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Our story

Conceived in Cambridge

VenturePro’s roots date back over a decade to 2006 when our Founder & MD, Adrian Calder, decided to take a sabbatical from his ‘day job’ with one of the Big 4 accounting firms to study for his MBA, with the aim of discovering if he had what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

As part of his business degree back in Cambridge (UK), Adrian secured the opportunity to lead a project team that delivered the first comprehensive review of a local (but rather well-known) Angel group’s portfolio, which by early 2007 comprised around 25 startup companies. The project went well, with the high profile Angel that sponsored the project saying that the team “had nailed it” which paved the way for Adrian to present the findings to the group as a whole. Having found this initial exposure to the world of entrepreneurship and early-stage investing truly fascinating, Adrian offered his services to the Founding Chairman of the same group to undertake a second project over the summer – but this time as an individual rather than team. This second project also went well, resulting in the Chairman tempting Adrian away from the security of his well-paid consulting job in London to become the Cambridge Angels’ first ever retained consultant – with responsibility for building out the group’s portfolio monitoring and reporting capability.

About half-way through his two year period working with the Chairman, Adrian had the startup idea that has now evolved into VenturePro. Picture the scene: Adrian had spent twenty minutes using sticky tape to join together half a dozen sheets of paper (printed from a spreadsheet) that listed the cashflows in and out for each of the group’s portfolio companies, and had laid the paper out on the boardroom table at ‘Angel House’ where he worked with the Chairman. The Chair entered the room, looked at the paper monstrosity laid before him and asked quizzically “Isn’t there some software that deals with this?”. A few hours later, having used several search engines to try and find some software that might be able to ‘deal with this’, Adrian was convinced that there simply was no software available to help Angel groups monitor their portfolio. And hence the idea that has become VenturePro was conceived in Cambridge as angelPRO (“angel Portfolio Reporting Online”), which is why to this day, the company’s official name remains angelPRO Limited.