#WBIDinner: The VCs are in town: A business leader's journey to venture cap...

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Workspace Group

Kennington Park

Canterbury Court, 1-3 Brixton Road



United Kingdom

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The VCs are in town: A business leader’s journey to venture capital investment

At this WBI Dinner, ambitious business leaders looking to aggressively grow in 2020 and beyond will be connected to priceless venture capital (VC) knowledge and industry insight.

Venture Capital investment in the UK surged during Q3 2019 according to Pitchbook. They revealed that £2.4bn was invested in innovative, fast-growth businesses in the UK during July to September 2019, up 19% on the previous quarter (£2.0bn) and £537 million more than the £1.9bn raised during the same quarter last year.

The dynamics driving this growth appear to be shifting with early-stage and mature late-stage businesses getting their share of investment. As business leaders look to their strategic investment plans at the start of 2020, it's hard for them to ignore the surge of VC investment across Europe and the UK.

Whether you’re actively looking for investment or interested in gaining deeper understanding of the VC landscape, this event will provide you critical insight from some of Europe’s biggest VC players.

To support founders, directors and business owners with their ambitious business growth plans, this Workspace Business Insight Dinner brings leading venture capital firms into the Workspace ecosystem.

Our panel will look at just some of these key questions:

  • The journey to your Series-A: How much runway do you need? How do you get your term sheet right? Does how much and who you raise from matter?
  • Late-stage investment: How do you add liquidity into your business to realise early returns, reinvest capital or reward founders and early employees? Where does Private Equity sit on this journey?
  • Delving into your people strategy: Adding specificity into your company culture, finding the right advisors and mentors, creating a strategic hiring process and growing as a business leader by working on your derailers and increasing your emotional intelligence (EQ).
  • What are the most important trends over the next 3 years that founders, directors and business owners need to know?

The Workspace Business Insight Programme is an exciting events line-up bringing together industry leaders to discuss current business trends and topics. Past speakers have included guests from Formula 1, Tide, Revolut, The Economist, Facebook, McKinsey & Company, Moonpig, Pret a Manger, LinkedIn, Microsoft, IBM Design, Monzo Bank, UCL and O2 among many others.

Directors, founders and other senior leaders from customers across Workspace's community are invited to register their interest in attending this complimentary event.

The Panel

Lisa Rodwell, Venture Partner at MMC Ventures & Chief Customer Officer at Nutmeg based at Vox Studios

Lisa joined Nutmeg in 2018 bringing over 25 years’ experience growing some of the world’s most exciting businesses and brands, working exclusively in tech-enabled, online or app-based companies since 2002. At Nutmeg, she oversees the Customer Team, with responsibility for marketing and communications, strategic partnerships, personalised financial advice and the specialist customer support team. Founded in 2000, MMC Ventures is an active investor and award-winning venture fund manager, focused on technology-enabled sectors where the UK is a world leader - particularly financial and business services, software, digital media and consumer internet. Having raised more than £200 million, MMC invests around £30 million per annum, in a combination of new investments and follow-on capital for existing portfolio companies. MMC specialises in high-growth early-stage UK-based businesses, partnering with entrepreneurs and impressive management teams to achieve substantial scale and profitability.

MMC’s existing portfolio includes APEXX, Appear Here, Bloom & Wild, DigitalGenius, Echo, Elder, Gousto, Interactive Investor, Peak, Senseye, Sky-Futures and Tyres on the Drive.



Georgia Forbes, Investment Associate at Balderton Capital

Georgia joined Balderton’s investment team in 2019. Prior to Balderton, Georgia spent three years at Centerview Partners in New York and London, where she worked across various industries on long-term strategic advisory projects and M&A transactions. Georgia worked particularly close to the consumer, retail and biotech spaces. Georgia holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Canada, where she focused her studies in Finance.

Georgia’s primary focus is later stage investing with Balderton's Liquidity I fund.

Balderton is Europe’s leading early-stage venture capital investor.

Balderton has raised seven funds over 18 years, totalling $2.7bn. Balderton Venture VI closed in 2017, and is dedicated to investing in European-founded technology companies at Series A.


