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Access to finance for early-stage businesses: myths and reality

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Time: 3.30pm - 6.00pm
Venue: Foyer, Town House building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE
Price: free
To attend: booking will be available soon, please check back

Access to finance for early-stage businesses: myths and reality


In partnership with the British Business Bank. 




Obtaining finance for a new business can be daunting, difficult and confusing. Pre-revenue, post-revenue? Who to contact? How to impress them? Where do you start...?

This event provides you with the opportunity to clarify any questions you may have, learn how you can access funding for your start-up and speak to business angels, debt financing brokers and other experts who specialise in providing equity funding to high-growth start-up businesses.


Registration, networking, refreshments  

Welcome and Introductions  

Panel discussion and Q&A 
Panel members (for more information, please see section below): 
Joseph Babalola, Funding Bay
Jeffrey Faustin, Jenson Funding Partners
Niki Richards, lecturer in Fashion Promotion and Communication, Kingston School of Art 
Ian Roberts, Head of Kingston Business School
Ashwin Tirodkar, the angel investor 
David Woods, British Business Bank

Networking reception
1-2-1s with specialists (for those who have successfully applied - see booking forms below)

1-2-1 opportunities (now closed)

There are opportunities to have a 1-2-1 with either a debt finance specialist or a venture capitalist during the networking section of the evening.
You can apply for this opportunity via the booking form - the deadline for applying for a 1-2-1 is midnight on Monday 7 November.
Please note the 1-2-1 slots are limited and therefore not guaranteed - successful applicants will be contacted by Thursday 10 November with a time slot. 


Joseph Babalola, Funding Bay
Joseph has over 11 years' experience in the finance industry, starting as an equity trader and moving into Foreign Exchange trading.  Joining Funding Bay in 2018, Joseph helped start the business and is now a Director.  Working with a range of clients and providers, Joseph builds long-term relationships with his clients helping them as their funding needs evolve.  Prior to this Joseph worked at the fintech lender iwoca.

Joseph works for Funding Bay,a broker established in 2017, working with a panel of over 200 lenders.  These lenders provider borrowers with access to funding from £10K to £100M.

With a range of products including bridging loans, invoice finance and unsecured loans, Funding Bay works with micro, small and large companies to help them find the finance they need.

In his spare time Joseph has his hopes dashed on a regular basis as an Arsenal fan.  

Jeffrey Faustin, Jenson Funding Partners
Jeffrey joined Jenson in 2013 and is a Partner and Chief Investment Officer and sits on the Executive Committee. Jeffrey is responsible for overall investment strategy and portfolio management of the Fund's investments.

Prior to joining Jenson, Jeffrey worked as a Technical Director for WS Atkins across the Middle East where he ran a large technical team and advised clients on complex commercial and infrastructure projects.

Jeffrey holds an MBA from London Business School and an MSC in Engineering from the University of Surrey as well as the CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting.

Jenson Funding Partners is the approachable startup investment firm specialising in working with founders throughout their early-stage growth – from pre-seed to Series A. Its diverse and experienced team understands what a business needs at each stage and combines quickly deployed capital with hands-on support to successfully scale the companies in their portfolio and deliver returns for investors.

Niki Richards, lecturer in Fashion Promotion and Communication, Kingston School of Art 
Niki is a psychologist,  educator, entrepreneur and angel investor in female founded ventures. She has had a career in marketing within the fashion and beauty industry and has launched and exited her own beauty business. She now focuses on learning, development and wellbeing at work. 

Ian Roberts, Head of Kingston Business School
Ian has a distinctive background as a senior leader in Higher Education with a track record in leadership development, building businesses, organisational development, organisational psychology and executive coaching. The thread that binds Ian's career together is supporting people through personal transition and career progression. Having coached over a 150 professionals and leaders, Ian is inspired by seeing people flourish. 

Ian has been the Dean of three UK university Business Schools, leading them through periods of transformational change and growth. He has worked with investors, operators and academic partners to set-up Real-World Learning Campuses in the US and UK and worked across the world in both trans-national education and commerce. He is the co-founder of a new type of strategy and leadership development consultancy for the creative, digital and media sector, Towards People

Ashwin Tirodkar, the angel investor
After a 17-year career as a derivatives trader at global investment banks, he left to be more entrepreneurial in his career. For the last five years he's been building a financial marketing startup.

He began his angel investing journey in 2017 and now has investments in over 20 companies. His focus is start-ups working on climate change and social change. Current investments include Ecologi (climate action), Salinity Solutions (water treatment), Bluephage (microbiological water testing), Goodclub (zero waste supermarket), Carnot( net zero emissions combustion engines), Marine Power systems (wind/wave energy), Allplants (plant-based products).  

David Woods, British Business Bank
David works for the UK Network (UKN) within the British Business Bank. The UKN meets with a range of intermediaries across the UK, from brokers and VCs to universities and accountants, uncovering how SMEs are finding access to finance and the market in general. This data helps the Bank target resources more effectively.

Alongside this work, the UKN looks at key topics identified in these meetings.  Last year the Bank looked at how SMEs were managing the transition to Net Zero and where help was required – the report was published on our website.

Prior to working at the Bank, David worked for an R&D tax consultancy and as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Manager for a London university.

Booking is essential to attend this event.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Dr Yuliana Topazly


Directions to Foyer, Town House building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE: