I recently attended the IP100 event held by Metis Partners in Glasgow at the beginning of October. This was a great opportunity to hear host Stephen Robertson (CEO of Metis Partners) and guest speakers Mike Hughes (CEO of Hiire) and Ashley Marron (CEO of MindGenius) discuss the importance of non-executive directors within IP-rich businesses.
Metis Partners compile the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks IP100 – the UK’s first IP league table, which ranks companies based on a rating of the strength of their intellectual property (IP) assets (e.g. their brands, software, patents etc.) and the success they have had in exploiting such IP assets. MBM Commercial is proud to be the legal champion of this initiative, and it is great to see some of our clients already listed on the table.
The IP100 event focussed on some of the difficulties that companies face when looking to raise finance and/or expand internationally, and how non-executive directors can help with these. Each speaker offered valuable insight into their experience working in the industry and in particular some of the barriers to finance that are specific to IP focussed companies. One of the biggest is simply a lack of recognition of the potential value of IP and this is something that the IP100 league table seeks to address – the platform is a fantastic way of gaining recognition for a company’s investment in IP, which has the ability to significantly improve the funding options available to it.
The benefits of a non-executive director were clearly stated by all three speakers: non-executive directors have the experience, industry contacts and knowledge to help a company achieve its targets, something that investors will consider to be an invaluable contribution to any business. If a company is looking to expand internationally, the past experience of a non-executive director can be key in assessing new markets and ensuring that any growth strategy is right for the business. In addition, being one step removed from the day to day running of a company means that they can keep the company on track with the bigger picture – i.e. the overall strategy and direction of the company.
Ultimately, the aim of the event (as with IP100 itself) is to raise awareness of the value of IP companies – and the number of attendees clearly indicates that this message is getting across. I very much enjoyed the event and look forward to attending future IP100 events on behalf of MBM Commercial.