Round Table Discussion: Growth Capital (Accessing the Finance You Need to Scale)

With Pete Watson, Brian Palmer and Steven Rawlingson

11 June 2024, 08:30 - 11:00

Ward Hadaway, Sandgate house building, 102 Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3DX

This event is FULLY BOOKED - Please email to be added to the RESERVE LIST.

Pursuing your growth strategy for your business? Ready to explore your options for funding growth, from initial investment to follow-on rounds? Or maybe you’re bootstrapping your growth? If you can relate, then this is an event for you!

In this upcoming round table discussion, we’ve invited three entrepreneurs who have been through the journey of raising external finance themselves (Pete Watson of Atlas Cloud, Brian Palmer OBE of Tharsus and Steven Rawlingson of Samuel Knight International) to share their advice, experiences and lessons learned.

By attending this event, you will:

Discover how external finance can support your business aspirations

Hear first-hand about our speakers’ experiences of introducing external capital and what it has allowed them to achieve in their respective businesses.

Learn about the potential pitfalls in securing investment

Our speakers will candidly share the insights that they wish they’d known prior to embarking on their scale-up journeys and equip you to make better decisions for your own business.

Meet investors and learn what they look for when deciding whether to invest

We have invited two key players in the North East finance ecosystem to join our entrepreneurial speakers; Emma Borrie from private equity investment firm LDC will explain what it is like to work with a private equity backers while Ian Richards (Northstar Ventures) will discuss earlier stage investment.

From understanding investor expectations to navigating the different options, this event will equip you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about the future of your business.

About Our Speakers

Pete Watson, Atlas Cloud

Pete Watson is CEO of Atlas Cloud, an IT Managed Service and Cyber Security Consultancy provider. Headquartered in Newcastle, Atlas Cloud has grown from startup to a leading provider under Pete’s rein, now servicing a global userbase. Pete has been involved from seed funding, to scale up and has navigated the regional VC’s, Angel Investment, PE from VCT funds and is now actively pursuing funding for growth focusing on buyouts.

Brian Palmer OBE, Tharsus

An entrepreneur and engineer, Brian Palmer is passionate about the creation of products that have strategic impact and businesses that have global reach, are sustainable and grounded in their host communities.

As MD, CEO and Founder, Brian created and led the Tharsus Group on its journey from being a back street metal-basher to a leading North East technology business, the purpose of which is to create Tech that Matters. The success of the Group has been built on strong values and a belief in doing the right thing.

In 2023 Brian led the Creation of Connect Northumberland, a not-for-profit organisation, focused on supporting and enabling the future growth of Northumberland’s workforce.

Brian was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2018 and was awarded an OBE in the 2024 New Year Honours.

Steven Rawlingson, Samuel Knight International

Steve Rawlingson is Founder and Group CEO of Samuel Knight. Steve has won many accolades with Samuel Knight Group over the last 10 years such as Top 100 Staffing Leaders to Watch 2024, Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 and Sunday Times Best Company to Work For 2023.

Steve is an ambassador for many charities such as The Princes Trust, CEO Sleepout & STEMNET, his mission in business is to help build a greener and more environmentally friendly world by working with his global community to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050. He is an active member of the Entrepreneurs Forum where he is involved in mentoring founders of SME’s and business startups as well as being the Founder & Host of Unlock Your Mindset Podcast which sits at number 20 in the Apple Podcast Charts.

Steve firmly remains at the helm of Samuel Knight Group planning major growth strategies within each of the group’s divisions. Day to day operational responsibilities are overseen by Board colleagues who in turn manage a global team of subject matter experts delivering project / recruitment solutions to their clients. It is in the Renewable Energy sector in particular where the group is driving an expansion programme throughout EMEA, USA & APAC regions that will grow their specialist business into a market leading renewable energy recruitment consultancy.

Emma Borrie, LDC

Emma Borrie works with ambitious management teams across the North East, helping them to realise their ambitions for growth with the support of a private equity partner.

Emma joined LDC in 2022 from Middleton Enterprises, which is a family office investment firm based in Newcastle. There, she helped to develop a new private equity strategy and supported investments into growing SMEs across the country. Since joining LDC, Emma has supported a range of ambitious fast-growing businesses across the region including Scarlettabbott and Kick ICT.

Emma sits on the boards of LDC portfolio companies, Connect Health and Kick ICT, Emma is also a board observer at Scarlettabbott and Lomond Capital, and is part of LDC’s national healthcare sector team.

Emma came to the North East from London, where she managed a number of private dental practices, before spending almost six years at KPMG Newcastle. She graduated from Durham University and is an ICAEW chartered accountant. Outside of work Emma enjoys travelling and can be found on a beach or at the gym, where she has recently taken up CrossFit.

Ian Richards, Northstar Ventures

Ian Richards oversees the Northstar Ventures investment team and leads on company exit strategies.

Ian is responsible for all aspects of our portfolio management, makes and manages investments and works with our investment managers to determine the best exit strategies for the companies in our portfolio. He sits on the Northstar Ventures Investment Committee and is also a member of the North East LEP Investment Board. 

Ian began his career at NatWest, where he held a variety of positions in the retail and corporate banking sectors, including relationship managing a portfolio of over 400 high net worth individuals from across the North East of England. He then went on to work for international investment firm 3i. There he invested over £40m into growing and later stage businesses and exited over 100 deals. 

In addition to having over 20 years’ experience in venture capital and private equity, Ian is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, a Member of the Institute of Commercial Management and was an elected Corporate Finance Representative for The Securities Institute. He is a Member of the Entrepreneurs' Forum and has mentored early stage business leaders through the Forum’s programmes. 

The Small Print

Due to limited capacity round table discussions are exclusively for entrepreneur members. Guests or substitutions are not allowed.

This event is FULLY BOOKED - Please email to be added to the RESERVE LIST.

Proud to be partnered by: