Ready Steady Grow! 2019 is the best opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors and business advisers to meet and share knowledge on all the exciting funding options and growth financing for start ups and SMEs. We are now delighted to announce our new event partners, Seedrs



Here at PwC’s offices, 19 Cornwall Street, Birmingham B3 2DT we are bringing together small businesses, investors, funders, entrepreneurs and business advisers – all in one place to hear expert opinion from SME industry experts.


Hemant Bedarkar, Seedrs
Hemant is Head of Investor Services at Seedrs, responsible for the flow of capital from institutional and intermediary investors to Seedrs opportunities. This ranges from securing institutional funding for portfolio and platform companies, through to the creation of fund and portfolio services for B2B and D2C investors.

Hemant began his career in finance at Lehman Brothers and subsequently in asset management as a director at Neuberger Berman. Hemant worked across business development roles covering multiple investor channels including: insurers, pension funds, family offices, asset managers, global financial institutions and wealth managers.

Siwan Smith, The Knowledge Transfer Network
Siwan is a knowledge transfer manager, specialising in diversity and inclusion.  Her aim is to facilitate the growth of innovative UK businesses in any sector being run by individuals of any gender and from any background.  Working on Women in Innovation and Young Innovators campaigns, she is also exploring other areas to enhance diversity and inclusion activities.

She has an extensive background in marketing, and a degree in PR and Events Management, and has previously worked as public relations and events support for Manchester Pride.

Henry Whorwood, Beauhurst
Henry leads Beauhurst’s Research & Consultancy team. He is an expert on business finance and has worked on briefs for clients including the British Business Bank, Penningtons Manches, Syndicate Room, and Innovate UK. Henry regularly gives presentations on market trends at events around the country. He studied Classics at the University of Oxford.

ready steady grow birmingham speakers

Judging Panel:

Dr Paul Mattick, Mercia
Dr Paul Mattick heads the Sales and Investor Relations team for the Mercia EIS Funds. He works directly with private clients and advisers to build the EIS fund raising capacity of Mercia. Paul oversees the administration and development of the EIS funds, and ensures that investors receive a high level of service, much of which is delivered through Mercia’s award-winning Investor Centre.

Paul has a variety of experience in early-stage businesses (including being a founder), and formerly worked at another leading EIS fund manager, where he built close relationships with top tier clients, and significantly grew both fund and single company assets under management. Paul has a PhD and Post-Doctorate from the University of Oxford and a 1st Class Bachelor of Science from the University of Leeds.

Matt O’Kane, Nexus Investments
Matt is a Chartered Accountant, formerly of Deloitte and PwC, and Managing Director of Nexus Investments, a division he helped to start in 2013 for Harry Hyman. A tax specialist, he has sourced the vast majority of NIVL’s 20 existing portfolio company clients, sitting on the Main Board or Advisory Board of a number of the UK’s most promising businesses, and advising some of our most promising entrepreneurs. Nexus Investments have now launched their EIS Scale Up Fund for a wider pool of sophisticated investors to participate in Nexus’s next hand-picked portfolio of 8-10+ companies scaling up in the Data, Digital, Education and Health sectors.

Alex Toft, Minerva
Alex Toft is Head of Minerva Business Angels, a network operated by the University of Warwick Science Park. It has six syndicates across the region and, together with direct investment, has helped to lever an additional £25 million into start-up and early stage companies. Alex was previously a Business Growth Adviser with the University of Warwick Science Park. He started his career with Unilever and has enjoyed an eclectic career of mainly commercial roles including with companies such as ICI, INEOS Healthcare (which he founded), The Air Ambulance Service, NHS Wales and, for the past three years, has been a business mentor. During his career, he has been a key inventor in 10 patents, started with a BSc (hons) in Chemistry and picked up an MBA, a law degree, a Master’s in Legal Practice (MLL).

ready steady grow birmingham judges

Through practical seminars, Q&As, panel discussions and networking, we review a wide range of funding options, including the government-backed Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).

We will also explore:

Other Ready Steady Grow! 2019 events are taking place in:



Who should attend this event?

Entrepreneurs looking to start a business, or access funding to take your business to its next level

Investors looking to invest in the ‘Next big thing’

Professional Advisors who want to help SMEs develop and grow.

Is there the opportunity for me to pitch my ‘Big Idea’?

Yes! If you are an entrepreneur looking for investment in your big idea, you can pitch your plans to investors and business advisors at this event – with just 5 minutes to pitch to our panel, they will offer you insight and advice directly relevant to your business idea! Email Mark Brownridge or Ceri Evans to secure your pitching spot!

Will refreshments be provided?

We will be serving pizzas, as well as beers, wine and soft drinks!

Register here


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