EISA Presents: Ready, Steady, Grow! Breakfast Seminar

Giving the opportunity to meet investors, funders, entrepreneurs and business advisers to find out about the various funding options all in one place at one time!

At the Offices of Eagle Labs, Union House, Albert Square, Manchester M2 6LW

Time: 8:00-10:30am

Please book via our Eventbrite page here.

PLEASE NOTE: Places are free but in the event of non-attendance or cancellations, less than 24 hrs in advance, an administration fee of £30 per attendee will be charged.


Richard Blakesley is co-founder and CEO of of Capital Pilot, the single market for tech startups and investors, bringing transparency, efficiency and speed into the early stage fundraising process. Around 1,000 companies are registered on the Capital Pilot platform, which now has regional and sectoral angel networks and a women’s platform. Capital Pilot is launching Autopilot, its “Smart-VC” co-investment fund. Autopilot offers investors ultra low-cost diversified exposure to SEIS and EIS qualifying tech assets.

Capital Pilot is the 13th startup Richard has been involved with in the past 15 years, so he has plenty of experience – good and bad – to draw on. Before moving into the early stage technology world Richard spent 15 years as a mergers and acquisitions specialist for Lehman Brothers, Chase Manhattan and JP Morgan, where he was Managing Director in charge of telecoms and technology M&A.

Alex Cochand joined Downing in 2016 and now heads up the Origination and Partnership functions for the investment team. His core focuses are on sourcing investment opportunities for the funds and growing their network to support the portfolio. Prior to joining Downing, he worked at Bluebox Corporate Finance where he advised a range of businesses on both fundraising and sale mandates.



Tim Dempsey is an experienced dealmaker who has advised on over 40 transactions totalling over £75m at seed and growth stages, investing in each of these himself. He also established Manchester Venture Partners, a deal-by-deal EIS fund to co-invest alongside top tier institutional venture funds. Tim is also an advisor to PushDoctor, GSK, the University of Manchester, Campus Capital and the Manchester Tech Academy.



Alex Dunning – Seedrs.  Having previously founded a business in the equity crowdfunding space, Alex uses his experience to help entrepreneurs through the Seedrs fundraising journey where he is responsible for deal origination and qualification. Alex will work with entrepreneurs from the initial contact, where he will work with a business to understand if they are suitable for equity crowdfunding, right through to successfully funding, ensuring that businesses get vital growth capital, as well as the tangible secondary and tertiary benefits that come from a larger public raise.

Mike Holligan has worked at Barclays Corporate for over 19 years, gaining experience in various industry sectors including Education, Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics and Technology, Media & Telecoms. He now specialises in working with High Growth and Entrepreneurial businesses across the North West of England and has a keen focus on supporting growing, innovative, equity backed businesses with holistic funding packages



Mark Wilcockson is the British Business Bank Relationship Manager for Yorkshire Humberside and the Tees Valley.  His responsibilities include raising the awareness of alternative sources of Finance and for ensuring the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is delivered across the Region.  Working alongside the Fund Managers his key role is to ensure the fund is promoted and understood and that businesses access the funding to allow them to grow and achieve their ambitions.  Marks presentation will cover a range of the British Business Bank’s schemes including the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and most importantly how you can access these important funding scheme, to help your business grow.

The British Business Bank is a government-owned financial institution. It drives economic growth by making finance markets work better for smaller businesses in the UK, allowing those businesses to prosper and grow.






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