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Ready, Steady, Grow! Liverpool – Tuesday 18th September 2018

EISA Presents: Ready, Steady, Grow! Breakfast Seminar

At Avenue HQ, Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront, L3 1BW

Please click here to sign up to the event. Alternatively, book via our Eventbrite page here.

Time: 8:00-10:30am


Sarah Abrahams leads Grant Thornton’s national Growth Finance business, providing a range of support services to businesses seeking up to £10m in external finance and representing the firm in the early-stage investment community.

Valuation is always a difficult topic for companies and investors alike when putting an EIS deal together. Many companies really struggle to know even where to start, and what the motivations of a potential funder are.  Sarah will be sharing insight into how she is seeing both companies and investors approach this, and some suitable methods that can be used to reach a valuation point.

Andrew Aldridge, Partner, Deepbridge Capital. As Head of Marketing, Andrew oversees all Deepbridge communications and messaging. Andrew has a wealth of experience marketing financial and professional institutions, with over a decade of experience building credible brands and delivering real growth.  Andrew is a Member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing and holds a BSc in Business Economics and Marketing from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.



Sue Barnard is the North West Regional Relationship Manager for the British Business Bank and supports the Director of European Funding.  The British Business Bank (BBB) is a government-owned financial institution which drives economic growth by making finance markets work better for smaller businesses in the UK, allowing those businesses to prosper and grow.  Sue has a focus also on the delivery of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and the wider promotion of the British Business Bank’s wider objectives of increasing with stakeholder responsibility for the North West working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships, ESIF Committees, Growth Hubs, Fund Managers and Key stakeholders.

Sue has held similar positions for over 20 years, starting her career with the Wigan Borough Partnership with a remit of supporting businesses and more recently with the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub and the North West Development Agency delivering a range of programmes from the North West Fund, The Manufacturing Advisory Service and through to North West Business Angels and the Start Up Loans Programme.

Akhay Bhatnager, with almost two decades of working within the investment management sector, including with the likes of Aureos, MSIF, CDC Group, Access to Finance and Co Angel Investment, Akshay is Finance Director at We Are Nova Limited.  With headquarters in Liverpool, We Are Nova has developed a Cofoundery approach to supporting, funding and commercialising digital startups. Working with cornerstone investors and strategic partners, the Nova approach focusses around providing entrepreneurs with the skills and support they require whilst providing access to funding which is provided as key milestones are reached.


Janice Mears is a highly motivated Commercial Broker with over 15 years experience in providing commercial business support across a range of roles within the SME market through to the Corporate market.

As a Commercial Broker within the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Janice is responsible for the delivery of business support through the Local Growth Hub. The Local Growth Hub aim is to engage companies and connect them with appropriate advisors, driving growth in the economy through an online and face to face brokered support model delivering commercial advice and government funded support.

She works closely with public and private sector partners, including Local Authorities and Chambers of Commerce, to identify companies with growth ambitions and agree appropriate support.
Janice has worked across a range of business development disciplines. These have included roles within Economic Development, Inward Investment and Corporate Banking.

Simon Thelwall-Jones joined MSIF as an Investment Director in 2016 to oversee MSIF’s larger loans and equity investments. Simon also previously worked on MSIF’s Venture Fund which closed for investment in 2008.

Simon has a wealth of corporate finance, fundraising and venture capital experience, having bought, run and sold a number of businesses, both as an owner/manager himself, and on behalf of clients, including a number of regional institutional funds.