KIN comprises a group of experienced business people who co-invest, assist and when requested advise growing companies.
Since its formation KIN has built up strong links with various institutions in Kent including Kent County Council, its enterprise investment initiatives and leading lawyers, accountants and M&A advisors in the County.
Some would say we are like the Dragon’s Den of TV fame – but that is not entirely helpful an analogy! (* see footer note )
KIN is keen to achieve a vigorous and active role in assisting entrepreneurs in the County and elsewhere to receive investment for their growing businesses.
Our prime objective is to invest in EIS qualified companies with the purpose of achieving successful growth for the businesses over three or four years until exit.
Such investments will normally require the raising of finance varying from £100k to £500k from our members. Given the strategic importance of finance raisings to the relevant companies we normally envisage that we shall be offered a Board seat.
Additionally, should the investee companies wish to employ any of the KIN members subsequently this can be agreed by mutual consent. However, this is not the main purpose of the KIN members’ involvement.
Overall, we are seeking to create a group of angel and other investors who can over time achieve the success seen in other parts of the UK where innovators have worked with successful entrepreneurs to maximise the potential of their company and achieve strong returns. Currently, we estimate that our membership can deploy at least £6 million for investment which when combined with other organisations’ matched funding provides a powerful access to capital.
The current membership is twenty but we believe that we need at least 30 and probably 40 members who will take an active part in the work of KIN.
The current membership comprises High Net Worth individuals from all over Kent and with expertise in :
Manufacturing/ Engineering, Distribution, Retail, Financial Services ( specifically Insurance), Technology (Digital and Software), Recruitment/ Search, Pharmaceuticals, Loss adjusters, Renewables and Professional Services.
Members meet approximately six times per annum to receive presentations from potential investee companies. They assist in providing some introductions themselves and others come from a variety of sources. Opportunities arising between meetings are actively circulated to and shared with the membership who then follow them up directly.
We also continue to seek greater diversity in our membership.
Investment Opportunities and Performance to date
KIN members have invested over £250,000 in the last eighteen months and all the investee companies are operating successfully.
These investments have covered specifically Travel, Accounting services and Medical Devices with Manufacturing, Sport/ Leisure.
KIN has an elected Committee which meets monthly and reviews all Investment opportunities as they arise.
The latter is handled on an informal basis by the Secretary to the Committee but we endeavour to make our responses within seven days.
We hold formal Committee meetings monthly and formal meetings of the members every two months which are well attended. At these meetings, we aim to organise four potential investments to present for a period of approximately 40 minutes including Q&A. Our members then confirm their interest or not. These meetings can be lengthened (or held more frequently) if the number of appropriate investment opportunities increased. We also arrange for investor feedback from opportunities that arise between meetings.
Should KIN members decide not to back an investment then we are candid with the team concerned and also provide them with advice on how to make their product/service or presentation better for the future. This means that our feedback is well received and we seek to maintain contact with the Corporate until such time as there is no benefit to either party.
The members make a commitment to assist each other and we levy an annual charge of £50 for the organisation of the Secretary’s office and meetings.
We are not sponsored by any particular entity at present but have historically received strong support from various investment agencies and leading Legal, Accounting and Corporate finance practices in the County.
Whether you are a potential investor or wish to promote a specific investment opportunity please free to contact us.
Are we like Dragons Den?
At first glance, our model is the same: a group of investors on one side: ready to risk their money helping a growth company to expand: and pitching to them entrepreneurs with good ideas.
But there are many differences – firstly we are not a TV show, so we have no need to ‘make entertainment’: no need to raise emotions! Which means firstly we liaise with businesses between meetings to ensure that the information they have suggests they are ready to present: we never have presenters clamming up, or being caught out on obvious questions.
More importantly, we take a very collaborative and helpful approach:
- we give helpful, constructive feedback: even when we don’t invest – right there straight after the presentation
- we may have a couple of follow-up meetings with businesses whose presentation we liked. We don’t charge for that: and again the advice the get, and the new thinking that our questioning often brings is often of great value to a growth company.