News and events

News from Cass Business School

Cass Women in Business Society host venture capital event for entrepreneurs

Veteran VCs and distinguished entrepreneurs offered guidance to Cass community

Tuesday, 15 June, 2010

The Cass Women in Business Society recently hosted a specialist event at Cass, the Genius Incubator's Venture Lab II for Early Stage Entrepreneurs Seeking Venture Capital.
Approximately 180 students, alumni, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists (VCs) attended the event to hear from four veteran VCs and distinguished entrepreneurs.  They explained the mechanics of raising venture capital and responded to queries related to entrepreneurs on their journey to success.
The speakers included: Susan Payne, CEO, Emergent Asset Management; Hussein Kanji, early stage technology investor, Ex-Accel Partners; Dr Alan Barrell, Managing Partner, Cambridge Gateway Fund, Early stage investor and mentor; and James Dimitrios Constantine Seferis, Founder of Glocal Venture Capital, early stage investor and distinguished innovator.
Hussein Kanji spoke about the incentives entrepreneurs offer VCs, and gave advice on the top 10 must-haves for entrepreneurs. He provided insight from real life experience and spoke of the roles VCs play at each stage of the process.
Dr Alan Barrell put the mechanics of entrepreneurship and raising VC into practical terms by discussing actual case studies from his experience, highlighting 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' from the perspective of a VC/entrepreneur/business angel. His witty explanation of Tagging Crumpet,' a start up firm, explored an array of critical factors that entrepreneurs must consider when founding a business.
Susan Payne spoke about the causes of the imminent global food shortage, stressing that a rise in the world's population, an increase in urbanisation, bio fuels and the impacts of climate change will contribute to the scarcity. She explained her own business model for Grainvest at Emergent Asset Management, which seeks to address this shortage and encourages sustainable crop harvesting, while at the same time explaining the business potential of investing in Africa.
Professor James Seferis spoke about personal experience as an investor, and gave tips on what VCs look for from entrepreneurs.
Sarah Brakebill, joint-organiser of the event and Cass MSc Management student, was thrilled with the success of the event.  She said: Considering the emphasis placed on entrepreneurship at Cass, it's important for us to hold events of this nature as it gives students, alumni, and outside attendees an opportunity to obtain practical advice from experienced VCs and distinguished entrepreneurs.
We are always impressed with the enthusiasm of networking at our events, both from attendees and speakers. Networking was a huge success this week, and a follow up networking event is being scheduled to continue the conversation.
For more details regarding this event, or the Cass Women in Business Society, sponsored by Ernst & Young, please contact For more information about Genius Incubator, please visit

Photographs taken by Maurits Dewina.

Permanent link to this story:

Guest speaker Susan Payne
More than 180 people signed up for the event
L to R: Susan Payne, Hussein Kanji, Dr Alan Barrell, Professor James Seferis

Share this article