We pulled together a fantastic panel of angel and early stage investors including Ed Vaizey, Minister for Communications, Culture and Creative Industries, Ian Livingstone, Life President, Eidos and Dave Bailey and Paul Croft of Mediatonic.
Meet the investors
Ian is a founding partner at Tenshi Ventures. He has been growing and leading businesses in the games and technology sectors since 1989. This has included a 4 year spell as CEO of 300 man game developer Kuju Entertainment, an IPO on the AIM market, several trade sales of businesses and various fund raising exercises. Operationally, Ian led Kuju’s creative and business development expertise for many years, acquiring in-depth knowledge of marketing and brand development in the creative sector.
Ian graduated from Bristol University with an Honours degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1985.
Outside of his commercial roles, Ian was Chairman of TIGA, the UK games developers’ trade association, for 4 years. He is a Director of the South East Media Network organisation, a member of the Game Developers Conference Advisory Board and a Director of the One Big Game charity initiative. Ian is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the British Computer Society.
Ian is an angel investor that is particularly interested in digitally delivered content and game technology.
Tim is a veteran of the UK tech industry. He was an early employee of Logica, where he later rose to become Chief Executive, Logica Communications Ltd., responsible for all UK business in the telecoms, media and computer vendor sectors.
Subsequently he has led a number of high value technology and media exits through 3 IPOs including the first Internet IPO on London markets. He has also led a number of trade sales, including to Microsoft.
Tim is an advisor to Nesta (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) in the UK and is Chairman of Nesta's portfolio company Six to Start, a leading Alternative Reality Games and transmedia company. He is an investor in Mediatonic and holds a number of other directorships of early stage companies.
Tim has lived and worked in Europe, the UK, the US and Australia. He is interested in meeting demonstrably talented teams with credible plans and also has an interest in platform technologies.
Jo Goodson started her career in and around the games industry in 1999 when she joined Broderbund as their second European employee and grew revenues from £0 to £12m in three years. She then went on to co-found MediaGold, which, with further offices and bases in France, Italy, Spain and Germany, created an entity that gave US software publishers access to the European market place. She sold that business to Avanquest in 2003 following years of solid growth and profitability.
Since then Jo has invested in a wide range of companies in and around the games and software space including Ariadne Capital, an investment and advisory firm; Indigo Pearl, a games industry PR company, Mediatonic and Rentsoft, which gives access to software on a rental basis. She is also a Non-Executive Director of SixtoStart whose apps and games combine the emotional power of world-class storytelling with the next generation media to create transmedia experiences.
Jo is actively involved in the Women in Games (Jobs) initiative.
Jo is interested in investing in great teams creating their own IP online, on phones, on tablets or on whatever comes next! Her investments are usually in the standard range for Angel investors.
Geoffrey Heath OBE
Geoffrey has over forty years experience in the multi media industry.
He was previously CEO and founder of NCsoft Europe and is currently on the board of various UK and US companies in the multi media arena ranging from computer games and internet related companies to music companies.
His career started in music publishing working with many famous writers, most notably John Lennon and Paul McCartney. He guided the media company ATV into music publishing acquiring Nothern Songs for £10 million and building up a catalogue which was eventually sold to Michael Jackson for £60 million.
He was acclaimed for his services to the music industry with the Ivor Novello award, the highest in the industry. This was the first and only time this award has gone to a publisher.
Some 25 years ago Geoff moved in to computer and video games, initially as founder and European MD for Activision, working on the Atari 2600 platform. In 1988 he established Mindscape International, the European arm of Software Toolworks in his home. The company grew from 2 to 120 and was aquired as part of the Software Toolworks Group by Pearson PLC for £300 million in April 1994 setting a record in the industry for a trade sale at the time.
As an angel investor Geoff is interested in most type of video games, with the exception of console development.
Ian Livingstone OBE
Ian is a veteran of the games industry, both as an entrepreneur and as an investor. He was the co-founder of Games Workshop, launching Dungeons & Dragons in Europe, and Eidos Interactive, launching Tomb Raider. As an angel investor, he invests in Indie games start-ups and games-related technology companies including Playdemic, Mediatonic and Appatyze. He is a director/advisor to several other companies including PlayMob, Tangentix and SocialGO.
He works with Government on issues concerning the games industry such as access to finance and skills. In 2011 in collaboration with Nesta he co-authored Next Gen: Transforming the UK into the world’s leading talent hub for the video games and visual effects industries.
Ian is interested in equity investment, providing standard levels of Angel funding for games studios that develop original IP for self-publication.
Kelly Sumner, Kelly has been in the video games industry for 32 years in hardware as UK MD for Commodore and Software for Gametek (CEO) Take Two (CEO) and Redoctane (CEO). Kelly has overseen such franchises as Grand Theft Auto, Guitar Hero and the Amiga range of home computers. He chairs a number of boards, Intent Media ( MCV & Develop) and Mediatonic.
As an angel investor he has an open mind to investments but is looking at projects that excite him and that he can help with is experience.
Abertay Prototype Fund
Abertay University’s Prototype Grant Fund is ideal for small established and start-up developers requiring additional working capital of up to £25,000 to cover the staff costs to produce a demo for a new IP. It is grant funding so doesn’t dilute equity or create a balance sheet liability. The development team for the prototype can also be supplemented with graduates from any UK university and funded within the grant budget. A new funding round launches on 17th October and closes mid-December. See http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/ for further information.
Paul Durrant is Abertay University’s Director of Business Development. He has been instrumental in developing a range of projects to support digital media IP generation, business start up, incubation, and skills development particularly in the video games area. He developed Dare to be Digital and Dare ProtoPlay to become significant international events including a partnership with BAFTA to recognise talented young developers and the development of the Channel 4 Crunchtime TV series. He also raised £2m to establish a prototype fund for small games developers and has recently launched a partnership with the Technology Strategy Board to fund novel games applications.