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New Manager for Oxford Early Investments network


Oxford Early Investments, a leading investment network that helps early stage companies to secure funding from investors, has announced the appointment of Chris Baker as its new manager.

Mr Baker takes over from Eileen Modral who has led the OEI network over the past four years. Ms Modral will continue to manage sister network, Oxford Investment Opportunity Network, which helps companies raise funding of up to £2 million, as well as leading a new initiative to expand the Oxford investment networks model into the Solent area.

Chris Baker’s range of business experience embraces financial management, technology transfer and management consultancy. He has established a track record in realising value for private equity investors and most recently served as the finance director of Leada Arrow, an engineering services supplier, and Trafficlink, a leading provider of traffic and travel information for broadcasters, the business market and government organisations. Exits for investors in both businesses were achieved through trade sales to quoted companies.

His other roles have included venture management at the Thorn EMI Central Research Laboratories, a corporate R&D facility servicing the defence, industrial and consumer sectors, where he facilitated the commercial exploitation of novel technologies through new businesses, joint ventures and licensing. He has also served on the Design Council panel that selects and promotes innovative products and as a judge for the British Design Awards.

As a management consultant, Mr Baker has worked in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in the manufacturing, transport/logistics and agriculture sectors where he designed and implemented planning and information systems.

Chris Baker said: “I am delighted to be joining Oxford Early Investments and look forward to building on its successful record. The Network plays a unique role in helping entrepreneurs raise the capital needed to develop their businesses while also satisfying investor demand for access to high quality, early stage investment opportunities.”

During the last four years, the OEI Network has helped 29 companies from across the UK to raise £3.6 million. They have included Oxfordshire firm, GroupSpaces, which raised initial funding through OEI to develop its innovative web management tool to organise groups, clubs and networks. Last summer, GroupSpaces secured follow-on funding of $1.3m from investors in the US and Oxford.

The OEI Network is managed by Oxford Innovation, which also provides advisory and coaching programmes for entrepreneurs and manages business and innovation centres.

Don McLaverty, joint managing director of Innovation Services at Oxford Innovation, said: “It is great to have Chris on board. He joins us at an exciting time for our investment networks as they play a more crucial role than ever before in enabling the UK’s innovative early stage companies to secure the funding they need to grow. His financial and deal making expertise will be extremely valuable as we expand our investor base in Oxfordshire and beyond.”
- ENDS -

Editors Notes
Press enquiries to: Margaret Henry, PR Director, Oxford Innovation.
Tel: +44 (0)1865 811199 E-mail: m.henry@oxin.co.uk

Photo available on request
Chris Baker, the new manager of Oxford Early Investments.

About Oxford Early Investments (OEI)
Founded in 2004, Oxford Early Investments (OEI) is a business angel network that helps early stage companies raise funding from £25,000 to £150,000 by matching them with business angel investors who often provide management input as well as capital. OEI holds monthly investment meetings, where companies from across the UK pitch their business proposals to OEI’s investor members.

OEI has two successful sister networks. Oxford Investment Opportunity Network links investors with technology companies seeking funding of up to £2 million. Thames Valley Investment Network links investors in the Reading and Thames Valley area with companies in the general technology, media and green tech sectors seeking funding from £150,000 to £750,000.

OEI is sponsored by Manches, Dehns, Richardsons, Oxford Technology Management; the Harwell Campus Programme, the University of Southampton and the University of Portsmouth. For more information: www.oxei.co.uk


Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Early Investments
+44 (0)1865 811199
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

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