A FIRM which matches investors with exciting start-ups is celebrating five years since its creation.

Since its founding in 2013 Dorset Business Angels has facilitated investments in excess of £2.5 million, having received approaches from more than 80 firms in sectors including IT, finance, engineering, renewable energy and automotive.

The titular angels are entrepreneurs who are running or have exited from highly successful businesses, and who are now looking to help, support and invest in upcoming local talent.

Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy angels in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ type scenario. If they are successful, investment may then come from either a single angel or several members pooling funds, always for a minority equity stake, rather than the provision of loan capital.

Chairman Don McQueen said: “Not every business receives the whole investment from DBA, but the fact that it has had the support of DBA members increases its chances of securing the remaining funds from other angel networks in the region.

“Over the years, some brilliant concepts have been put before the members. Even if a business does not secure investment on the night, DBA can introduce them to mentoring that will give them an opportunity to revise their business plan and return to pitch again to the members at a future event.”

The firm’s mission statement is to turn Dorset into one of the UK’s best regions for setting up high growth and start-up businesses by providing quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth and sophisticated investors.

Successful products that have received investment thus far include high-speed broadband provided via the BT copper wire network at a fraction of the cost of fibre, cancer detection equipment and a map app to assist walkers, ramblers and the emergency services.

Investments to-date have ranged between £150-550k, but larger investments up to £1.5m have been facilitated through the firm’s association with other angel groups and private equity houses.

Mr McQueen, who is also a Bournemouth councillor, said: “We are always keen to welcome new investors to our network and would urge anyone interested in joining or finding out more about us to get in touch.”

The next investors’ pitch event is in January 2019 at the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton. To book a place visit dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk