Michael reveals that his company Six Bridges Capital LLC is a financial advisory firm focused on early stage companies providing both advisory and capital raising services. Generally we are industry and stage agnostic but have a bias to post proof of concept. I like to see a product in market with some traction.

What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
Business origination and sourcing capital.

What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
Valuations – there is frequently a huge divergence of expectations between a founder and investors perspective.
Perception – personally there seems to be a trend in defining success for an early stage company by the size of their last round.
Raising capital is just one piece of the jigsaw in building a successful company. Without product demand, consumer adoption, solving a pain point there will ultimately be no long term viable scenario.

What new trends are emerging in your industry?
Impact and sustainability investing is an area of increasing interest, which provides a unique set of challenges when sourcing new capital.
The sector is so broad with examples; health, education, environment, greater access to general finance. Each is part of the broader sector and unique in themselves.

Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?
Much of our origination is driven by network but I do believe there is space for adoption of artificial intelligence in providing potential sources of investment / mandates.
This goes beyond the traditional database model that is currently prevalent.

How did your strategy develop in the context of the banking crisis and economic crisis?
At the time of the banking crisis I was working in the structured products business providing investors in hedge funds with access to leverage to invest in hedge funds. The banking crisis had a significant impact on that business line.

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?
Success – seeing an early stage company grow and become brand recognized.
Drive – working with early stage entrepreneurs is infectious with their drive and optimism.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
Don’t give up or take no for an answer.
It can easily become disheartening when pitches are being turned down, but you have to remember timing plays a large part in success…being in the right place at the right time is an unquantifiable part of the equation.
There is also a lot to learn from listening to another persons perspective of an opportunity and associated challenges. It’s easy to say but you need to be open to other peoples perspectives.

What have been your highlights in business over the past year?
I have seen an increase in the number of referrals of new mandates from previous / existing clients, hopefully that means I am doing something right!!!

What’s next for your company?
We are becoming more active in the health sector both B2B and B2C (digital health platforms, SaaS products, medical devices, life sciences) and are growing our network.

What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2020?
The impact and sustainability world is one I will personally be focused on. It has a unique ecosystem that takes time to understand.

Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?
Obviously I would like to see successful capital raises but I’d hope that we develop a reputation for assisting companies that are making the world a better place, it’s too easy to get focused on the financial aspects of this work and sometimes you need to take a step back.