Download the Cass Innovate 2019 programme schedule


What should a startup do next? IPO, acquisition or dual track

With Professor Scott Moeller, Professor in the Practice of Finance, Director (M&A Research Centre), Cass Business School

Few successful startups remain privately-held forever. Almost all founders, early investors and those with an ownership in the company will want an exit at some point (often to monetise their investment but maybe just to move on to something else). When the startup is successful, other companies will certainly approach the owners with offers to acquire them. Professor Scott Moeller’s session discusses how a startup should consider being acquired, listing through an IPO or pursuing both in a dual track exit process.

What separates a scaling company from a growing company?

With Professor Nicole Coviello

Drawing on data collected for the past four years at the Lazaridis Institute in Canada, Nicole Coviello will share some insights about what makes a scale-up different from a growing startup. Her talk distinguishes patterns across firm age and type, and signals the role of certain strategies, business practices, and areas of investment.

Financing methods throughout your company’s lifecycle

With Professor Meziane Lasfer, Professor of Finance, Cass Business School

Finance expert Professor Lasfer discusses the different financing methods used by companies through their life cycle and offers insight into raising equity capital from venture capitalists and angels.

Founder exit: insights from three new studies

With Professor Vangelis Souitaris and Dr Stefania Zerbinati

Why do some founders exit at IPO? Quitting when the big money to grow the business come in, sounds like a paradox. When founders exit at IPO, is it good or bad news for their newly public venture? When is it the right time to exit, anyway? What if the venture is going bad and starts losing money? How long should one persist before cutting the losses? Professor Souitaris and Dr Zerbinati will explore these questions around entrepreneurial exit, presenting insights from new research work at Cass.


Fear of failure: the no. 1 enemy

With Professor Costas Andriopoulos

Launching a startup comes with a host of hurdles: how to successfully launch, where to seek investment, how to scale up and innovate. But oftentimes, it is our fear of failure that stops us from moving forward. In this workshop, Professor Costas Andriopoulos offers insight into how to overcome self-doubt.

Pitch your problem statement. Nail investor questions

With Dr Ruben van Werven and Liz Broderick

Entrepreneurs pitching to investors for the first time tend to focus on their product. They often forget that investors are not interested in the product as such, but in finding out whether it solves a problem for a large group of customers. In this workshop, you will develop a compelling problem statement for your own startup. In addition, you will practice answering the sometimes critical questions that investors may ask you (especially if you’re a female entrepreneur) after your pitch.

Communicating effective business metrics

With Linda Coyle

One of the often neglected but critically important pieces of investor relations is committing to send out regular investor updates. In this workshop delivered by Linda Coyle, investment manager at the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund, you will begin to understand the drivers behind your business model, monitor and capture key metrics and concisely report in monthly investor updates.

The resilient decision-maker: navigating challenges in business and life

With Professor Aneesh Banerjee and Professor Ajay Bhalla

Was it a business obstacle during your start-up or scale-up journey you did not foresee, office politics that were hard to figure out, or a life-changing incident that left you shell-shocked? When life hands you a setback, how do you respond? Are you racked by doubt, unable to move—or do you charge ahead, eager for resolution, without much thought? Between these extremes is another approach built on the principles of resilience. In this workshop, Professor Aneesh Banerjee and Professor Ajay Bhalla will show you how to approach challenges in life and business with resilience through a guide to resilient leadership backed up by real-world examples from entrepreneurs such as Howard Schultz and Milton Hershey.


Start attracting VC investment, stop chasing it!

Moderated by Zoe Peden

In this panel moderated by Ms Zoe Peden, serial entrepreneur and Investment Manager at Ananda Impact Ventures, we will discuss how the Venture Capital industry is evolving in the UK and Europe. She will explore why the 'Herd mentality', stemming from the fear of being left behind, must be avoided in the VC industry and how entrepreneurs need to stop chasing Venture Capital and start attracting investment.

Scaling up in fintech: what's next?

Moderated by Professor Barbara Casu

This panel discussion will explore the challenges and opportunities the UK fintech industry will face over the next three to five years. In particular, we will discuss the reasons behind its current success as well as possible issues facing the sector in the short and medium term.

Pushing the limits: where does innovation come from? (Powered by Cass X)

Moderated by Philippos Kassimatis

In this panel, moderated by Mr. Philippos Kassimatis, Honorary Visiting Professor at Cass Business School and cofounder of Maven Global, we will discuss what inspires breakthrough innovation. Our panel - Ms. Anna Godas (CEO of Dogwoof, documentary film company, with four Oscars and three BAFTAs), Mr. Alberto Corvo (Partner, Head of Motive Labs who has managed and grown businesses ranging from start-ups to multi-million dollar publicly traded divisions), Mr. Nigel Toon (CEO of Graphcore, the $1.7 billion valued semiconductor company that develops accelerators for AI and machine learning) and Ms. Joanne Wheeler, MBE (In-house lawyer at the European Space Agency who has led the way in developing space law and now managing partner at Alden) - will share their ground-breaking journeys and insights into how they harness the power of innovation to create scalable businesses.

Backing tech disruptors: what do investors look for? (Powered by Cass X)

Moderated by Professor Costas Andriopoulos

In this panel, moderated by Financial Times journalist David Stevenson, legendary tech investors - Ms. Laurel Bowden (Partner at 83North who invested in JustEat, iZettle, NotOnTheHighStreet among others), Mr. Simon Cook (CEO at Draper Esprit, who invested in Lovefilm, Crowdcube among others), Mr. John Rosenberg, cofounder and partner of Farview Equity Partners who invested in Spotify and World Remit among others) - will discuss the investment process and their experiences working with disruptive entrepreneurs, from the beginning until exit.

Closing panel

Closing panel (Powered by Cass X)

After offering closing remarks on lessons learnt throughout the day, Professor Costas Andriopoulos, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Cass, will join our final panel of experts – Ms. Ana Avaliani (Head of Enterprise Hub, Royal Academy of Engineering), Triin Linamagi (Investment Lead, Fintech & AI, Founders factory), Mr. Tom Mutton (Director, Fintech, Bank of England) and Ms. Alicia Navarro (President & Co-founder of Skimlinks, Founder at Navarland) - where we will explore the challenges and opportunities of educating the next generations of innovative entrepreneurs from different angles.