Often the ultimate aspiration for any growing business is to make it a public company. However, if you are planning to get your company ready for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), there are various hurdles to overcome.

Bristol’s Engine Shed tech hub is playing host to an interactive discussion on 12 May about the opportunities and challenges when raising equity capital and potentially going public. John Wakefield from WH Ireland and Claire Dorrian from the London Stock Exchange will be on hand to share their insight and experience about the SME funding landscape and the IPO process. And there will be a networking session with free beer and pizza straight after, where you can meet and chat to some SETSquared companies.

“There will be local companies who may see an IPO as not for them and we want them to consider the options”


nick-sturgeNick Sturge, Director of the Engine Shed (pictured right), explains why they are holding the talk: “Having personally been part of a team that listed on the London Stock Exchange – I know the benefits and pitfalls of both the process of listing and being a public company. The market has changed and so we wanted to bring together experts from WHIreland and LSE to provide an update on that. It is important for SETsquared to help the entrepreneurs we are supporting to look forward at options for their future, so that they can make the right decisions – and preparations – now.”

He adds: “From an Engine Shed point of view, we want to see long-term sustainable economic growth in the city-region, and there will be local companies who may see an IPO as not for them and again, we want them to consider the options – from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.”

Getting investor ready

John WakefieldJohn Wakefield, Head of Corporate Finance at WH Ireland in Bristol (pictured left), agrees: “WHI advises what companies and entrepreneurs need to do in order to get “investor ready”. We hope to form positive relationships with ambitious, quality companies who may be a year or so away from taking this step to advise them on what they need to do in order to raise growth capital successfully.”

So if you want to mix with some founders of companies in the same position as you and get advice from people in the know, you can register here. As Nick explains: “Attendees will get an up to date analysis of funding options available and where a public listing fits in to that. We will understand about the process, costs, pros, cons and schemes available to help prepare companies for listing as well as an opportunity for Q&A and discussion amongst local CEOs on the topic.”

“One thing that particularly interests me, is the role of the board in preparing for listing and attendees will get insights into that”

You can sign up for this free event at this Eventbrite page and keep up with other events from Engine Shed by following them on Twitter here: @EngineShed_BB. And while you are at it, why not follow us too? @TechSPARKuk

Jamie Middleton