The Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP) backed GC Angels, an early-stage investor, has announced total investments in Greater Manchester start-ups of £3.4m and unlocked an additional £12m in private capital since 2018, vital in helping high growth SMEs succeed and scale from the region.
Building on this success, GC is now looking to bolster its equity investment arm, by increasing the availability of funding for early-stage businesses, and providing greater access to wraparound services, including unique training, recruitment, and access to finance.
The early-stage investor was formed in 2018 to provide the first round of external capital and magnetise other angel and seed investors.
To date, it has funded 37 start-ups across Greater Manchester, and achieved its first exit earlier this year with the sale of Guardian Angel to Octopus Ventures.
To address the innovation finance gap and enhance Greater Manchester’s seed investment ecosystem, GC has appointed Marc Shirman as head of equity investments. He will lead a new vision for the service and will be instrumental in a scaled Investment partner focused strategy going forwards.
Shirman brings more than 20 years’ experience to the team, having previously managed equity funds as co-head of Muzinich Private Capital Strategies where he raised their maiden UK fund and in launching the Manchester office of transatlantic venture capital investor Beringea. He also acts as an advisor to Northern Gritstone helping build a more integrated and effective northern start up ecosystem.
Marc Shirman, Head of Equity Investments at GC Angels said: “From its inception, GC Angels has worked to reduce the inequality and disparity faced by founders in the North. Now eight years in, the Group has ambitions to build on the success of the portfolio and broaden the investment strategy to provide further support to early stage companies in the North.
“As economic uncertainty remains for many businesses, the support of early-stage businesses is crucial in helping to bolster UK innovation. We’re poised to continue our work in the market, and I look forward to building out our portfolio, supporting ambitious entrepreneurs in scaling up their businesses.”