Investor Panel

In 2015, Tech Invest Manchester’s investor panel included the following experts:

Matt Mead – Mercia Fund Management

Matt has over 20 years’ experience in the investment industry and is a seasoned board executive, having been a non-executive director and non-executive Chairman at over 15 early stage and growth businesses, including Datanomic and Garlik Limited.

Matt worked at 3i from 1995 to 2009, making early stage investments in software and other technology businesses. He also successfully directed 3i’s pan European Venture portfolio team, and managed the disposal of 3i’s venture Portfolio in a series of secondary transactions.

He subsequently joined NESTA as Managing Director Investments to run its £30m Venture Capital Fund. In 2010 he was appointed CIO, managing all investment activity at NESTA, including its £350m Trust assets and its social impact investment funds.

Matt has also held roles as a Senior Manager at Ernst and Young, and a Strategic Advisor for Finance Wales.

Jon Coker – MMC Ventures

Jon joined MMC in 2007 and since then has led MMC’s investments in 13 fast growing internet technology companies including digital market places, Software as a Service, e-commerce and education technology.

The business facing companies that Jon works with are SafeGuard, Total Mobile, Invenias, Cloudsense, MBA & Company, Opal, Creativity Software and iJento. The consumer facing companies that he works with are Gousto and Mastered.

During this time Jon has worked with founders as they have grown their businesses from start-up to large global companies. While working with these teams Jon’s focus has been helping them build the platform they need to achieve their growth ambitions, specifically helping them access talent and advice, funding and partners. Jon enjoys seeing the UK build large sustainable technology businesses and is driven by playing his part in that.

Before joining MMC, Jon was a member of the global leveraged fund team at JP Morgan. He has an MEng in Engineering Science from St Peters, Oxford University. Outside of work Jon spends as much time as he can with his young family and loves playing and watching sport.

Luke Hakes – Octopus

Luke joined Octopus in 2009 after starting his career in Technology consulting. He focuses on internet enabled platforms and services, enterprise software and hardware related technologies. Luke currently sits on the boards of a number of the Titan portfolio companies, acts as an advisor to early stages companies and works with a number of universities and start-up incubators, assisting them with technology spinouts and funding decisions.

Darren Gowling – Co Angel Investment Service

Darren-GowlingWorked in the VC sector since the mid-90s with experience of creating, launching and managing venture capital and seed funds in the North West, Wales and the South West.

Operated at Fund Manager/Investment Director and Principal level since 2002.

20 years experience in the UK venture capital industry with focus on early stage SMEs, syndicated investments and ERDF structural funds.

Member of the project teams behind the establishment of Objective One funds Finance Cornwall and Liverpool Seed Fund and Investment Director of both funds.

Led and managed 150+ individual transactions investing over £50m and leveraging private sector investment in excess of a further £50m.

A recognised lead investor in a diverse range of deals from the Proof of Concept stage of Seed investing through Series A and B rounds.

Experience of working alongside European structural funds, private investors, business angels, bank/debt providers and regional and national public sector funding agencies.