Manchester-based Adam Barker is co-founder of MagnaPass, a technology platform that allows people to book their place on a wide range of fitness activities across Greater Manchester as well as helping fitness centres and personal trainers market their services more effectively.
He first began working with the Hub in 2014, and with their support developed a business plan and took part in pitching workshops run by the North West Business Angels Programme (NWBA). However, following feedback, he decided that the concept needed more development and was not yet ready to attract the level of investment needed.
Two years later, after raising interim funding through his own network, Adam came back to the Hub for help finding £150,000 of equity funding to expand the business and fund the sales and marketing support he needed.
He began working with Alan Bambroffe, one of the Hub’s access to finance (A2F) specialists, who explains: “My first job was to understand the revised business plan and how Adam had developed his ideas over the last couple of years. We then spent a lot of time working on his presentation, both the on content and his delivery, in preparation for a full-scale practice pitch as part of the NWBA programme.”
The practice involved a six-minute presentation in front of other entrepreneurs on the programme, as well as a panel of four A2F advisors. They provided feedback on the business model and Adam’s presentation style, as well as highlighting some of the potential challenges he could face in the marketplace. They also put Adam on the spot with a series of ‘real-life’ questions about revenue streams and where he wanted to take the business.
Adam passed with flying colours and was invited to take part in two official events, pitching his business to investors from Manchester and East Lancashire.
Following the events, Adam was approached by a number of business angels and secured an initial investment of £50,000, as well as expressions of interests from several others that are currently in the pipeline.
Having secured the support he needed to effectively market and grow his business, it is estimated that user numbers will increase to over 50,000 by the end of the second year of trading and the company will reach £1m turnover by the end of the third year. With the business being easily scalable to different locations across the UK and worldwide, the business valuation could reach £50m by the end of 2020. The investment gained with NWBA means MagnaPass can take on four new employees.
“With hindsight, the decision to develop the concept to be ready for investment was the right one, and I’m glad we persevered through this whilst maintaining our vision,” says Adam. “Now we’re set to properly launch the product and expand across the UK, and the plan is to follow this with an international launch and particular emphasis on the US market.”
Adam continues to work with the Hub and has been matched with a mentor to provide guidance and support to achieve his business goals.