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Local entrepreneurs talk to the angels

Published: 16th September 2002

Axe man: Taskil's Paul Osborne shows South Yorkshire Investment Fund Capital Network's Lynne Martin how the EziTune automatic self-tuning can keep musicians

No fear: South Yorkshire Investment Fund Capital Network's Lynne Martin with Narrowcast Media director Shane Ohly look at some of the climbing equipment being sold through the company online store

Seven entrepreneurs showcased their businesses at a recent event, organised by Capital Network, part of the South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

Capital Network seeks to bring together entrepreneurs who are looking to raise finance with business angels keen to invest in fast-growing businesses. Business angels are typically wealthy and experienced businessmen keen to lend their expertise and cash to growing businesses.

Among the companies exhibiting at the meeting were Barnsley-based Taskil, which has developed an automatic self-tuning device called EziTune for electric guitars that allows musicians to perfectly tune their instrument at the touch of a button, and Sheffield-based Kaltor, a supplier to the plastics and pigment industries.

Another exhibitor was Narrowcast Media - an online publisher and retailer of climbing equipment and clothes. Narrowcast operates the www.planetfear.com website providing a range of online news and information for mountaineering enthusiasts and a comprehensive online shop for outdoor pursuits.

Former professional climber Shane Ohly, who established the business with journalist Adrian Berry, said: "We set the business up in February last year and it has grown very quickly since then and we now run a shop in Sheffield as part of the company. We are now in talks with several investors who will provide us with the funds to invest in marketing to grow the business further."

Lynne Martin, manager of Capital Network, said: "All the companies exhibiting at the Capital Network events offer an exiting opportunity to business angel investors. We seek to bring together aspiring entrepreneurs with great ideas and business angel investors who, as well as bringing much-needed funds to these companies, also bring industry experience and contacts.

"We are planning several similar events over the next 12 months and these will bring an added dimension to the region's investment community."

Capital Network holds regular investor forums where businesses seeking to raise funds get the chance to make presentations to members of Capital Network, who are looking for potential new ventures. They are followed by an opportunity for interested investors to have one-to-one discussions with the presenters.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).