James King: Disrupting the venture capital model


James King

Role and company: 

Founder and MD of Find Invest Grow (FIG)

Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric): 

Group net profit: £1.27m.

Employee numbers: 

Core staff: seven.

Growth forecast for the next three years: 

54 per cent annual growth.

In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace: 

Products designed for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs.

What’s the big vision for your business? 

To disrupt the venture capital model and to provide smarter capital faster.

Current level of international business, and future aspirations:  

Several of our start-up companies manufacture in China and Taiwan and one start-up is based in Berlin.

Biggest career setback and what you learned from it: 

Leaving a company that I founded and built for two years due to a disagreement with the largest investor. I learned that it’s better to have no money than to take money from the wrong people.

What makes you mad in business today? 

Poor customer service.

What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years? 

FIG will be. We’re innovating in a space that no-one understands better than us.

Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things? 

At present, it is difficult for them to do so and that’s what we’re trying to change by providing better access to capital for start-ups. We can do better and for that we could use the government’s help. We have recently launched our manifesto, setting out 10 steps the government can take. These include extending the reach of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) incentives and encouraging institutional investors to provide capital to early-stage ventures.

How would others describe your leadership style? 

Strict, fair and hopefully they’d say that I lead by example.

Your biggest personal extravagance? 

A new 16,000 sq. ft. warehouse in West London which is being converted into offices with a fantastic event space and fully functioning gym to provide an inspirational work environment for FIG portfolio companies to call home.

You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper: 

Adopt all the points listed in the Find Invest Grow manifesto!

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