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Published: July 8, 2020 | Updated: July 8, 2020

Marine business floats the boat of angels at latest Dragon’s Den-style virtual pitch event

By Andrew Diprose, editor

A marine systems technology company grabbed the attention of Dorset Business Angels at their latest virtual pitch event with a concise and compelling pitch.

It was among a number of businesses taking part in the Dragons Den-style scenario.

Several of the angels – or potential investors – are keen sailors themselves.

They were impressed with the innovation demonstrated and the gap in the market that is being filled as well as the opportunities that the ambitious brand is building.

The unnamed company’s products are designed to give boat owners real-time load data that will allow them to sail their boats faster.

Its system provides a unique wireless load-sensing range of technology for rigging and soft line/ropes.

Investors learnt how the rig loading on the vessel has a strong influence on the shape of the sails and hence the speed of the boat and also the boat’s safety.

The capturing of this real time information is severely lagging behind other technology in the sailing market.

The innovation fills a significant gap in the market and delivers the first-ever solution to the mainstream market.

The company founder and CEO said: “Our vision is that every racing yacht will aspire to have one of our products to help measure their racing performance.

“Power boat, cruiser and charter owners will use to enhance their safety.”

The business is currently working with Sir Ben Ainslie to test and develop the products.

Sir Ben, who is Olympic yachting’s most decorated sailor, is leading next year’s British challenge for the America’s Cup.

The marine company was seeking to raise £200,000 for 11 per cent of the business.

Future ambitions were shared and questions answered well.

Three angel investors expressed interest to carry out the due diligence process.

Also attracting investment attention was a spin-out company from Cambridge University.

Founded in 2015 it had developed a successful ’fit and forget’ solution for the ever-increasing need for the remote condition monitoring of hardware devices.

The benefits include early warning of equipment failure, increased operational efficiency, energy reduction and regulatory compliance.

The business is now raising £2m of investment to offer its products and software subscription services to an ever-growing industrial world-wide market.

But a company aiming to disrupt the corrugated cardboard market, that has seen little innovation over the past 50 years or so, didn’t secure interest from their initial pitch.

It did, however, receive interest from an investor who had been unable to attend the virtual pitch event but was impressed by the proposals submitted.

Don McQueen, Chairman, Dorset Business Angels (DBA), pictured left, said: “This was our second virtual pitch event.

“The first in April created significant interest from would-be investors and partners in what we do.

“We were pleased to welcome over 30 guests online at our July event.

“All pitching businesses had submitted their business proposals and financial documents prior to the online event, during which they had just three minutes to make their real time presentations.

“Questions by investors and partners follow, after which the pitching businesses leave the virtual room and investors hold a private conversation to gauge interest.

“The process has worked well for us and it was encouraging that two of the businesses secured immediate interest.

“Subsequent interest was received for another of the pitching companies following the event.”

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment.

To find out more about Dorset Business Angels or to book for the pitch event on October 12, please visit www.dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk