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Amati Portfolio Showcase

Posted by Jason Rolf on 30/Jun/2014

The London Guildhall School of Music & Drama - Amati Portfolio Showcase

26th June saw Amati hold their first London-based Portfolio Showcase for Investors at the recently opened Guildhall School of Music & Drama in the City of London.

After tea and coffee, delegates filed in to the theatre for the Amati VCT and VCT2 AGMs which were shortly followed by the portfolio company presentations from Luca Pepere, CEO of DXI Limited, Frontier Developments COO, David Walsh and finally, Jon Jayal, General Manager of Quixant. In addition, Amati directors Douglas Lawson and Paul Jourdan also made presentations about aspects of Amati's investment process.

Based just a few minutes walk away by Liverpool St station, DXI epitomise the way new technology can disrupt existing business models. Luca described the way DXI's software delivers traditional voice telephony and messaging communication with all of the functionality required by a large contact center via the cloud, adding that a large corporate telephone system which previously would cost over £100k to acquire and take many weeks to set up, can now be set up in a few hours without any capital expenditure (beyond PCs and headsets). Next up was Frontier Developments, another technology firm with a fabulously long history in the gaming sector and attendees sat back as they were treated to in-play video footage of Frontier's latest game Elite: Dangerous, the multi-player, space-simulator game due for release later this year. Finally, Quixant, which makes the computers that drive physical gaming machines, such as those found in casinos, showed how its technology delivers "world-beating products in record time" with their high-spec platforms for the gaming machines market.

The afternoon session started with Amati CEO, Paul Jourdan, playing the violin alongside renowned artist Maria Rud. Maria is a fascinating artist and she painted as Paul played, with the audience following her every stroke as it was projected live onto the big-screen. This was a taster for Maria's larger events which get projected onto iconic buildings, the highlights of which can be seen in more detail on the Backstage section of the Amati website.

What followed was a short piece called "To Sea in a Sieve" by Guildhall students Michael Poll (guitarist) and Gareth Turner (actor). Based upon the short story by American writer Sophia Veltfort, this musical piece relies on Veltfort's rendering of non-linear time.

The day ended with the inaugral Amati Guildhall Creative Entrepreneur's Award. Presented in a Dragon's Den type format, this is a prize for the best pitch from the Guildhall's Creative Entrepreneur's scheme which encourages and supports graduates of the school to set up their own business or social enterprise and help develop their entrepreneurial talent and also their transition from student to professional life.

Three companies presented pitches to the distinguished judging panel made up of Julia Henderson, Christopher Moorson, Daniel Pickering, and chaired by Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen.

Drum Works - Jenny Beer, Jo Wills & Ross McDouall

"The aim of this programme is to provide in school opportunities for musical development, group work and community cohesion. We work closely with the teachers and students in the school to ensure the programme is embedded into the life of the school and provide world class artists to deliver the programme."

Salida Productions - Ed Hughes, Andrea Pelaez & Michael Vale

An East-London film company, already successful with a number of productions (Formby, Farmer and the Shepherd and Gutter Junky), Salida Productions were looking to raise funds to start filming their new title "Grief".

Song in the City - Gavin Roberts & Rosanna Young

A registered charity that takes classical music out of its comfort zone, part of their work involves short lunchtime-concerts in the City.

The £1,000 award was given to Drum Works.