Daisy Onubogu, Head of Scouting at Backed VC

Daisy is working hard to grow and systematise community-generated deal flow. She's also an Advisor at Roam, Emerge, and a board director of global charity, Future Brilliance. Previously, she was in charge of curating mainstage speakers for Web Summit and its sister conferences. In a former life, she was a baby lawyer and co-founder of Refugee Info Network (a project saround gathering EU asylum information to supply to refugee camps in Lesbos and Calais). In 2017 she joined the ranks of Sunday Business Post’s 30 under 30. Daisy enjoys travel, pies, medium sarcasm, social justice and facilitating connections to make things happen.

Backed is a community-driven seed stage VC fund based in London focused on backing the optimists building a future worth sharing. From the first (€51M) fund they invested in 33 companies including LabGenius, Tech Will Save Us, Unmade and Verve (Pollen). They've recently closed a second fund to back more exceptional founders like this and Foundries teams.



Laura Willming, Venture Partner at Octopus Ventures

Laura has spent several years working with start-ups in New York City, notably at Harry’s where, as the sixteenth employee, she helped challenge the global might of Gillette, building the team to several hundred in the US, London and Germany. Her first visit to Britain was to spend time as an intern with a young company, Brewdog (now a global brand), in the wilds of the Scottish west coast. Joining Octopus Ventures in 2019 she focuses on supporting the portfolio with all things people and talent. Octopus Ventures helps pioneers change the world. The pioneers they back dare to reimagine the future of health, the future of money and deep tech. With £1.2 billion under management, Octopus Ventures is one of the largest VCs in Europe. Their typical investment is from £1 million for Seed to £5 million for Series A and they can follow their investment from a few hundred thousand right up to £25 million.

“People are the most important part of building any company.”



Diarra Smith, Operations Director at Knowledge Peers

As the lead of the Business Insight Programme run by Knowledge Peers, Diarra leads efforts as the programme supports business owners and directors from across Workspace's customer ecosystem by delivering key insight events and data on trends that will impact business in the future. Diarra started his career in a data services consultancy supporting the Cabinet Office and leading UK research bodies.

He has experience supporting clients across the political and violent risk analysis and regulatory monitoring space. In 2018, Diarra was a Top 10 finalist in RAHM 2018, RAHM brings together the most outstanding present and future LGBT+ leaders in the world. Diarra is a venture scout for Backed VC. Backed is a London-based VC fund set up to do things differently. Diarra holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Toronto.



  • 6:00pm to 6:30pm | Welcome and Networking Drinks
  • 6:30pm to 7:45pm | Panel Discussion & Audience Q&A
  • 7:45pm to 8:45pm | #WBIDinner and Networking Drinks

What to expect?

The insight events provide a platform for senior directors to discuss the most relevant challenges facing growing businesses today. Sharing their insights, advice and best practice together with an open Q&A with fellow industry leaders.

Our insight events focus on what you can learn and how it might impact you or your business. We don't spend that much time talking at attendees, and we build in plenty of opportunities for attendees to question the panellists.

We leave ample time for attendees to network with other senior leaders and of course, enjoy a delicious dinner.

Where do I sign up?

Register your expression of interest for a complimentary spot at our #WBIDinner, The VCs are in town: A business leader’s journey to venture capital investment on Thursday 30th January at Workspace's Kennington Park from 6:00pm to 8:45pm. This #WBIDinner is open to Directors and Senior Leaders from current Workspace customers and Club Workspace members and selected guests. Knowledge Peers will contact you on 22nd January to confirm your spot as registration does not guarantee entry as it is expected that this event will be over-subscribed. Each attendee should register unique registration details. Registration closes for this event on 21st January 2020

Would you like to bring a guest to our #WBIDinner?

Email WBI@knowledgepeers.com and let us know.

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Photographs and/or video will be taken at this event.

By taking part in this event you grant Workspace and Knowledge Peers full rights to use the images resulting from the photography/video filming for publicity or other purposes to help achieve our aims. This might include (but is not limited to), the right to use them in printed and online publicity, social media, press releases and funding applications.

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Workspace Group

Kennington Park

Canterbury Court, 1-3 Brixton Road



United Kingdom

View Map

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