Female angel investment group Investing Women has appointed oil and gas entrepreneur Lorraine Porter as non-executive director to the board of biotechnology company TC Biopharm.
Investing Women led the recent £1.2 million equity and grand funding which has allowed Lanarkshire-based TC Biopharm (TCB) to start its first treatment of UK patients with melanoma, lung and kidney cancers.
A £680,000 investment by Investing Women with support from Scottish Investment Bank and WH Partnership was matched with a grant from Scottish Enterprise’s SMART:SCOTLAND programme which has directly funded TCB’s cancer therapy trials in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Southampton.
Lorraine Porter was a co-founder of STATS Group, a £30 million turnover company based in Kintore, Aberdeenshire, which designs, manufactures and tests pipeline isolation and integrity tools exported to the global oil and gas sector.
Since retirement from STATS she has put her business expertise to use in advising start-up businesses and entrepreneurs and is an angel investor and advisor to Investing Women.
Lorraine Porter said: “Investing Women’s model was hugely appealing to me as a potential investor as it matched my desire to put years of experience in building a successful business into providing hands-on support and encouragement to smaller start-ups.
“TCB as an investment had the dual appeal of a first-class highly committed management team who are working on a project which will have a genuine impact on improving the quality of life for the most deserving of patients. I am looking forward to supporting the TCB team as they embark on a pivotal stage in the company’s development.”
Investing Women hold regular educational days which have been supported by the Scottish Government’s Entrepreneurship Team. Last year more than 100 women attended these sessions, which bring together potential female angel investors and entrepreneurs seeking growth funding.
Investing Women’s angel investment in TCB followed on from a successful pitch at one such event made by co-founder Angela Scott.
TCB’s Operations and Site Director, Angela Scott, explained: “Along with two of my senior female colleagues I participated in Investing Women’s two day programme which supports women entrepreneurs seeking investment growth. This helped us to greatly understand how an angel investment could benefit TCB and propel us to the next stage of development and we built up a very strong bond with Investing Women’s Chief Executive Jackie Waring and her fellow angels.”
Jackie Waring added: “A key part of Investing Women’s strategy is to encourage female ambition in Scotland and to boost the Scottish economy and we are grateful for the Scottish Government’s ongoing support in backing our educational days.”
Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government is committed to fostering a new spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation across the country. Through Scotland CAN DO I am pleased we have been able to support Investing Women in its efforts to prepare ambitious female entrepreneurs for further investment. With the potential for transforming millions of lives, the TCB investment deal is a good example of this work.
“The Scottish Government continues to encourage the development of new products and the adoption of new technologies across the entire Scottish economy. Our vision for Scotland is of a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation – a can do place for business.”
TCB’s lead product, ImmuniCell®, uses patients’ own cells grown in culture to target a wide-variety of different cancers and in addition to treating cancer, ImmuniCell® has platform potential to target major viral infections such as severe influenza, HIV and Ebola.
Image copyright Investing Women Angels. (L-R) Michael Leek, Angela Scott and David Gallagher (TC Biopharm), Jackie Waring and Lorraine Porter )Investing Women Angels)