Dragons Den in reverse

I find Dragons Den compulsive TV viewing. For those not familiar with this UK program, the format is that a panel of experienced (and wealthy) Angel investors hear pitches from budding entrepreneurs seeking funding. They decide on camera whether to invest in the proposition. Having been a Partner in a Venture Capital firm I have a good deal of understanding of what the panellists are thinking hearing pitches, good and bad, is one of the necessary chores of being in VC. Of course the TV show is an entertaining spectacle because of the occasional awful pitch and the panellists seeming pleasure in shredding it, and especially the poor budding entrepreneur, to pieces.

So, how about this for an idea? This is a chance for those much maligned entrepreneurs to get their own back on the professional know-it-alls. The same format: a panel hearing pitches, but this time the panellists are entrepreneurs (not doubt backed up by a supporting audience) listening to pitches from professionals, seeking to justify their services. It sounded like a great idea to me, until I agreed to be one of the professionals pitching their services! I think that professional sell-side M&A advisors, like Corum, add enormous value to the selling process. I also strongly believe that the only way a software or IT service company can be sure that full valuation has been achieved is to arrange a global competitive auction something that only the best professional advisors are resourced to achieve. Will the panel (and the audience) agree, or will there be blood on the carpet?...

Join me at the event arranged by Manchester University as part of their UPF Masterclass series (www.theupf.com/masterclass2.html).

Posted by , on 2 March 2009
What's My Company Worth?


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