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Four tips for keeping your investors engaged in the current climate…

Posted 13 Jun 2023

How can startups continue to engage investors in the current climate?

Earlier this year Digital Catapult’s Head of Investor and Startup Engagement, Sophie Lonegran sat down with Maddyness to discuss how startups can boost growth and de-risk innovation, in more uncertain economic times. In that piece, Sophie discussed how startups can tap into their customer base and reframe the value of their products and services whilst navigating the intimidating backdrop of big tech layoffs, rising costs, recessionary pressures influencing consumer behaviour and cutbacks. 

Digital Catapult will celebrate its ten year anniversary this autumn, after a decade of accelerating digital adoption we have worked with startups from Belfast, to London to Sunderland to deliver minimum-viable products and raise investment. Our acceleration programme’s offer small businesses a competitive-edge, whether they’re developing cyber-secure software or immersive experiences for museum-goers, we have a proven track record of connecting founders to investors to continue their growth journey after completing our innovation programmes.

In the past five years Digital Catapult supported startups have raised over £500 million in private and VC funding. As tech valuations shrink and investors pull back from deals in the face of economic pressures, we asked Sophie to break down how startups can continue to engage and instil confidence in their investors in uncertain times.

Keep Investors Updated

Communicate regularly with your investors and keep them updated on how your startup is performing, what changes you are making to your business model, and how you are adapting to the current economic climate. Providing a short email update with key highlights, and asks for help, will build confidence amongst your investors and optimise chances of follow on funding. Digital Catapult runs a number of events throughout the year that allow startups to showcase their products and connect with investors.

Be Transparent

Be transparent with your investors about any challenges you are facing and how you are addressing them. This will help build trust and credibility with your investors and give them confidence in your ability to navigate the current economic climate. Take the time to build relationships with your investors – this could include sending personalised updates or asking for their input and advice.

Highlight Your Achievements 

Don’t be shy about highlighting your startup’s achievements, even during a difficult economic climate. Celebrate milestones, share success stories, and showcase your team’s hard work and dedication. If you have taken part in a Digital Catapult programme, you can send key updates about your business to [email protected] and we will share your achievements across our social media channels.

Explore New Opportunities for Business Support

One of the best things about the UK technology ecosystem is the variety of accelerators and innovation programmes that provide support to startups and scaleups. Support is available from a number of not-for-profit, industry bodies and government institutions, make sure you are looking into what opportunities are available to your sectors or technology area on a regular basis.

Through our FutureScope accelerator Digital Catapult runs a number of programmes year-round that provide investment readiness, technical guidance, access to facilities, and business support to founders. These programmes are free, do not take any equity in your business, and often include funding that can go towards building out your products. You can find out more about our live opportunities here. We have lots of exciting opportunities coming up in the near-future across an array of sectors for businesses of all sizes, stay up to date by subscribing to our newsletter here

 As we face a time of uncertainty it’s critical that startups keep investors engaged and involved in their success, and keep their eyes open for support when needed. If you are interested in hearing more about the work Digital Catapult does to support business across the UK, as well the work we do to connect startups and scaleups with investment opportunities make sure to follow us on Linkedin.