Posts in Peter Cowley
Indeed founder on successful monetisation and making a business strategy

Paul Forster is best known as one of the founders of Indeed, the largest job site in the world. He also has a substantial background as an Angel Investor, with successful involvement in a couple dozen projects across multiple technology sectors. In this episode, Paul takes us through the process of founding and funding Indeed. He defines his key features required to be a good investor, and how entrepreneurs should best create a strategy for their businesses before seeking investors.

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Changing the world, through a premium food brand and an AI platform for education

Priya Lakhani is an entrepreneurial adrenaline junkie. She has founded two successful companies, won numerous business awards, and acted as an advisor to the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills. Oh, and is an OBE. Her life's aim is to change the world for the better, and to that end she has funded meals in India, vaccinations in Africa, and her current project improves education for thousands of UK children. Remarkably, she has achieved all this despite a constant barrage of people telling her to "quit and go home". In this podcast Priya takes us through her astonishing career, from unloading boxes of sauce outside Victoria Street Station, to writing a book for preschoolers. She ends by summarising the entrepreneurial tips that have helped her come this far.

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Being tenacious and walking through walls

Jonathan Milner's second Invested Investor podcast details his experience as a Cambridge Angel. Since he began in 2002 he has invested in forty different companies, very often leading deals as well. In this episode he shares his most important tips learned from an extensive entrepreneurial and investing history: from shouldering the burden of turning around a company in dire straits, to simplifying the decision of who to invest in. 

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From a bucket of ice, to a world leading life sciences innovator

Jonathan Milner was working as a postdoc in a Cambridge oncology lab when he was struck by an 'entrepreneurial seizure'. Inspired by his father, an engineer who ran a small company, he set up a venture to manufacture antibodies for biology research. Having come close to bankruptcy, Abcam is now worth £2.3 billion and renowned for its positive company culture. In this podcast, the first of two podcasts featuring Jonathan Milner, he takes us through this journey, and explains how lessons learned - as well as a single bucket of ice - turned a failing company into a world leader.

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A telecommunications success story, and a chance for Manchester

Neil McArthur sold potatoes door-to-door as a child in Salford. Then, with his engineering background and his own capital, he set up the business that would later become TalkTalk. In this episode of The Invested Investor, Neil revisits the deals, false starts, and market choices that led to his success in the telecommunications field. He still works for TalkTalk, but spends most of his time working to improve his home city's entrepreneurial ecosystem. In the second half of the podcast he explains how much Manchester has going on beneath the surface in technology and enterprise, and how the narrative needs to catch up to reality.

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The secret art of early-stage investment

David Gill's meandering investment journey has taken him from law, to corporate finance, to running fund operations at HSBC, to managing the highly successful tech incubator St John’s Innovation Centre, in Cambridge. Along the way he learnt some important lessons about early-stage startups. In this podcast David shares these lessons: the hard decisions early-stage entrepreneurs have to make; about his three rules for smart investment; judging an entrepreneurship ecosystem; and when investors should trust their instincts. 

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Pivoting to success

William Makant and Yusuf Muhammad founded Plumis in 2008 to develop Automist, an innovative sprinkler system. A decade later Plumis has a £2 million turnover and Automist is installed in 5,000 homes - but everything about it is different, from the product itself to the people involved. The secret to their success? Being able to pivot, to change strategy by learning about a market's key drivers. In this podcast William and Yusuf describe their journey, and the how and the why of their dramatic course change. They outline the pros and cons of working with Angel Investors, and describe how raising more money at the start might have made the company less successful. 

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Collaboration, failure, and the universe of numbers

David Gammon a rare thing - an investor in technology with no technological background. Through his work as an Invested Investor and as CEO of Rockspring, he has supported entrepreneurs through some extraordinary successes. In this podcast, David describes his unconventional career path and how he sees the world. He talks about how crucial collaboration is for investors, and how he works with his family to make investment decisions. He has had his share of failures as well, and here explains how dealing with failure can make you a better entrepreneur.

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