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The Entrepreneurial Exchange

Funding Ambition - A Masterclass With Morgan Stanley


In this special Morgan Stanley Masterclass, Alasdair Thomson from Morgan Stanley Private Equity, and Andrew Cope from Zenith Provecta  covered issues such as: the choice between debt and internal or external equity; who can benefit from external funding; who to approach for funding & how to approach them; common errors to avoid in fundraising.

Please see feedback below from Members who attended this event:

Venue information

Norton House Hotel Ingliston
EH28 8LX

0131 333 1275


John Anderson


  • Alasdair Thomson
  • Andrew Cope

Show venue on a map or Read the biographies.


This event gave me a greater understanding of the business financing options

This gave a good general insight regarding the options and methods associated with funding

Excellent insight into the world of private equity

The value of this event was gaining new knowledge

I gained assurance that we were obtaining our funding from the right source

Good base education on approaches to funding and some of the key features of each. Probably will help us avoid pitfalls as we seek appropriate finance

Better insight into the potential use of VC and more appropriately, advice in dealing with banks

Listening to a PE/VC player is always good but getting a real business person who has loads of experience with dealing with these guys was an ace card - Andrew Cope was excellent

Hearing from both sides of the table gave great insight into how both parties think, work and operate. Also the knowledge of both speakers was exceptional

I learned some golden nuggets

The event clearly laid out all of the main options for funding and provided a very worthwhile overview of the pros and cons of each

Good overview of funding options. Entertaining speech from Andrew

Useful information on PE attitudes and how the process is changing

Key tip for me was that you do not 'give away' your company...rather you 'sell' your company

The make up of the board when developing the business was an interesting insight

Do not be afraid to plan to speak to alternative sources of investment

I now know far better where VC & PE fit for businesses and have a better understanding of how they work

The right sort of finance can bring the support of a team with it - probably improving the chances that your business succeeds

I got several key pieces of advice on how to deal with banks

Good Professional advisors are worth it/essential. Start the 'courting' of funders early in the process. Always deal with more than 'one' whether that be more than one bank or more than one VC

There is funding available to grow my business. Also do not be narrow sighted, be open to VC funding grants and funding schemes. Do not just solely rely on banks

Key tips for me were - have around 5 alternatives in terms of advisers, venture capital/private equity partners - this is about a significant change and step up for the business and this brings focus to needing to raise the funding - there's money out there if you want it , you have to ask, have a good plan etc.,

Of great benefit was the explanation of the pathway to funding and the need to avoid the trap of getting into bed with just one provider without taking stock of the wider opportunities available in the marketplace

Find out where a PE company is in its funding cycle

Thought the way that you brought the night together and always commenting from an Entrepeneurial perspective helps to gain as much from the event as possible

John gave a good summary at the end of key points

John has considerable experience in this area and gave some valuable insights which augmented those provided by the speakers

John gave a good summary at the end

Alasdair has first class level of knowledge also mutual respect for the entrepeneurs and how Private Equity need them as much as we need them

Alasdair was very good in both delivery and content. Pitched at exactly the right level and was an excellent choice of speaker for this event

Alasdair was down to earth and approachable. He came over credibly and gave a very balanced account of the funding opportunities available to SMEs

Andrew gave good honest feedback of his experience

Andrew was entertaining and a good advocate for private equity. He reinforced what we heard from Alasdair and John

Andrew Cope was absolutely 1st class- extremely memorable!

Andrew was exceptional and very honest about the good and the not so good parts of taking the decision to receive outside investment

Andrew was a very informative and entertaining speaker and gave another view of the process. Good to get his angles on VC funding

Andrew was very good. His presentation was entertaining and informative and flushed out the issues and emotions Directors face before, during and after the funding process. His experiences were invaluable to the audience, given that he has undergone several rounds of funding

Andrew had a really interesting approach - both to funding his business and also to the presentation!

I do think the size was a good dynamic for networking, meeting different people and having meaningful discussions

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