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Manchester tech trio unite for event to address reduced VC activity

Zally, the Manchester-based trailblazer in continuous user authentication, has joined forces with influencer marketing platform SoSquared to host FLIP MCR on January 25 at Peak’s headquarters in Manchester.

Addressing a year of reduced venture capital activity, the event is designed to bridge the gap between founders and investors, offering first-hand insights into investor perspectives at the outset of 2024.

From 6pm to 10pm, the free event is primarily targeted at local entrepreneurs who may be seeking or considering seeking private investment in the coming year. Offering a fresh take on founder-investor events, the evening aims to encourage transparent discussions around this important topic to help generate truly actionable information and introductions for seed and pre-seed founders to benefit from.

The event will be hosted by Patrick Smith, Zally’s founder and CEO, and Sam Royle, SoSquared’s founder and CEO. Those in attendance will be privy to a number of unique elevator pitches from noteworthy investment professionals, as well as several short talks by guest speakers and an interactive Q&A session. Notably, each section will feature numerous point-of-contacts for businesses in attendance to use.

Smith said: “FLIP MCR represents a new type of networking event. We’re ready to help facilitate all the unapologetically candid yet essential conversations that founders need to have in order for the best chance of success in the next 12 months. It’s time we prioritise the needs of founders and provide crucial insights and networking opportunities to help them on their business journey.”

The event will also feature a fireside chat led by David Leitch and Richard Potter, co-founders of Peak, a multi-national artificial intelligence company headquartered in Manchester, during which they will explore their personal investment experiences and share stories about the challenges they faced as they worked to scale their technology internationally.

By pooling the collective wisdom of these companies, and unlocking observations from investors, the event aims to ensure those leading the next wave of innovation coming out of the North have access to the same level of opportunity and resources as those founders emerging from more traditional tech and fintech hubs, such as London. In doing so, the event hopes to help Manchester and the wider region both reattain and retain its position as a leading tech hub.

Sam Royle, co-founder and CEO of SoSquared, added: “FLIP MCR is a testament to the united vision shared by businesses, investors, and supporters, acknowledging Manchester’s pivotal role in showing the potential the North brings to our economic landscape. It goes beyond a typical networking event, and we are excited to be a part of this movement to amplify the voice of Manchester.”

Investors confirmed for the event include:

  • Andrew Sheffield – VC Associate at Playfair, a generalist fund with a contrarian approach to pre-seed technology investing.
  • Tania Rahman – Investment Manager at Praetura Ventures, one of the most active investors in the North West with a proven track record of investing in early-stage businesses and providing ‘more than money’ support.
  • Katherine Spooner – Investor at Speedinvest, one of Europe’s most active early-stage investment companies with more than €1 billion in assets under management.
  • Giles Moore – Regional Development Manager at Par Equity, a leading venture capital firm, based in Edinburgh, which invests in innovative technology companies with high growth potential.

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