Ask Birt

A unique piece of software helps companies and entrepreneurs better understand what investors are looking for in potential investments.


NStar Finance & business has created a unique piece of software that helps companies and entrepreneurs better understand what investors are looking for in potential investments.


BIRT, which stands for Business Investment Readiness Tool is intended as a self assessment tool for SMEs looking to raise equity finance.


BIRT guides businesses through a series of key questions, examining the business proposition from the perspective of a potential investor, before providing feedback on areas for improvement.


Available now through the website  www.nstarfinanceandbusiness.com it is aimed at SMEs that are actively seeking venture capital funding to help get them ready for a first meeting with an investor.


The aim is to focus the minds of those seeking investment without the pain of a ‘dragon’s den’ style meeting. BIRT will improve their plans prior to seeing an investor for the first time.


‘Too often people don’t know what investors view as most important and may have unrealistic expectations of the subjects to address in a business plan. This means paying attention to everything from the financial returns for investors to the motivation and skills of your management,’ said Jonathan Gold, a director of NStar.


The software scores your business, although it doesn’t provide an opinion on whether or not you have a great investment prospect,’ added Gold.


NStar was set up in 2005 by regional development agency One NorthEast with a remit of providing finance for high technology businesses.


BIRT was designed by NStar researcher, Jenny Kwok, who has spent over a year developing the software with careful research into the demands and needs of active investors. Peter Hiscocks, NStar’s course director and a business angel, is also one of the many contributors to the project.