Mike Rutterford is one of Scotland's entrepreneurs and business angels. He has been involved in a series of multi-million pound deals combined with a dossier of investments in UK start-up companies. His mission is to create a culture of entrepreneurial success in Scotland.
His busy working life is spent between his dual roles as a co-founder of Archangel Informal Investments and as a private investor, board member and advisor to a number of Scotland's most promising technology companies.
Archangel began in 1992, as a private informal investment house, co-founded with Barry Sealey. Over the last nine years, the syndicate has invested in approximately 50 start-up companies. In 2001, Archangels will have a list of 30 live investments in the field of technology, medical science, retail and manufacturing. Archangels many investments include Data Discoveries, Waterside Television, Optos, Oregon Timber, Alpha Solway, Infinite Data Storage to name but a few.
His angel investments today are dominated by various key projects. Currently he is a Board Member of Opto-Electronics firm Optos, a position he takes alongside Sealy as non-executive Chairman. Rutterford and Sealy were the first investors in Optos and who later brought in Sir Gerald Elliot, Ann Gloag and Brian Souter to name but three supporters. Rutterford was involved in the strategy group, which re-charted the course of Data Discoveries, which lead to its success today. His investments have resulted in a flurry of multi-million pound successes over recent years.
In 1994, he formed Parking 2000 with a number of investors after purchasing three acres of land in the centre of Edinburgh for £1.4m, and following this, Rutterford created and marketed the Waverley Car Park and also set the foundations for a master plan for a mixed development of 500,000 sq ft, which is to become the largest ever single development site in Edinburgh's Old Town to date.
Rutterford also was non-executive Chairman of Solcom Systems. An Archangel Investment in 1992, this leading edge network management system business created world beating software and hardware. This was sold in 1999 for over $20m to ION Systems, a US NASDAQ listed company.
In 1998, Rutterford was also non-executive Chairman of Objective Software Technology Limited, creators of a C++ software tool. This highly specialised technology business was sold to Wind River Inc, again a NASDAQ company in January 1998 for $6m.
Privately, he co-invests in a number of property deals. The most sizable investments include 60,000 sq ft of offices in Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, and he is also a syndicate and board member in New Ingliston Limited which owns 240 acres south of Edinburgh Airport and a £70m property portfolio through Edinburgh House Estates Limited in England.
Like any Business Angel, the investment lifestyle was challenged by risk. Rutterford describes Archangels investments as 'bleeding edge' money; the area of highest risk, but also of highest reward. He is a calculated risk taker, always eager to make quick yet considered decisions. This is a way of working shared by Archangels as a light-footed organisation prepared to take a leap of faith on people and businesses that appeal.
The chances of great successes is 1 in 10, however Rutterford will continue to take the rough with the smooth well into the millenium in an effort to create viable, creative and innovative businesses that make money.
Mike lives in Edinburgh with his wife, June and has two sons, Christopher and Daniel. In his spare time he is a keen sailor.