LINC Scotland is the national association for business angels in Scotland, with a membership which includes many active individual investors and most of the main angel groups or syndicates. We represent our members at government level in Edinburgh, London and Brussels and were founding members of both the European Business Angels Association (EBAN) and the World Business angels Association (WBAA). Since 1993, we have played a significant and active part in changing the business culture in Scotland and the Scottish business angel marketplace is now recognised as amongst the most developed in Europe.
“The United Kingdom has been the most active angel market in Europe with Scotland being particularly active.”
‘FINANCING HIGH GROWTH FIRMS, THE ROLE OF ANGEL INVESTORS’ O.E.C.D., Paris, Dec 2011
At a practical level part of LINC Scotland's role is to support and improve the functioning of the local business angel market. At individual deal level, we focus on improving the efficiency of the 'process' by making targeted introductions to well matched business angels among our members. We act as facilitators not investment advisers and strongly recommend that the investee and investor take professional advice before making any investment related decisions.
The emergence and growth of structured investor groups or syndicates has been a particular feature of the past six or seven years and although it is probably a naturally occurring part of market evolution it was identified and actively promoted by LINC from an early stage. Indeed at one level we have become an ‘incubator’ of new syndicates, providing both know-how and direct operating support in the early stages until critical mass is achieved.
LINC currently has eighteen member groups and aspires to help launch at least five more over the next two years. The leaders of all the groups participate in a liaison network (the Angel Leaders Forum - ALF) which meets every two months and has become a significant influence in the marketplace and with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.
The professionalisation and capacity-building which arise from group development have helped create entities with the credibility to be co-investment partners for both private institutions and the public sector. Around half of the partners of the Scottish Co-Investment Fund are LINC member groups and these have delivered more than 75% of the investment deals for that fund. LINC itself is an original co-signatory with the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) of the master agreements covering the Scottish Seed Fund and the Scottish Co-Investment Fund, both of which largely operate in the ‘pre-bank’ sector of the market.