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Margaret Rice-Jones shares insights on the startup funding landscape with TFD

At our recent away day, the TFD team had the privilege of engaging in an in-depth conversation with Margaret Rice-Jones, a seasoned executive with a rich background in technology, telecommunications, and innovation. Margaret shared invaluable insights into the nuances of the start-up funding landscape.

As TFD expands its collaboration with cutting-edge deep tech start-ups in search of funding, staying ahead of best practices within the investment sector is critical. This knowledge helps us optimise our comms strategies and ensure our clients get in front of the right audience.

Fortunately, our network is a treasure trove of knowledge, including professionals like Margaret, who notably was Chair of Skyscanner for its £128mn fundraise in 2016, it was sold that year for £1.4bn. Incorporating her insights into our comms strategies ensures that our methods remain current and effective. Margaret's vast experience in driving growth and expansion across diverse industries, coupled with her successful track record in leading company exits, made her talk an invaluable resource for TFD and the start-ups we work with.

The Current State of Play

In our discussion, Margaret highlighted three substantial challenges currently facing tech start-ups: revenue generation, the daunting, and ongoing, task of securing funding, and the talent retention challenge. Given the present financial climate, she noted that numerous venture capitalists have recommended their portfolio companies postpone investments to extend their cash runway.

Despite the somewhat hostile investment landscape, Margaret shed light on various strategies that innovative start-ups are adopting to secure funding. These insights were tremendously valuable to the TFD team as we refine our comms strategies.

For instance, the shift towards regional investment hubs, spurred by the government's levelling up initiative, is providing start-ups with a fresh avenue to pursue investment and tailor their outreach strategies. These initiatives, aimed at promoting economic growth and innovation in regions beyond established hubs such as London, are offering astute start-ups a unique approach to accessing funds.

Margaret also highlighted the importance of angel networks in early-stage funding. This trend has gained traction as traditional institutional investors have become more cautious. Angel networks have proven to be an indispensable source of capital for start-ups, offering not just financial support but also sector-specific expertise and invaluable connections. Fortunately, the right communications strategy can help start-ups gain access to these often hidden networks.

The Importance of Communication

Margaret underscored the vital role of effective communication in assisting enterprising start-ups in securing funding. She emphasised the importance of crafting individual profiles of CEOs and founders through strategic communications, asserting that personal branding is almost as crucial as the company brand. Investors back people as they know that markets will evolve during the lifetime of their investment. She also maintained that a strong and clear message is pivotal in capturing the attention of investors and demonstrating the value and potential of a start-up.

Margaret's insights have enriched TFD's understanding of the start-up funding landscape. We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to benefit from her expertise. As we continue to support our start-up clients in their quest for funding, we will incorporate these learnings to enhance our communication strategies, aiding them in achieving success in their respective industries.

Discover our work with start-ups or contact us to find out more about how TFD can help you succeed in today's competitive funding landscape.

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