Contributor: Nelson Gray

Following the sale of his own business in Nelson became an educator, angel investor, mentor, non-executive director, and Fund Manager.

As a qualified UK Financial Services Authority fund manager, he managed two early stage investment funds responsible for funding over 50 Scottish SMEs. He acted as Fund Manager for Scotland’s leading business angel syndicate, and has invested in 25 companies personally.

Recognised internationally as a “thought leader” he has provided training and mentoring to early angel investors in many counties and has helped to build angel groups in Scotland, Latvia, Jordan and Russia. He has worked with a number of development and government agencies around the world to help develop and implement policies to facilitate the growth and effective operation of local investment communities. Nelson is a director of ESEP Ltd, which administers European Union Structural Funds Programmes on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Nelson was the European Business Angel Network ‘Business Angel of the Year’ in 2008, and is now Vice-President.

Nelson has provided advice on the establishment and structuring of a number of innovative early stage investment funds both in Scotland and overseas. Engagements have included United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), The Inter America Development Bank, Washington, The International Science and Technology Centre, Moscow, the Estonian Development Fund, Arengufond, the Latvian Enterprise Department, Intertrade Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, El Hassan Science City, Amman, Jordan, the National Agency for Technological Development, Kazakhstan, advice on the establishment of Angel tax incentives in Finland and the expansion of Angel groups and syndication in Estonia.

He is a member of the investment committee for the £50m UK Angel CoFund, a non-executive director for the Genomia Seedcorn Investment Fund, and formally the locum Fund Manager for Clyde Blowers Capital IM LLP, a £250 million venture fund. As a member of the Advisory Board of SU2P, a collaboration of 6 universities (Strathclyde, St Andrews, Heriot-Watt, Glasgow, Stanford and the California Institute of Technology), he helps to increase academic and industry interaction between the USA and the UK.

Nelson is a non-executive director of LINC Scotland, the Scottish Angell Capital Association, established in 1993. He chairs LINC‘s Best Practice committee, acts as a mentor to new investment groups and is frequently called on to provide training, mentoring and advice to Angel organisations and entrepreneurs in the UK and elsewhere giving him a unique insight into the operations and motivations of angels around the world.