Midven Venture Capital Chairman Brian Blakemore Comments on Entrepreneurs and Risk Taking in the UK

Leading financial expert comments that entrepreneurship is key catalyst of economic recovery

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Brian Blakemore

Risk taking is essential. An innovative entrepreneur must have a well-founded business plan and the foresight to buck trends to benefit from a real market opportunity.

Birmingham, UK (PRWEB UK) 29 April 2014

Brian Blakemore, a leading financial expert with a career spanning 40 years in the banking and investment industries, comments that today’s entrepreneurs have access to vital elements needed to succeed within the current market environment: inspiration, drive, favourable business conditions and access to capital.

Mr Blakemore, who serves as Chairman at Midven, a Birmingham-based venture capital firm with £74m under management, added he remains “very bullish” about the new opportunities being seen in start-up, early stage and growth businesses across the UK.

Mr Blakemore’s comments were published last week in the Midven Annual Review, which is available for download on the Midven site.

Negativity surrounding the market “continues to be overdone” and Mr Blakemore holds that an overly pessimistic view of the financial markets may prevent entrepreneurs from taking the essential risks necessary to create dynamic businesses and technologies. “Risk taking is essential. An innovative entrepreneur must have a well-founded business plan and the foresight to buck trends to benefit from a real market opportunity,” he said.

He continues: “When investing in early-stage and growth businesses, the fundamentals of a successful investment remain the same almost regardless of the overall economic situation. Put simply, we consistently look for sound business plans and good management.

“One of the key challenges we face is finding good management who have the initial vision for the business and the skills to grow and develop the company coupled with the ability to adapt to work as part of a team as the business grows. This is a challenging combination, but there are plenty of entrepreneurs out there who fit the bill.”

Mr Blakemore added that venture capital firms should maintain a positive focus and expects a “strong investment pace” in 2014.

In the recent months, Midven has made a number of new start-up investments including Corso, Caption Data, Kobus, Diverse World and Craft Dragon.

In 2013, Midven entered into a formal relationship with Harwell Capital to help source additional funding for technology-focused enterprises. Midven also recently announced an additional £10M investment in the Rainbow Seed Fund, expanding the fund to £24m and widening its remit to cover entrepreneurial scientists in the synthetic biology space.

Mr Blakemore joined Midven as a Non-Executive Chairman in 2009. His career spans 40 years in the banking and investment industries, mostly within the West Midlands. Mr Blakemore was most recently with Barclays Private Equity, which he joined in 1989 to open their first regional office in the UK, located in Birmingham. He became a director in 1998 and was a member of the UK Executive Committee. After leading the Barclays Private Equity Midlands Team for over ten years, Mr Blakemore was appointed Investor Relations Director in December 2000. He was a key part of the team which successfully raised the firms first 3 funds: the €1.25 billion Barclays Private Equity European Fund in 2002, the €1.65 billion Barclays Private Equity European Fund ll in 2005, and the €2.45 billion Barclays Private Equity European Fund lll in 2007. Mr Blakemore retired from Barclays Private Equity in September 2008 and as well as his involvement with Midven is engaged in various consulting projects and training. Mr Blakemore is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

About Midven
Midven is the leading Midlands-based provider of venture capital funding to early-stage and established businesses. The Birmingham-based venture capital firm currently manages five funds representing a total of £74m under management.

Midven was established in 1990 and has grown significantly since the existing management team took ownership of the business in 2007. The Midven team has established a reputation for delivering solid commercial experience and creative business solutions to help their portfolio companies achieve exceptional outcomes. For more information, please visit http://www.midven.co.uk or follow @Midven on Twitter.


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