• Lucy Markillie
Where Angels Dare to Tread

The UK has a vibrant and expanding angel investment scene. In Manchester however business angel activity, as with many things, is done differently. Our approach is part of an evolving co-investment model which enables the ever-growing pool of entrepreneurial talent and private capital in the city and surrounding regions to connect and get deals done.


With the majority of angel deals currently done in the South East, GC Angels is working to rebalance investment activity within the market by creating exciting opportunities for investors into early stage innovation. Greater Manchester’s solution brings together network activity, experience of advisory services and investment our own capital to unlock deals.


This innovative approach to early stage equity investment is the Greater Manchester Combined Authorities (GMCA) response to the change needed within GM and the wider North West investment landscape, the cityinvests alongside investors and supports the early stage eco-system. GC Angels, backed by GMCA, are facilitating this evolution and driving change with an ambition to scale this approach in the near future.


Our co-investment model unlocks the early stage markets, drives innovation and allows us to aggregate capital by bringing together public and private investors for the first time.


Working with partners such as the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) we are always seeking to develop and expand our reach, most recently launching an Angel Hub.This has created a focal point to build and connect angel investing across the region; a model that is already working successfully to attract more high growth investors who are offering a real solution to the equity gap.


These initiatives, coupled with the wider Growth Company’s business support infrastructure that now operates across GM, means that we are delivering a unique and solid wrap around service to investors and entrepreneurs alike.


As the main source of co-ordinated Angel activity in the North West,GC Angels are soon to reach a £20m milestone, a figure that is testament to just how investor syndicates are helping to shape and strengthen the future of growth businesses in GM. 


There is unprecedented demand for investor support from the very sectors that are critical to the growth of the regional and national economy – from digital and fintech businesses to game-changing life sciences start-ups.


The attractions of starting a tech business in GM continue to fuel our region’s reputation as a major force in the digital economy – from the availability of support hubs such as Media City and the presence of major global brands including Google and Amazon to more practical appeals like affordable office space and a commitment to cycle routes around the city.


The growing number of tech businesses starting up or relocating to GMare also more open to Angel investment opportunities than ever before with tech businesses accounting for around 80% of completed GC Angel investment deals to date, with medtech and fintech leading the field.


Theseinvestments are now fueling the local and UK economies, creating market leading businesses and new jobs as well as profitable and ongoing opportunities for investors.


This is Manchester, we do things differently here.

-Darren Gowling, Investment Director, GC Angels