideas and investor interest. While fashion
and beauty remains the fourth most popular category for pitch ideas, it is just 17th on the list for
investors. It also looks like faith in the maverick inventor, so beloved of Dragon’s Den, is waning.
‘Inventions’ as a search term fell by seven places from seventh to fifteenth most searched term.
Meanwhile ‘Gadgets’ also fell by 15 places to number 32 as investors instead look for more tech and
software based ideas.

AIN has also revealed the UK’s top entrepreneurial hot spots. London remains responsible for 37% of all
pitch ideas, although its market share was slightly down. The South East is second in the list with the
North West number three, up 10% year on year. There has also been impressive growth in other parts of
the country. There was 25% growth in pitch ideas in the West Midlands, with East Anglia up 26%.

The Top 10 Sectors for Pitches:

1. Property
2. Entertainment & leisure
3. Technology
4. Fashion & Beauty
5. Food & Beverage
6. Software
7. Hospitality, Restaurants & Bars
8. Retail
9. Business Services
10. Education & Training

The Top Keywords for Investors:

1. Technology
2. Property
3. Mobile
4. Robotics
5. Software
6. Electronics
7. Computers
8. Products
9. Residential property
10. Finance

The entrepreneur hotspot list is as follows (based on number of pitches from each region):

1. London
2. South East
3. North West
4. South West
5. West Midlands
6. East Midlands
7. Scotland
8. East Anglia
9. Yorkshire and Humber
10. North East
11. Wales
12. Northern Ireland