Also see my Investment Principles & Criteria
So, I am Mike Hardcastle. You’ve never heard of me and I’ve never actively networked or made what I do public until now. If you want to pitch to me, then below is the first 5 minutes of conversation that we will have. If you want to get a head start, then read this, tell me and we can move right onto you.
An abridged history:
I started in the family company one year before it became public and floated on the full UK stock exchange. The firm was Densitron and it was a global electronics company. Despite it being my major, I wasn’t that interested in electronics, so I soon transferred to developing software for the mainframe later on migrating to DEC mini computers. I realised I was never going to be the best coder, so I become more involved in infrastructure.
In 1989, I discovered the Internet, I became involved in a group that campaigned to allow commercial traffic on the public Internet. Members of that group went on to create much of the commercial Internet we see today.
In 1994, I started a business developing and hosting websites, this grew rapidly into a data centre business and eventually caught the eye of the city transforming the company into a dot com business, inflating the share price 10 fold.
After the dot com crash in 2000, the share price normalised and we became a target for takeover. The takeover happened in 2002/3, so we sold our shares and proceeded to support several buyouts.
Since 2003, we have supported many businesses from Asia and Europe in many diverse markets such as Manufacturing, Electronics, Computers, Internet and Software. Some have gone on to become public, others are thriving as private companies, some faltered and were sold. All still exist and have had success.
We exited the last of these companies in 2012 and since then, have been active in “external investing”. We offer trade finance and board expertise to mid cap companies and invest in Tech startups.
If you are looking for mentoring or investment:
Please get in touch, we are always happy to hear from interesting and challenging companies.
Before doing so, however, you might want to read my Guiding Principles for Investing.
If your company is of interest, then I prefer not to chat on the phone before meeting face to face. I find the “tells” coming from a first meeting are much more effective if there has been no prior spoken communication.
Areas of specific interest:
- Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure. Gaia, AI and Robots
- Artificial Intelligence (AI). Gaia, AI and Robots
- Greentech. Climate Change Doesn’t Matter
- Big Data or Scalable Internet Projects. Is the Web Dying?
- Display Technologies. Densitron is Saved
For those seeking Investment, here is a summary of suggested reference material:
You might want to buy my Father’s two published books:
You can also read the relevant following articles from me:
- How to value a company
- The Funded Salary Conundrum for Startups
- Should money go up in Smoke?
- How leveraged should you be?
- The difference between a director and a consultant
- 3 Ways to value a company
- Pre money Valuations
- Reasons your startup isn’t worth £1M
- £5M is the new £3M
- The Small “Tells” when Pitching
- Some Notes on Finding an Investor
- Where is the value in a startup?
Oh and lastly, some fun I’m having with Raspberry Pi’s:
Mike, thanks for following us on twitter after our Sigfox tweet.
This isn’t a pitch, but I thought I’d just tell you we are a two man,
self funded startup, who have been going exactly one year and a day.
We reckon that thousands of new IoT devices will require thousands
of new mobile and desktop application to control and monitor them,
and that’s what the ThingStudio platform was created to enable.