My Library and Courses
Last Update: Saturday December 7, 2019

Key Idea: Find An Angel

Nigel found an angel investor through his accountant. More...

Key Question:

A: 

Find an angel who is not in a big hurry to get his money back. 

Q:  How  did Nigel find his angel?

A:  Through his CPA.  The investors were clients of his CPA also and they needed a place to put some cash.  

Think about it

How often do you speak with your CPA?   Have you ever asked your CPA if he could help you find an investor?  Do you have a balance sheet that your CPA can brag about?

Clip from: Time Technology where Technology Warps Time

Godalming, Surrey, United Kingdom:   Meet the Skeffingtons - Rosemary, her husband, Nigel, and his brother, Peter.  They introduce us to a rather simple technology that brings people from different time zones into the same time and creates a ubiquitous space that everybody shares.  Their business is Time Technology.

What they do is teach and implement collaborative technologies. Though this technology raises some real questions about our perception of time, for them, it is just a fact that literally hundreds of people can be part of an online meeting, working on the same content, though separated by time zones and continents.
 
Time and space are so fundamental most of us just take the two for granted. It just seems like another application of technology, but it is the beginning of a very significant revolution --  at long last long-held beliefs about what is possible within a given space and time is radically changing.

Time Technology (NS)

Nigel Skeffington, Founder

Brook House
Mint Street

44(0)1483 863 000

Visit our web site: http://www.time-technology.co.uk/

Office: 44(0)1483 863 000

Business Classification:
Internet

Year Founded: 1992

Find An Angel

HATTIE: When it comes to the start-up, what big lesson can you share?

NIGEL: There are a number of factors than enabled us to get to where we are today. One is not be afraid of hard work but I would expect anyone to have that view if they were going to start-up. And two, totally believe in what they are doing and be passionate about. If you are not passionate about what you're selling you will not succeed because people will see holes in your arguments.

The other thing, certainly for us, never underestimate the amount of money you burn before you start to make money. We were very lucky we had some investors who put some money in.

In the software development environment typically you ask for 30% up front then you call it off over a period of time. As you deliver elements rather like building a building, the construction business. Customers paid some money up front for us to get going but we still had to deliver elements so we took some investors.

HATTIE: So would you say these investors were angels?

NIGEL: Yes. They were angels. They invested under the business expansion scheme at the time which was effectively a tax write off. That's what the motivation was. We were introduced by our accountant. We were so lucky from that point of view. We were going to do this on our own even though we didn't have the money and we would have never survived the first six months to let us get to where we are today.

I offered to buy them out about four years after we started but they decided they want to stay in for the long run. We still see them once a year, no active participation. We still have a shareholder meeting to fulfill obligations. We tell them what we're doing, they say that's very nice, we buy them a meal and the next time we see them is in a year's time.

HATTIE: So your CPA realized you needed money to start a business and that same CPA had the angel investor as a client and knew they needed a tax write off and put you together?

NIGEL: Absolutely. We were so lucky to have met them. They are a married couple who inherited some money and were looking to maximize their money so the accountant suggested the investment. It was a window of opportunity which is now gone. And we have taken advantage of other tax incentives. For example, one of the companies we formed out of Time Technology, which was Time Information Services, Rosie and I sold. As a consequence of owning the business for a period of time we got a lot of good tax breaks. We only paid 10% tax as opposed to 40% on the profits we earned.

Not a member yet? Learn!  Be empowered! Join us!