News in brief

Investors go electronic

UK business angels are pumping their money into the electronics sector according to a report out this month by Beer & Partners, the nationwide business angel network.

Sixty-three percent of over 1,000 respondents claimed they regarded this market as one of their favourites to invest in, a higher figure than any other, moving up from sixth place last year and overtaking IT (which 62.3% voted for) and the internet (with 60.5%)

David Beer, chairman of Beer & Partners, said: ” The massive growth potential of electronic products has not gone unnoticed. Whether it’s an intelligent industrial application or cutting-edge consumer gadgetry, everyone wants to be riding on the next wave.”

UK tech cluster stalls

The Cambridge Cluster has experienced a 1.5% fall in company creation, with investment levels also falling from £154m in 2004 to £125m in 2005 according to research from Library House. The report suggests that the Cambridge Cluster should begin to build links with London, Oxford and the Thames Valley.

Doug Richard, chairman of Library House: said: “Although the Cluster is well established, accounting for 1 % of VC investment in the UK in 2005, and approximately 5% of overall European VC investment, it has been experiencing a decline in company formation. Since the last report in 2004, the number of companies has decreased and it is possible that the Cluster is reaching its limit. Now is the time to be thinking out of the box and exploring the Supercluster idea.”

LBA wins award

London Business Angels (LBA), an investor in new businesses in the South East of England, has won the award for Private Investor of the Year at the 2006 Investor Allstars UK Venture Capital Awards.

The ceremony took place the Hilton Park Lane at the end of September. The judges praised LBO for its role in backing Vibrant Media, a UK in-text and online advertising business no ranked 63rd fastest growing company in the US, its relationship with the VC community which has seen it able to leverage £5m of VC funds into its recent deals, and LBA’s involvement in the creation of Seraphim Capital, one of the £30m Enterprise Capital Funds.